Shells, Canal Houses & Sushi at Sunset

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It was a full class tonight, with most students already set up and sketching at 6.30pm.

Seems everyone had been looking forward to doing our shell and Dutch canal house sketching since last week..

Cathy questioned whether she should sketch a canal house, seeing as she had done so while she was actually IN Amsterdam on a recent trip…but she ended up doing a very nice sketch anyway…and we all admired the pictures on the wrapping of the chocolates she had kindly given to the Studio of..you guessed it, canal houses…

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Believe it or not, these girls seemed to just LOVE doing perspective drawings!

Despite letting them off the hook and saying they could do simple “front on” sketches, the little houses still managed to become 3 dimensional, with one student saying “I just cant help myself!!!”

Ok, so, we have two options, cross hatch the side bits out and turn it into a “front on” sketch (a handy little cheat if the perspective is not really  working) or make sure that it IS working!

A nice little tip: hold your pen at the same angle as the lines within the object, and it will become clear how you should sketch it on the page.

DSC04142One student said her work looked “stupid” but within seconds of me holding it a small distance away from her, she smiled happily and said…oh yeah, it does actually look good!  A great reminder to step back from our work every so often as it gives us a much better view. Some artists will even use binoculars back to front, though holding it at arms length does the trick for us sketchers!

Some experimentation this lesson for some…using wet in wet techniques, colour is dropped into (still wet)  colour to get some beautiful glowing effects. We just need to make sure we keep the definition so that an area or object still reads as a single thing…otherwise the finished sketch can look a little confusing…but with a little practice, this technique looks phenomenal.

Anna claimed that she felt the sketching was like a meditation and others agreed…a nice calming thing to do in what is already turning out to be a busy time of the year.

Other than Cathy and Jozy, we all drove down tonight, and they still beat us there! It goes to show that it is actually quicker to walk into Manly from the Studio (and healthier too…hmmm, “Sketch and Jogging” anyone?!?)

Walking may well be safer too it seems…our driver Mindy saw a nice house to sketch and almost stopped in the middle of the road!

We walked through the Corso and went up the escalator to Sushi Bar Taka. We were greeted by the friendly Chef, his smile beaming over his Sushi Empire.

It was a well lit venue with lovely decor including working fountains, interesting bottles and coloured plates on the wall. Of course we also had the beautifully presented and yummy sushi whizzing by in front of our very eyes…But one student found more than that to peak her interest, exclaiming “doesnt the chef have the most amazingly formed ears…just delicious!!! Yes, as sketchers we really do see the beauty in EVERYTHING around us!!!

Again it was a matter of “food first or sketching first?”…Most chose sketching until we heard an adamant “ok, now its eating and wine time!” followed by another student asking “are you gonna draw that, cos if you’re NOT gonna draw it, Im gonna EAT it!

A few questions with solutions at the ready;

Why dont I like my plate? Hmmm, add a little colour in the centre, and a soft dash of blue below the base and Voila, it springs to 3D life.

Why do my colours look muddy? We’ll just add a bit more colour, some dashes of blue and red dotted into the sketch will bring it to life.

How can I make my chef look less jaundiced? We will give him some rosy cheeks, that will pep him up!

I especially loved the question: “Are the “press me for help” buttons put in place specifically to get sketching help from our tutor?”

Hmmm, Sushi Sketching Restaurants…. we may well build a sketching Empire of our own?

Some of us were lucky enough to admire Jozys lovely Xmas cards, full of little sketches of things she had experienced in the past year…with a good dose of humour and a few sketch rules written in there too!

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So, the last Sunset Sketching for the year…

Now if you’re sketching during the break, perhaps try doing some super quick sketches…10 seconds/ 30 seconds /1 minute /2 minutes /5 minutes. It will really help you to loosen up and get some boldness in your line work…Try it with colour too, using sweeping strokes with the side of the brush…just dont forget to keep the whites around the edges…

I can honestly say that it’s been lovely meeting and sketching with such a gorgeous group of ladies…and I feel sad at seeing you go. I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year…and wish you a fantastic holiday period, Christmas and New Year.

©VivianneHazenveld for ErinHillStudio 2013

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