Today, I met up with a couple of friends to do some urban sketching on Napoleon Street, Battery Point, in Tasmania.
Battery Point was originally settled in 1804. In 1811, land grants were given to free settlers and farms were established. By 1814, several farms were located in the area. In 1818, a battery of guns, called the Mulgrave Battery, were placed on the southern side of the point as part of the coastal defences on the deep water port established at Hobart Town. Battery Point derived its name from the installations of guns at this site https://www.ourtasmania.com.au/hobart/battery-pt.html
I get my art prints printed on 310gsm A-2 sized watercolour print-paper. When I trim my prints, I often have offcuts and this pile is getting quite tall. I thought I would see if it could be used for urban sketching. It worked quite well but I will have to adjust my painting technique because it is absorbent and the paper bleeds when you apply extra watery paint, as I discovered when I painted the chimney.
I then felt forced to add blue sky to try to disguise the chimney-bleeding.
The couple hours flew by and it was time to pack up the paints, move the cars from their two-hour parking limit and enjoy a hot cuppa.
The paper has potential, so I will keep experimenting with it.
After arriving on Friday, we wandered around and settled for a bite to eat in one of the laneways in the city. This was our view from our eating spot.
The next day started by a visit to the South Melbourne Market and then exploring St Kilda, including this cool community garden.
The visit to St. Kilda ended with sketching a duplex that caught my eye on Park Street. I love the roofline decorative tiles so many of the older houses have in this area. On Park Street itself, there were quite a few raised garden beds in front of houses.
Two of Picasso’s paintings of his first wife, Olga Khokhlova. Despite the Spanish flavour of the 1917 painting, Olga is from Russia, a ballet dancer, with Ukrainian origins. I find it interesting that she is depicted with quite big hands and feet in the first painting. From 1919 to 1929, Olga received over 500 letters from her mother and sister, whom she didn’t see.
These are only a fraction of the paintings on display. After the exhibition, we found a spot to sketch the renowned Flinders Station. I was settling nicely into the zone, then the rain disturbed my happy space.
My weekend in Melbourne finished with the fairy tale magic of Cinderella.
Trust that your week is is travelling along magically.
I felt so inspired and motivated when I left the house but once I arrived at our monthly Hobart urban sketch meet, the inspiration had exited somewhere along the way. I wandered around looking and discounting buildings: too complicated, will take too long, too exposed to the wind, too cold, no where to sit and more excuses were applied to the various sites under consideration.
I finally settled on drawing the entrance of the newly opened hotel on Murray Street, in the city. I drew it standing up with my book awkwardly balancing on my open left hand. The unsteadiness of the book contributed to looseness and wobbliness of the lines. Usually I avoid including cars, but because this one was blocking part of the view of the entrance, I felt compelled to attempt drawing it.
Hastings Street, Noosa, in Queensland, is lined with shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries, with trees wrapped in fairy lights in the centre boulevards. This tree dwarfed the shops behind it. The leafy cover is wider than it is tall.
This tree came complete with some Australian Brushturkeys scratching and foraging around its base.
My usual approach to tackling a building when I’m drawing on location is to start with some loose guidelines using a coloured watercolour pencil and then adding ink. Usually I add the watercolour paint at home.
When I attempted to draw this front part of the Government House, I flipped my approach and went with paint first. It looked terrible but it is surprising how much it improves when you add ink. I worked into the picture at home with an Artline pen.
It was a lovely and fun day. I hope I have the opportunity to draw on the grounds of the Government House again.
Once upon a time, 50 years ago, a house on a hill in Franklin, Tasmania, across from the Huon River, was built. This couple wanted a painting of their house to help celebrate 50 years of marriage and moving to Tasmania from USA the same year that they got married. They built this house (not entirely themselves), firstly living in the stone cottage, for 7 years, with the addition of two sons arriving during that time before being able to move into the larger part of the house. The stone cottage is a Quebec, Canadian design. The inside of the house and view is just as stunning.
I finished the commissioned urban sketch of the house on a hill, on eleven acres, in Franklin, Tasmania. I drew it on site. Firstly, the front of the house and then moved to the backyard to draw the back of the house. (I haven’t finished painting the back view yet). This house is so large I had to take several photographs to get a photo of the entire width and height. It also has so many crazy angles! What a challenge!
My rendition of the house. I couldn’t fit all of the front view on my page. Hence, for the back view, I have used a larger piece of paper!