Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sketching around Wellington Station

I went to the Wellington Sketchers meetup which was at Wellington Station this time. It was a beautiful morning, so we went outside and sketched.

Wellington Station, with the morning sun breaking through the clouds. At this time of a Saturday morning, it is mainly tourists about. I've been trying to impart more emotion into my sketches, and as I drew this sketch, I was thinking ¨Whhhhoooaaaa¨. Although it was a lovely peaceful day, and this was a peaceful scene, I was more feeling a sense of disorientiation, finding myself in central Wellington in a place I haven't sat for many years, at a different time, without my family in tow. A normally busy place, that was not busy as I remember it. I think this sense of disorientation came through in the sketch.  I feel like I am looking down a lens, taking in quite a large scene from a distance, without any steadying sense of peripheral vision. At least, it makes me feel that, looking at it.

A fellow sketcher very kindly let me sketch her sketching. Having gotten my sense of disorientation out of my system with my previous sketch, I just tried to sketch the world normally here.

Wellington is full of little quirky surprises.  I have walked to Wellington Station many times, but never noticed the little train on top of the sign outside it.

I sketched a woman who sat down next to us to read a book.  She had interesting gauntlet gloves on.

I forgot to take a photo of the station while there, so my husband took one on the way home from work a few days later. It is a building that has always fascinated me, and I think I will definitely come back to sketch it again one day.

Blog Badge

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pencarrow Lighthouse Mail Art

We recently did a bike trip to Pencarrow Lightouse, which is along the bike path from Eastbourne, along the Wellington harbourside. I thought I would draw a picture of our day as some mail art, more in a children's book illustration style. The paper that I used for this was quite thin. It didn't buckle with the watercolours, but it was a close thing.

 A rocky beach along the bike road to Pencarrow Lighthouse, Wellington Harbour, North Island, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Christchurch sketches

A sketch from an old photo of London Street in Lyttleton, one of my favourite places, where so many iconic buildings were badly or irreparably damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes.

A sketch of the Theatre Royale in Christchurch, which I understand is still standing, although I am not sure how damaged it was by the earthquake.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mail Art: Tea pots # 1

I've had these ideas for weird teapot illustrations in my head for years, and thought I would get them down on paper. Handmade envelope, Schaeffer fountain pen with Noodlers bulletproof black ink (medium nib) and coloured pencils.

 Here is the front:

Here is the back. I haven't sealed it up yet so it is a bit tricky to hold it straight for the photo.

 And here is a gratuitous photo of sunset from our house:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hutt River sketches

I went along to a meeting of the Pumpkin Cottage Revival Artists on the Hutt River and met lots of lovely painters and sketchers there. It was threatening rain, so I just bought my sketching gear rather than my full painting gear.

 A small sketch of the Hutt River Trail looking south.

I sat under Moonshine Bridge, where the Hutt River and the Hutt River Trail go under it, and sketched the shapes of the bridge and the pigeons roosting under the bridge.

All done with Noodlers bulletproof black ink and Schaeffer fountain pen, medium nib, on A4 paper.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Testing out the Noodlers black ink

I've been testing out the black Noodlers bulletproof ink with a few different pens.

Portrait done with a copperplate dip pen. A bit scratchy to work with, but can do lovely fine lines. The ink can be quite a startling black, or at least blacker than I am used to. So a fine nibbed pen works well with it.

Sketch done with a Schaeffer medium nibbed fountain pen.

 Tiny sketch done with a Noodlers Konrad flex pen, although I didn't use the flex feature much.

Sketch done with a Schaeffer medium nibbed fountain pen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wellington Harbour sketches

I managed to get down to Wellington Harbour today to do some sketching while the summer weather holds. I sketched the Boathouse on the Harbour. A fellow stopped and pointed out some eagle rays which were swimming around in front of us. Last week a pod of orcas chase lots of rays, their favourite food, in to this little lagoon. They almost came inside as well, but thought better of it at the last minute.

One thing I am working on this year is trying to adjust my style of drawing, or the medium, to convey something of the emotion of the scene / people. Today was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was just relaxing and enjoying Wellington's gorgeous harbourside. So I wanted my sketch to be kind of whimsical and happy. I purposely chose a spot where the building became two dimensional and used a distorted perspective, as if the building is sort of stretching happily out of the ground.

I also went and sketched the Brewbar. I used to do the after-work 5 km runs which started and ended outside here. Although I never made it in there for a beer afterwards. I probably could have drawn a little more here (the building beside it etc), but my parking ticket was running out and I had to run back to my car. I didn't try for any particular style with this. I've been working on ways to convey, in a very small sketch, that a building is made of brick, without drawing every brick.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Envelope Art: Women Pilots # 2

I've done another envelope based on women pilots. This time I am in the middle of reading A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II by Anne Noggle. 

On the front is a sketch of Rufina Gasheva, a navigator, and Natalya Meklin, Pilot, of the 46th Guards Bomber Regiment. It makes you realise how young some of these pilots were.

On the back is a sketch of the Po-2 aircraft which they flew on their night missions.

The author seemed to interview all the soviet women who served in World War II who were still alive in 1992. Each one has a few pages where she talks about her life before the war, how she came to be in the war, what she remembers most, and what she did afterwards. So everything is written in the first person. She also has a current (1992) photo of each of them at the back of the book. It is an amazing book, and it is interesting to read how very different the culture was from the women who served in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in Britain. Unfortunately, it does not have an index or a table of contents showing people's names. However, you can search for people in the copy on google books.

From a technical point of view: I'm quite interested at the moment in how drawing techniques relate to the emotion/meaning of the subject matter.  So, in pen and ink, one way to give an impression of history or impermanence is to do the whole sketch in stippling or dots. For this one, I chose to do it mostly with hatching, but not too much cross hatching. I think it is possible to see the depth of the figures, but having it mostly composed of hatching, all done in the same direction,  also gives a sense of the figures not really being there at all. A bit like ghosts. Contour lines it would have fleshed the figures out a lot more, made them more ¨real¨ and detracted from that feeling. Obviously, in real life, these people were very much ¨there¨, but looking back in hindsight, and reading their stories, there is a sense of life being subject to so much luck and close calls.