Urban sketch

Beechworth- mining ones talents over a week

Taking a break camping in Pearl (our caravan) in the town of Beechworth. Its origins as a town are based on the great gold rush in Victoria, when gold was found here in  1852. The new towns location made it a central area for government as it was a few hundred kilometres from Melbourne. As a central hub it built up post office, hotels, police station, hospital, jail and more .

Beechworth post office day 1

We walked for about 2 Hours going into town along the creek which was mined for gold. Along the path there are warnings of mine shafts on both sides. You think to yourself oh yeah! But as you walk, watching for snakes you cross strong wire grates and look down and see you are standing over a big black hole. Just like Bruce Wayne fell down…then you stop and look and there are more holes, less protected two metres away, some just have old trees shoved down them….seriously we did not wander off the path.

Beechworth Albert st

In town I drew from the positions of shade, as it’s quite warm up here at the moment.
I seemed to focus on the corner of Ford st & Albert Rd. First the post office, actually twice, (both above) then, the old gold office/bank  (below) and is now mostly a jewellery shop. These two I have not completed but I wanted to record what I had done when I returned home.

Bank of Victoria, gold, now jewellery

Then the Honey discovery centre which was also a bank. The green edging is actually an olive colour. ,which I noticed in the different light than when I commenced it.

Beechworth honey discovery shop


On the roundabout of this road is an old light(modernised now). It still has the old chain for lighting it (now welded on). Now it’s a fashionable thing for youth to place things on, when we first arrived it had a tiny rubber truck on top, over the weekend a couple of pairs of boys underpants! I omitted these!

Beechworth lamp roundabout

On Saturday night we went and watched Rachel Johnston and Andrew Clermont at the Nicholas hotel in Beechworth. Rachel sure could make the cello do some marvellous things and Andrew played guitar, mandolins x2 and banjo. I couldn’t keep up my sketching the instruments. Check them out an their tour- https://www.facebook.com/soaringmusic/

Motorclassica – the line files

You don’t always see classic cars on the road. I mean old expensive ones that people decide it is too difficult or too risky to take their car out on the public road.

Then again it might happen and it’s a long way away from where I am. So going to Motoclassica over the last few days I tried to get as much ink down as I could in the time available. SO here are the cars I drew at the event, in order,  including the people sitting on the train.

train-passengers

the guy in the black hat was much trendier than I drew him, he seemed late 20s and too old for his get up and his breakfast in a tetra pack! The man in the blue shirt was playing two handed iphone game, again too old for that. The guy with the umbrella was VERY cool with his yellow shirt and umbrella, The student went too school before I finished her, and the girl with her tight hairI had to draw!

rolls-royce

1925 Rolls Phantom, one that a chaffeur drives. Bob was the friendliest bloke at the show, explaining every bit of the car to visitors. From my angle the wheel circles looked dark green but were actually black!  The statuette on the hood , turns to allow you to open the hood!

e-type

NOt pleased with this one, there was a Pillar where the door was, but I wnated to draw it, but I think I lost a bit because of my decision, Ah serendipity!

mucked up 1

This Rolls I liked the bottom half but then he opened the bonnet and I lost the top half……

overview-1

I decided to try an angle from upstairs, whihc I expanded upon later

alfa romeo

Day two I sat with Alissa Duke (see her site here). We both liked this one, lots of reflections so colour will be interesting later.

overview d2

I had two hours to capture this one from above. Not sure how it comes out but I enjoyed the process, should have noted my lines better

vw

Enjoyed this one even with lots of people living old dreams or wishes. everyone from young to old stopped in front of me to look and discuss this.

rolls-2

The Masrati are had a couch where one lady was sleeping so opposite her I sat down and drew this one

quick-one

Only had 15 minutes to spare so ripped out the brush pen sat on the floor and scratched this one out…….

Let me know what you think? email me 

Hobart Day 3 Out of the weather

I  met Patricia again and we started to draw in the Domain gardens although the weather looked threatening. We found shelter but the weatehr was against us. We visited a lovely cafe that gave us shelter and great Jazz music. The owner invited us to stay for as long as we wnted and that we didnt even have to but anything.

