Thursday, April 12, 2012

Watercolour experiments and quick pencil sketches.

Today was such a beautiful autumn day in Melbourne, I decided to try some watercolour sketching around the town where I live.  Found a table on the outside balcony of a local cafe, ordered a coffee and muffin, and away I went.  This took me about an hour.  I really need some lessons in this medium!!  But I enjoyed doing it, and some of the people who noticed what I was doing came over to have a look.  People who consider themselves unable to paint or draw are always complimentary, which makes me feel good! 

After I'd done as much as I could to the first painting, I moved across the park to a spot where I could draw the old wooden trestle rail bridge. I've taken heaps of photos of this bridge, but never tried to draw it before. Next time I think I will try using charcoal, as I seem to be able to capture shadow and shape better with that medium than with paint and brush. There were trains coming and going all the time, so I included a bit, but it is woefully out of perspective; in fact it looks nothing like a train! Next time I'll just do the bridge.
Yesterday, the MOTH and I spend an hour waiting to see our doctor, and I took advantage of the time by sketching people in the little book I keep in my shoulderbag for that purpose. There was a lady sitting in front of us who helpfully kept still the whole time (not knowing what I was doing), but the two young men across the room caught me when I was about halfway through drawing them. One whispered something to his mate, and they both looked at me while I tried not to look at them - ha ha! Ken was chuckling, and he told me they changed their position when they figured out what I was doing.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Last acrylic painting, recent sketching.

The final class in Acrylic painting was held on March 26th.  The previous week, Michael suggested we paint anything we wanted to on the last night, and he would be there to assist us on a one to one basis.
I decided to work on my American Indian portrait, and Michael praised my work in progress.  I was quite chuffed!  I almost finished it on that night, but it needs a bit more work on the finer details, so I won't post a photo of it here until I've completed it.
In the meantime, I've been using pastels, charcoal and pencils to do some sketching.  This one of some of our hens basking in the sunshine in the back yard was done with my cheapest colouring pencils - I use them if I'm just messing around or having a practice run.   I've never seen hens lie down like that, and it was quite tricky to capture them in those poses.

Last night, there were sleeping bodies all over our house - one cat on the bed (Tiger), the other under a chair in the dining room (Topsy) and the MOTH stretched out on the couch.  I thought it was a good opportunity to draw them all in charcoal while they were unaware of me.  I captured Tiger before he woke up, but Topsy opened her eyes and glared at me when I crouched down to draw her, and all I could get was this quick sketch of her cross little black face before she got up and moved away!  By that time Ken had woken up and wasn't in the mood to be a model for my scribbles, so that ended my session.

Today (Monday) I went down to the Yarra River in Templestowe with one of my arty friends (Val) and we spent a lovely couple of hours sitting under some shady trees, practising our drawing.  Val had a book of "how to paint for kids" and it had some interesting exercises on drawing and painting trees (one of my worst themes) so I dallied with those for a while.  The first page is done in Derwent pastel pencils -
 And the second page in water colours.
 I decided to get serious then, and drew this house and trees on the other side of the river, using charcoal to sketch it first, then added colour with the pastel pencils.