Thursday, May 30, 2013

Map to Paraparaumu

I drew a map to direct people in our Wellington sketching group to a future sketching meetup in Paraparaumu. I definitely need to get a scanner (or access to one)! Maps are always lots of fun to draw.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sketching people in pen and ink

I haven't sketched for a few days, and I still have this irrational belief that my ability to sketch will just vanish. When I start again after even a short break it takes a while for me to think, yes I can still do it! I find that when I try and do quick sketches I often revert to my old method of drawing the eyes first. With these I consciously followed the practice of doing the outline of the face and hair, then the ears first, just following the lines as if they were simply shapes (like I learned in the Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain book). It really makes a huge difference, and I got some great likenesses.

Above: Schaeffer fountain pen, medium nib, Noodlers Bulletproof Black ink. 5 mins for the face, 4 mins for the rest. A year ago, this would have taken me well over an hour, with lots of erasing (if done in pencil). 

Below: same, but time taken was 5 mins.


Above: Same details. Time taken: 9 mins

4B pencil.

 A gratuitous photo of Petone Wharf, Wellington Harbour, New Zealand.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Village sketch

I've been having a look at some different styles of sketching and what I like about each style. One book I read recently was Ray Evans' Travelling with a Sketchbook. He has a very loose style, which at the same time catches a surprising amount of detail. He is conversely also really good at hinting at things in the middle and background with out doing too much detail there. I've had a go at trying to catch that level of detail, while moving stuff around. 0.05 Staedler black pen. I learnt that this type of sketch takes a very, very long time to do!

Sketching at Te Papa

I went to the Wellington Sketchers meetup at Te Papa on Saturday. Te Papa is Wellington's main museum and it means "Our Place" in Maori.

We sketched on the first floor foyer first. I just managed to get these two people down on paper before they walked off. 

Then we walked over to one of the permanent exhibitions "From the Mountains to the Sea". It is an interesting place because the lighting is quite dark and they have purposely made the space quite complex, with doorways to exhibits & walkways this way and that. It is a little disorienting, and I was able to sketch people as they were standing there for a moment trying to get their bearings. It isn't disorienting in a bad way. I think it engages people and probably makes them more likely to appreciate the wonder of what is being exhibited there.

Someone looking at the exhibits. I liked this posture: where you are half turning to go, but half turn back to read or look at something that has caught your eye.

There was an exhibit of photographic portraits. I sketched the one above, before I read the description of it. I was thinking to myself ¨Gee, this woman looks awkward, uncomfortable and is starting vacantly into space¨. Then I read the artists description and that was precisely what she meant to do. It was an art piece about women feeling awkward in the face of an oppressive atmosphere in the 1960s. So the photographer was actually right on.

There was so much to sketch at Te Papa, that I will definitely come back here to sketch again.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sketch: Cottage next to Community Garden

Testing out my new watercolour pencils. I need to get an olive-green, which is a better match for NZ flax than the bright green I have. Here is the sketch below before colouring.  I did the sketch in 15 mins on-site, but did the colour later at home.

I learnt a few things: Firstly, colour & paint the thing that is in the foreground first, or do the light things first. For example, I think it would be best to have coloured the plants in the front first, and then it would have been easier to colour the fence second. (I did it the other way around). Second: cheap paper really shows up with watercolour pencils (well, it shows up with anything really). When you go to do a second layer, or overcolouring, the cheap paper tends to start splitting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sketch: My backyard

Our backyard. Chickens, apple trees, and all. I'm working with a different technique of including shading with black pencil/ink/charcoal in pen drawings.

A gratuitous photo of Upper Hutt Valley with early morning fog.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sketch: At the beach

I went to the beach around Plimmerton today, and got a little bit of sketching done while my toddler played. 

I looked at the horizon and noticed that the horizon along the water was a black line. I have only ever seen this once before while kayaking on the South Island, and thought I would sketch it. The horizon didn't come out in the photo though.

 This is a sketch looking south. I left the bottom left side blank as I thought i would put text in there.


The photo zoom is weird; in reality I am sitting a lot closer to the end of the beach than it looks here.

I thought I would see what it looked like if I put a few of the houses along the waterfront in. I prefer it without, but there they are now...;o)