Saturday January 23 ’16
What? It’s not raining? My heart sang when I saw the sun out. 100% rain was forecast so plans were put in place accordingly for our beginner’s watercolour pencil Intensive. But we were SO lucky, it stayed dry for the day so no umbrellas were needed after all.
Everyone arrived bright and breezy in anticipation for their first experience of learning to travel sketch the ErinHill way. Erin met some folks in the studio at the start and then we began the day with introductions and a little bit about ourselves (we’re a friendly bunch us sketchers).
The first thing everyone had to get their head around was how to hold their pens vertically, and this was topped off with showing a new way of holding a watercolour pencil. Yikes after spending your whole life doing it a different way it is hard to suddenly make that leap to doing things the way our schoolteachers told us not to do!
We started with hibiscus, our favourite flowers to begin our sketching journey with. Why do we like hibiscus so much? Well they are gorgeous to look at for one, plentiful around Manly and thirdly they are a simple five petal shape with wobbly edges so it doesn’t matter how wonky or wobbly your lines are they always come out looking good!
Everyone enjoyed learning about the difference of intensity of colour that can be achieved and then shock horror I made them sketch the vase of hibiscus in two minutes. What Judy? Two minutes and we are beginners! But it takes away the hesitation, the fear, the desire to be perfect because you have no time to ponder or worry you just have to sketch, and sketch fast. Everyone was surprised at how well they actually did and as experience has taught me, many folk end up preferring their two minute sketch to the one they pondered over for much longer.
Ah, oh dear, there’s a HUGE Surf Lifesaving Carnival on and there are tents, people, chairs, bags and boats everywhere as far as the eye could see.
Not to worry, this is travel sketching and we always adapt so we walked along to one of the shelters on the beach front and lo and behold there were two tables and a bench waiting for us.
We could just see to the headland at Shelly Beach so it was a perfect spot to learn how to do sea and sky. Oh and a few people if you were brave enough. I did a demonstration and everyone just embraced all they had learnt so far and got stuck in, if you look at the photos you will see the amazing results that were achieved. Two ladies said at the beginning of the day that all they could draw were stick figures, it’s so satisfying to see just how far you can come in one day, it’s a giant leap forward and opens up the door to all the possibilities that sketching offers.
I was told that they couldn’t wait to practice and the next beginner’s Intensive is how to we use simple watercolour with our sketches, so lots of exciting opportunities ahead. Well done everyone I was so very proud of the fantastic work that you achieved.