Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where's the time gone?

It seems like we've just registered,  but it'll be the last day tomorrow.

So far, I've met new friends and old, while sketching all over Paraty. I have had to jump up and down for warmth in Liz Steel's workshop and run inside from the rain in Paul Heaston's. Composition has been improved or distorted like a wide angle lens, whilst the high tides have flooded the streets and left us sketchers marooned until they recede.

I don't have many sketches (so far) that I wish to share due to the nature of the workshops I've attended, but I am over flowing with ideas and inspiration. For example, this afternoon I wished Gabi's talk could've gone on longer and can't wait to try Ivonesyo's lamp painting technique.

The organisers have done a great job, the sponsors generous (I especially love my #super5 pen) and the urbansketchers is such a great community that it's with mixed feelings that I prepare for tomorrow: sadness it's over for another year, but fortunate to participate.

Ps I'll upload photos when I'm on a computer and not my phone or you can checkout or my flickr where there are some.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Wren's St Mary Abchurch 2 August 2014
A while ago I received an email from Monologue asking if I would like to review their sketchbooks. Naturally I said yes and a little while later a courier delivered this lovely parcel.
They are designed to be used with a variety of mediums listed on the wrap: charcoal, chalk, graphite, pencil, pastel, oil pastel, wax crayon, red chalk, acrylic, collage, oil, marker, spray, tempera... Everything except ink, my prefered medium. As I am part way through the A5 Seawhite sketchbook, I decide I would test drive the soft cover A4, with holding elastic.  It has a handy niche on the edge keeping it both in place and away from the pages - neat!

Wren's Monument to the Great Fire of London
Pete Scully had arranged a sketchcrawl of Wren's buildings,  so I thought that was a good time to testdrive the sketchbook.  Aren't new ones scary? At the meeting point lots of peeps were busy sketching the buildings or craning their necks to draw the top of Monument. Eek. I drew 2 construction workers on their break at the bottom.  The sketchbook liked my pen, so that was a relief.
St Magnus the Martyr
Getting my map of locations,  & sticker for my sketchbook,  I drew the church clock and spire of St. Magnus the Martyr listening to the chimes of the bells. I added the watercolour,  which the page handled well  I am very lazy,  mixing colours direct on the drawing with quite a bit of water. It crinkled a little but not much at all.

Next it was St Marys Abchurch and I loved its poor green, damp covered, neglected side. I spent a long time on this sketch as I built up the watercolour glazes to emulate what I saw. I'm pleased with the result and the way the Monologue sketchbook took the paint. 

I'm not so pleased with my last sketch of St Mary le Bow Church as the church is soooo vast, my initial marks were way off. The café shot is the best way to view it. I then had to head home to walk my lovely assistant and missed the final meet up at St Paul's.

I had a lovely day, thanks to Pete's planning,  and look forward to using the sketchbook more as so far I think it's really good. I must try some other mediums for a thorough test. 

Sketching St Mary Abchurch rear entrance
St Mary le Bow
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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Parks, flowers & Shakespeare

Ink & watercolour. ©Sue Pownall
To continue my blog catch up...
The other week I ran away to Barcelona, just for a night, leaving Degas with a dog sitter. It's my favourite city, and I really want to move there. Unfortunately, circumstances are conspiring against me, for now.

I stayed in a hotel with a fantastic view of the Arc de Triomf, but chose to relax in the shade rather than sketch the view. My batteries are in desperate need of recharging.
Parc de l'Estació del Nord. Watercolour in A5 sketchbook.
That evening, I had arranged to meet friends and fellow sketchers Cesar and Miguel at a performance by Parking Shakespeare who were performing Much Ado About Nothing in Catalan (Molt Sorroll Per Res).
I can only understand a few words, but love Parking Shakespeare's outdoor performance, and first saw them in 2012. You can see the previous sketches here. Having wandered around the area and arrived at the park early, I sat down to paint the amazing mosaic mountain as I love the intense blue.I think the painting is tonally flat, but I enjoyed painting it. Then it was time for the Shakespeare and a similar drawing to last time. Again, I got caught up with the action (even with very limited understanding) and stopped drawing to watch. If you are ever in Barcelona in the summer, I would thoroughly recommend going to one of the shows: lovely setting, great acting, and it's free.
Molt Sorroll Per Res. Blue Micron in A5 sketchbook.
 The next day, I started the day with a sketch over breakfast (top). I'd spotted the building whilst heading for dinner the night before. It took me 2 cups of tea and almost an hour, which is looonnngg for me as I have the focus of a gnat. The rest of the day was spent wandering around and going to MACBA before heading back to the airport.

Unfortunately, my quick trip took rather longer than anticipated, as my car broke down on the way home from Heathrow airport. I tried sketching under the streetlights as I sat perched on a bank overlooking the M25 and my sick car, but the motorway was uninspiring. Here's the proof.
 Where is your favourite destination to run away to?