We chose an old shop front to draw, Old Bell Chambers. apparently the Old Bell Inn used to be on the site and these were built in the 1920s.

 

I haven’t added the ground floor with the modern shops, thought I would retro the bottom, I have some ideas.

img_1395

Meanwhile outside the weather was looking better, although snow had fallen on the mountain, blue skies appeared, we risked sitting outside on the balcont and trying some of the church building from a table outside

img_2342img_2340

SO out we went, well that lasted 10 minutes before the rain and

science-church-doorway-hobart

Some detail to add to this. Tricias was much better. See her facebook on it here.

We walked back to The Domain Gardens and unfortunately had to go our own way. Great company and great sharer of knowledge. Thanks Tricia.

IAgain I did the touristie bit and took a pile of photos for later use. Again the rain came and So I returned to complete the Elizabeth St scene

Hobart

Hobart

 

combined-elizabeth-st

The completed pic

Eventually content I wandered back to our hotel, but need to warm up so popped into a cute little cafe. Feddy the owner let me sketch whilst he mopped up the floor. Eventually I left to return the next day and add a bit more

img_2426

 

 

Hobart Day 2 Battery Point and more

Day 2 I met Hobart urban Sketcher  Patricia Hopwood-wade in Battery Point,; its an URBAN Skethcers paradise! Nokidding, for a Melbourne boy there were many buildings from the the 1840s on…. I could sketch here for a LONG time.  (See Patricias fabulous art here but come back!)

Tricia took me to  a building that she was intereseted in, she is also completing Liz Steels classes so I was happy to follow her lead. And to get out of the cold wind blowing.

We set up and we chatted like old school friends, which made it a fantastic experience. I look forward to hosting her on the mainland sometime. Part of the Urban sketching group is sharing our knowledge and getting over the challenge of sketching alone outside when you first start up. We both cracked on, and I learnt a lot about her art and processes, which was very generous of her to share. It’s amazing we got any sketching done. we went off for a coffee, I had two I needed to warm up.

We returned to our spot. A couple of people asked what we were doing and were kind enough to say they liked what we were doing.

house 1 battery point.jpeg

The curves of the balcony were challenging. The ironwork too. When you sit and sketch you really pick up some details or I am alittle finicky? , the wire to stop birds getting in up under the round roof, the bathroom window above the lower floor door. the curving bay window plaster, yeah thanks architect for that! And again its on a hill. I forgot how hilly Hobart is, my calves did too!

A lesson for newbies! Go to the toilet when you go for coffee. another hour later and Tricia said goodbye, I must have walked quite strangely whilst I walked back to the cafe  to use the facilities, (DESPARATELY).

I went into the cafe and was fortunate enough to get a window table looking at the Fusiliers house. Whilst eating my scallop pie and and drinking coffee and juice (watermelon and orange???) I sketched and coloured this onefusiliers-cottage-battery-point-hobart

There was an old labradour sitting at the front door. She was a little naughty, getting up to visit passing dogs, for a frienly sniff and then back to her spot. The owner told me her name was Olive 13y’o and starting to wander a little further than she should!

After lunch I wandered around and with the occasional rain spot I sought protection for my mnext adventure, (after taking photos of other buildings in Battery point!)

IMG_1307.jpg

I sat outside the treasury building and got so much grit in my eyes from the wind! but that was Ok I was capturing a coulpe of old buildings in Elizabeth St and chatting to the passing bus passengers. It was starting to rain so left it at this. Quite happy with my days work and walking!

Day one over, Day 2 to come……

 

Hobart – in minimal colours Day 1

The trip to Hobart was successful in many ways especially as an experiement for me to sketch solidly for at least 7- 8 hours a day!  Even though the weather was warm, cold, windy, rainy, sleety, sunny and other descriptive nouns….. I was prepared (maybe not for the dust in my eyes), long johns, sunnies, hat and of course ready to do arty stuff.

