Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paekakariki sketching

I went to a Wellington Sketchers meetup at Paekakariki on the weekend. We sketched around the train station. We saw a bright red diesel train pushing some of the restored (I think) old carriages and trucks into the sheds. I've never seen them moving before, so that was something new for me.

We went into the Paekakariki Railway Museum before it closed for the day. I could have spent quite a long time there, sketching everything and reading all the displays. They really have gone to an enormous amount of work in the museum, and I thought it was great and very professionally done. We had a long chat to the museum volunteer, who was really helpful. She let me sketch her and read us excerpts of a very old vintage book they had there called The Home Physician.

Afterwards, I met up with my family and sketched this in the car, looking across the water towards Kapiti Island, in the 2 minutes while we were getting ready to go. 

Here are some photos of Paekakariki, taken on a different day though.

Above: Queen Elizabeth Beach, Paekakariki, looking inland.

Above: Queen Elizabeth Beach, Paekakariki, looking outwards towards Kapiti Island.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mail Art: Totara Park

It was a cold autumn morning, with the entire valley covered in mist. We live on a high hill, so it is quite a dramatic and beautiful view to wake up to. Here is a photo of clouds over the valley.

I dropped my husband off at Cannons Point this morning for him to go mountain biking with his biking group in the hills behind Totara Park. There are a few small farms on the valley floor there, mainly just sheep, and lots of beautiful mature totara trees. I thought I would sketch the road end view as some mail art for one of the letters I need to post this week. It isn't on watercolour grade paper, so I kept the washes to an absolute minimum.

Worldwide Sketchcrawl 40: Wellington

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sketching women with makeup on

I've just sketched this in between other sketches, filling up all the spaces in my sketchbook. 
You have to ignore the half drawn upside down faces above and beside her!!

Excuse the spilt tea!

I have found sketching women with make up on surprisingly tricky.  When you look at them, their mouths look very dark, but if you draw it like that, the sketch looks really strange. It is even worse if they are grinning! In a large A4 sketch, this sorts itself out easily, but in a thumbnail pen and ink sketch, sketching too many lines in pen quickly makes it look strange. 

Seeing as I want to be able to draw everyone (particularly happy people), and I really like miniature sketches done with a 0.05 technical pen, I decided to do a bit more research on this. I experimented with sketching people with cheesy grins (my favourite sort of happy person) a while ago. But it really makes a difference once the subject has a lot of makeup on.

I think the answer is that even though we see someone has a lot of lipstick on, the actual value (darkness or lightness) of the makeup is not necessarily that dark. If you squint when you look at them, which makes it easier to judge the values, the lipstick often disappears. So, I think, in ordinary lighting, it is often best to sketch the upper lip just as very light, broken lines, without darkening them too much. The lower lip is barely marked, but you can tell how it is shaped because your mind continues the line started by the blackness at the far left and right hand edges of the grin. As in the two sketches above. 

The sketch below shows how wrong it looks to darken the upper lip in a thumbnail sketch - when you see it you think you are looking at the inside of the mouth, not the intended lipstick, at all.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Te Papa Sketches

I went to the lunchtime sketching meetup for Wellington Sketchers at Te Papa. We had a look at the Marae, which is somewhere I had never been before. I just sketched people this time, as this is an area I would like to get more proficient at: both the thumbnail posture sketches and the closeups. With a really good posture sketch, you should be to tell the subject's mood and expression without even being able to see their face. This is something I'd like to be able to do really well one day.

Below: Various people in the foyer.

Below: I also sketched my fellow sketchers.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Mail Art

I had a few letters to post of this week, so I've done a bit of mail art.

A thank you note for a friend. Front side:

Here is what it looks like with a stamp on, although the colours didn't show up as well in this photo below.

Back of the envelope:

Whale-themed mail art. Front side. The address is written in his nose.

Back of the envelope:

A sketch of my driveway on the front of an envelope.

Envelope back: A sketch of a view in one direction from our deck.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sketching at Paraparaumu

The Wellington Sketchers meetup was at Paraparaumu Beach Market this weekend. It is a well established market, and it really shows. It has become a community meeting place and while sitting there sketching I saw lots of people greeting each other, catching up, and stopping for a chat. Sitting still in one place sketching really made it possible to notice and appreciate these things.

I sat next to the Chocolate and Fudge stand and talked to Zita and her daughter. Zita runs a veggie stand and her daughter runs the chocolate stand next to it. I didn't write her name down, which I am embarrassed about. I think it might have been Lorraine. The market runs rain, hail, or shine. They don't mind the rain or shine, but the hail they don't like so much. They talked to me about the how the veggies come down from the farms at Te Horo. Lorraine very kindly stood extra still so I could sketch her more easily!

Zita unpacking her truck and setting up. I finally found a use for the ridiculously bright Emerald Green watercolour pencil that came in the Albrecht Durer watercolour pencil 12 pack.

A busker. I would have loved to have sketched from the front, but I thought that might be too much for a busker to take (singing in public and being sketched at the same time!).

We also went over to the main veggie section, where I talked to one of the stall holders, Jane. This is her vintage trolley (I am sure that is not the right name). We had a chat about how vintage things often work best. Jane said that her washing machine is 25 years old and works better than the modern ones. I had to agree with that as the electronics in our's keeps failing.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sketch: Woman with hat

I've been wanting to test out the skin colours in my new Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils. I sketched this woman, standing in the afternoon sun, from a knitting catalogue. The skin colours in the range seem to be for a very pinkish European complexion, so I'll have to spend a bit of time working out the right combinations for other complexions.

A gratuitous photo of Castlepoint, North Island, New Zealand

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sketches: People working

Some sketches of people working. I'm practising sketching people from different angles, an in particular getting the hands right. With a pen and ink sketch there is only room for one clear line with hands. Otherwise they obtain too strong a value and stick out too much. The colour was done with my Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, which I am quite happy with, and a waterbrush pen. The pen work is with a 0.05 technical Staedler black pen. I couldn't fit the woman's feet in, as I was just filling up blank spaces in my sketchbook, and this one ran into another sketch on the page...

Above: Before adding colour. I'm really pleased with this sketch. Although it is quite small (8cm or so), the fellow's concentration and pursed lips are there.

A grautitous photo of a dolphin, Foster, Central Coast, NSW, Australia

Sketch: Old Man

A sketch of an old farmer. I always find it interesting to see people's half-way sketches, so below is what he looks like without the dark barn background. This is just done on one of my ¨abandoned sketch¨ pages of my sketchbook - the pen marks on his shoulder is from a previous sketch that I never really started. It seemed a shame to leave a page totally blank! Sketch: 10cm high, HB, 6B, and 8B pencils.

A gratuitous photo of a remote beach road, somewhere on the Central Coast, NSW, Australia