Monday 29 December 2014

The Blue Mountains

I spent the weekend at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, and returned to Evan's Lookout to sketch another view of the cliffs looking to the left. The shadows were very strong in the morning, and the sun very hot. Last time I sketched here is was very cold and I did the view to looking more to the right.

(I have another post about sketching in the Blue Mountains here)
This is actually across a double page in my sketchbook but I need to figure out how to 'stitch' photos. It is a smaller study of the view from Pulpit Rock. This sketch was done on a very misty and cold morning. Such temperature changes in one weekend!

Sketching in The Rocks, Sydney. Updated and Ongoing!

Police Station building, the Rocks.
The Sydney Sketch Club has set a challenge to draw all the buildings along George Street in The Rocks. It was started in January 2014 and I began with the old police building.

I drew this in Water-soluble graphite which is a favourite, especially for buildings where there is a lot of shadow. This is painted in an A5 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. It is now a rather nice cafe with some of the old cells available as little private rooms.

The Russell Hotel, The Rocks, Sydney

Sketching in the Rocks, Sydney
The Russell Hotel is still a hotel :-) This was lightly drawn in pencil then in black ink with watercolour over the top. It's larger - in an A4 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

I joined the Sydney Urban Sketchers for a coffee catchup in Surrey Hills and then a sketch in the Rocks, Sydney, on Christmas Eve. This time I had a time limit so worked much more quickly. The building was the 'English Scottish Australian Chartered Bank' building. It is sketched with minimal preparation with pen then watercolour then a little more pen work.

This is actually the first of the buildings in the stretch. I used grey mixed ink for this one and am really enjoying the softer look of grey rather than black.

It is in an A4 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and was painted in January 2015

There are many more to go and I'll add them as I go :-)

Friday 19 December 2014

USK Sydney meetup

We had a few international visitors in town so Aussie USK leader Liz Steel organised a Sydney sketch meet. It was lovely to chat about the materials, pens and sketchbooks available in different countries while drinking coffee and sketching in the Rocks.

I wasn't taking too much care with these sketches but they are a record of a fun day out.

The first was done using an interesting Sailor pen with a 40 degree nib. Great for switching between thick and thin lines. We were sketching in the MCA cafe which has a great view of the bridge. It normally has a wonderful view of the Opera house too but there was a cruise ship in the harbour and those things are enormous!

We moved from the MCA cafe to the Courtyard Cafe for lunch. I did a sketch of the lovely sandstone walls surrounding the cafe.

Then it was time to go out and about and sketch a little corner of The Rocks. This was in a laneway looking towards Nurses Walk.
 A USK trip to Sydney with Liz wouldn't be the same without a visit to the Tea Cosy for some lovely scones. I am not a tea person but the many knitted tea cosies are rather fun :-)

Sunday 14 December 2014

De Atramantis Inks - mixing document greys. Updated January 2015

I enjoy sketching in black, brown and grey inks. I may add a yellow ochre or raw sienna, but these generally satisfy most drawing subjects on location. I am using the De Atramentis Document Black and Brown and apparently there will be a grey, but for now I have made my own using the Blue and Brown inks. 
I wanted to see whether the Document Magenta and Document Green inks neutralise each other to produce a black, and therefore another grey option. They do - they make a rich black. I then thinned it down with the Document thinning solution and made a lovely range of lighter greys. The last has about 8 drops of thinning solution with less than a drop of ink!
The bottom mix shows the same process with the Document Brown and Document Blue inks. They made a very dark grey - almost as intense as the magenta and green - that thins down beautifully to a range of greys. 

This is a page from a sketchbook exploring Document Red and looking for Burnt Sienna, Indian red and grey hues. 

In the first line you can see Indian Red and some great greens.

In the second row there is another Indian Red option with Document Blue

You can see another grey option on the third row with Document Red and Cyan. It is then thinned out with ink thinner.

The lower rows are also explored elsewhere. So many colour options!

I'll explore raw sienna and yellow ochre mixes next. I'll also thin the black and see what it looks like as a grey. The options with these inks are endless!

Wednesday 10 December 2014

De Atramentis Document Ink mixes - Blue, Yellow and Magenta. Updated January 2015

The possible colour hues you can mix with a three colour mix of yellow, magenta and blue are endless. Here are just a few of the possibilities using the De Atramentis Document Inks - Document Yellow, Document Blue and Document Magenta. The ratios shown are approximate - yellow:magenta:blue based on the number of drops of each colour used. A drop varies in size but it gives an idea. These mixes follow on from the two colour mixes shown in a previous post. These are painted into a Stillman & Birn Alpha A4 sketchbook with a brush at full strength.
Here are the same inks with approximate ratios of the three colours Yellow:Magenta:Blue

The second set of mixes is more random so no ratios are given. Only the Document BlueDocument Yellow and Document Magenta inks have been used.