 

We met our travelling companions at the airport so I didnt start sketching until on the plane.hhobart flight to.jpeg

Jetstar colours are mainly orange! and I dint draw the kids staring at me until the end beacuse they didnt look at me until I nearly finished our 1 hour flight. It was a good test of my new art jacket (see below). Which I took off for  security and put back on once thru, but as usual I was bomb/drug swiped. (I didn’t get tested in Hobart on the way home MIRACLE! I always get tested!)

We arrived at Hobart after a couple of delays, and then we walked to get the travelling out of our system. The sun was shining and it was quite warm so T wanted to lay down in the sun. This is always good for my sketching!

I took in the view, thought about Liz Steels classes and wham there it was. A collection of buildings of the Old Customs House Now Customs house Hotel, Hobart customs house hotelfrom Salamanca market.jpeg

The customs house is a combination of different buildings., which was challegning as it is also on a hill so windows didnt line up and were of different sorts.

I still have shade to add, cast shadows and then a bit of colour.

I used  non permanaent ink pen, I love the feel of it and that I can smudge it with a damp finger quickly after sketching. What I don’t like about it is the smudging when I add colour.

I am going to curve this one to the left and include the Supreme court building and the lovely flowers in the foreground, but maybe not the “smoking” couple behind us!

After a couple of moves to follow the sun,it was off to the shops to get breakfast supplies etc.

 

The trip was good test of my new jacket from my son for my birthday and successful addition to my apparatus!

img_2473

I don’t have to carry my handbag anymore!

Even a large compartment at the back for my larger sketchpad!

Day 2 to come…….

Windy Hobart

Out with Tb off to her workshop, I went off to my self imposed sketching workshop. My aim is to sketch for the 8 hours and see where it gets me.

It was a windy day and got worse as day went on. I am still scratching grit out of my eyes……Anyway…

Met Hobart artist, sketcher and must say, very nice host Patricia Hopwood-wade, checkout her Art, but come back. We are both doing Liz Steels buildings course and we both tackled this complicated house with a curved balcony in Battery Hill.


We had a break for coffee and returned until middayish. Tricia left me so I went and had lunch in the “village”.

The Fusiliers cottage (built 1840s) was across the road, so I did what came naturally started sketching whilst waiting for my scallop pie. There was an old black Labrador sitting outside. She got up and visited every dog who came past.

When I finished I asked the antiques owner about the dog. Olive is a 13 year old who “usually” stays near the house, but is starting to wander a little. 

Then I wandered around and walked off my pie….. I tried to sketch but the wind was fierce and starting to rain, so back into town. I wanted a street scene and shelter. I sat under the eaves of some old government buildings  and started the scene below, but it the end the weather forced me to retire. I will get back to this…the perspective may look a bit odd, because I had to move , causing pillars to obstruct my angles….but these are the little happy misfortunes of urban sketching..


Yesterday I did this one whilst TB lay in the sunshine.


I do like using the brush pens, the one above is non permanent, so will have to watch how much water I use when colouring. 

Liz Steels sketching buildings

Ok I am a little behind. No.no. I am a little bit behind (I wonder if this translates to Je suis debonaire derriere?) but i digress, behind in my homework.

I am doing a bit when I can and at the moment playing with Liz Steels building class even though I did her workshop, which I can recommend , to see her in action and be able to ask questions I found very valuable. I do like to consolidate my knowledge and experiences  by going over things again.

 

I am also going to Hobart in a weeks time and going to sketch for 3 whole days whilst TB goes to remote nursing school.Liz has based some of her course buildings (below are my images) on some she saw in Tasmania so I thought it would be good practice to get in a few Taswegian style buildings.  Now these ones are quickies done on non watercolour paper whilst other things are happening around me, which is good for a male to try to multitask….

I am also playing with a bit of toning on a couple of other sketches  you may have seen the line art for on an earlier page, but now putting some tone down. This is another fun stage where I can start to see it become more dimensional.

I have watered down my last mix of ink  a little more than I have used in the past. These have had two coats, the darker shadows are next, especially for Flinders St as I used a brush pen for the Model T and the dark shadows are already there

flinders-quicar-qui

and then there is this one below. I am experimenting with George Haddonsimg_1246 style pics whilst sitting in bed, trying to learn to add some character to my images. For me now I am trying to add a bit of life in my diagrams.

