Monday, 1 September 2014

Fun with Flowers

Flowers are always fun to draw so here are a few more. And since it’s almost Spring here it’s a timely subject. I wish I could say that the Artichoke was from life but it is from some lovely photos I took on a friend’s farm some years ago.

I went to a local Florist looking for some flowers for a class. Walking into their cold room is a treat -such a feast of colour and fragrance. I was hoping for some sunflowers but no luck - all sold out. 
I explained that I didn’t necessarily need a whole bunch so I was kindly allowed to rescue some from the “leftovers” trolley

The Lizzianthus was part of the bunch .Love the double “zz” - when I googled the spelling Wiki came up with “s” which is so tame. Now my spellcheck insists on “zz” - too late to change my sketch. I used some FW Acrylic inks applying the purple first with a brush, then switched to a dip pen for the lines. The strange little smudge in the lower corner is a failed chop. I had it made years ago in Hong Kong. The red ink has turned into a weird sticky mess so thought I would break with tradition and try a pink stamp pad instead. I need more practise getting enough ink on the chop…

The Blushing Bride was a last minute addition. I was standing at the counter when I saw a posy with these flowers. I was so tempted to buy a bunch but then the assistant walked to the other side of the shop and brought back this little sprig - it was destined for the bin. 

All these sketches were done in a Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook, landscape format. I wasn’t too sure about the orientation to begin with but I must admit it’s growing on me.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Nasturtiums in Watercolour

In one of the classes in my Studio we have been looking at Still Life - and painting from life too. It makes such a difference when you really look at something; examine the shapes; enjoy the colours; and appreciate the light shining through petals on a flower.

Nasturtiums I ink and watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

I prevailed on one of the artists to leave her beautiful nasturtiums for me to paint over the weekend. Since I have a new colour - Schmincke Translucent Orange - it seemed fitting to use watercolour. 

Nasturtiums II ink watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

                                     Nasturtiums III watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

I enjoyed trying a few variations - ink then watercolour; watercolour on its own for quick, free flowing colour; and lastly a more careful painting. I planned to add a few more shadows however life got in the way and when I looked a few days later, the flowers were past their prime. Life is fleeting.

 I found a delightful poem to complete the page.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Urban Sketchers Brisbane on The Great South East

There was much excitement at the USK Brisbane sketch crawl this morning. Our group was to be filmed for the Channel 7 TV programme The Great South East, which features people and places in SE  Queensland.

Needless to say there was a bumper turnout. While we waited for the film crew to arrive, I started a quick ink sketch of the General Post Office. I wanted to get a feel for the building and decide how to tackle the building in the larger sketch.

GPO Noodler's #41 Brown in Alpha sketchbook

 It's a building with three sections. The left hand side with the clock face is the original building, although the clock was originally on the centre Tower section and was later moved. The right side of the building was added later and matches the left side. We were in relative calm sitting in Post Office square across the road.

I decided to concentrate on the original building.I loved the fact that the trees obscured quite a lot of the complex building. There was a also a lot of traffic on the road in front of me - trucks, delivery vans and crowds of people moving about, so a lot of editing took place.

While I started my sketch some of the other sketchers were interviewed. I decided on a loose watercolour wash of the main shapes so I would have something to work on when they came to talk to me. 

Fortunately I had a fair bit of the sketch started when it was my turn to be interviewed, so I didn't have to face a blank page. Carole Horne, the Producer asked me to "assist" the presenter, Blair Allsop with his sketch and give him a few tips on starting. The crew were with us for a couple of hours and then went on to shoot footage of some of the sketches we had done in other locations around the city.

 General Post Office Brisbane ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook 

If you live in Queensland make sure you tune in to Channel Seven on a Sunday afternoon at 5.30pm. We will get some notice of when the segment will air - most likely in about four weeks so I'll let you know when it's on.

Andy Warhol predicted that
“In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”

After all effort that I am sure our fame will most likely only amount to three or four minutes in total.