Sketching architecture

The least scariest thing I find to sketch is architecture. But being a Libran it can sometimes take me a while to decide what to sketch. Then again sometimes it hits you in the eyes. Or its something from your past. My first big sketch, was the Princes Theatre, I barely finished the central part on my sketchcrawl.

I did this one because one of my best friends was involved in the refurbishment of it in the 1980s, and of course I have been there numerous times so it did attract me when I went out for one of my first sketchcrawls in 2015.

IMG_4029

Princess Theatre 2015

The one below was done whilst on a workshop with Liz Steel (highly recommended), People may go past as I am sketching and some will look over my shoulder. North Melbourne below was an interesting situation. I was with a group, but that didnt stop the local characters, medically or alcoholicly affected from looking at our work. In fact they were more encouraging as their use of adjectives to describe our work is often greater than the normal Joe public. “Tht’s $#%^&ing tops mate”

img_0306

Errol St North Melbourne 2016

 Apparently the tram lines above have been moved now!

The good thing about architecture is you can draw your favourites whenver you want and in different styles. Heres Flinders St station last year and then this year. And sometimes it pays not to have your paints with you, hence the line art. So many times traversing over those steps without stopping and appreciating the old building!

Version 2

Flinders St 2015

flinders-st

Flinders St with Aggie Lim 2016

Even doing this one over 4 visits in Brisbanes early morning or late evening, people stop and look , make comments, stop for a little chat, or blow their cigarette smoke over you while chatting, or offerring you a chair, all these little things remind me of the experience.

img_0001

Brisbane Treasury Building 2016 

Brisbane ex treasury building now a casino, Ironic really!!

 

 

Cafe art

Capturing the art scene of Cafes can be quite daunting. Firstly you sit at a table, perhaps for a long period of time, your coffee may take time to drink (and go cold) between putting lines down, or the waiter may ask you if you want anything? And you feel guilty for taking a table and not eating a lot…. But once they see what you are doing they tend to stop pestering you, and fill your water up whilst grabbing a quick peek at your sketch.

IMG_2697

2014 Above is an early one where I wasnt brave enought to draw inside.

 

col hawthorn marios coffee house bw (1)

When I did sketch inside I hid down the back, nnot wanting to get noticed. I didnt need to worry, others were going about their own lives to notice a middle aged bloke down the back.

The Winey Cow Mornington

2015  I have been taking various online courses, even completed some of them before starting another, but what I Am getting from them is to just get out and draw what you see, hear and feel. Draw the barista, the mess, the organisation, the bitchy customers, or the happy waitress, customers, Just capture it.

 

IMG_0826

2016  There is a  regular at this cafe who was sitting and standing and sitting whilst I was sketching this one. I couldn’t not draw him.

 

IMG_1630

2016   Sometimes I don’t finish in one sketching period, sometimes I go back a couple of times to add onto the picture. The sketch of Provincia was one of these. We like to sit outside and watch the world or sit in the sunshine whilst having our coffee so I sketch a little then go outside. With the Provinvia cafe above I only draw for a minute at a time, a long macchiato does not take long to make , so often the decor of bowls and cake stands changes, but that’s ok.
Sometimes I can manipulate my view area, but on busy days I have to take the view that I get. Life’s like that. Suck in a deep breath, sit down and draw what you see.

That serendipitous position may lead to a different picture than the one you envisioned.

 

In dribs and drabs

What do you do when your local coffee place doesn’t have a table to sketch from? And their service can be so quick you barely get your pen out to throw some ink down?

 Well you try to fix a spot (in the corner between the fridge and the wall) and draw what you can while you wait. (Try not to be rude to customers who get in your way to order the delicious stuff in front of you, “I think I’ll have  umm, what’s that? Does it have nuts in it?). Then you do the same over the next few weeks until you get a chance to paint.

That’s how I got Provincia finished, even the girls working are amalgams as they weren’t always on when I was there. ( I know how inconsiderate, haha).
Provincia Food store