Monday, February 28, 2011

An afternoon in the gardens

On Saturday I was in the gardens from 1pm...only 2 weeks till I will be there as part of the sketchabout - I can't wait. Anyway, I had a productive afternoon - here are the sketches I did in my sketchbook.
110226_03 Moreton Bay Fig
First stop was my favourite tree. There are lots of Moreton Bay figs (or similar) in the Royal Botanic Gardens but this one is the best!!! Love all those aerial roots.
110226_04 The Greek Coffee Plunger
I was feeling a little exhausted (as I had been walking around town and sketching in the morning as well!) so I went to lie down on the grass in the shade for a bit. It was such a beautiful afternoon and there were lots of groups of people sun baking or resting in the shade so I was in good company. My rest didn't last long as I felt the urge to sketch. This Greek monument I have sketched before and was recently label a coffee plunger here by a Dutch flickr friend. I have always drawn this looking towards the Harbour Bridge but today sitting under the shade of a frangipani tree on a very warm summers day I was facing the opposite direction. No disrespect intended to the monument... I do really love it as a fine piece of Corinthian Greek architecture!
110226_05 Palm Grove
After the coffee plunger analogy surely it was time for a coffee - so I drew a grouping of palm trees while sipping a takeaway skinny latte. It is quite fun to be drawing more trees and landscaping...something that as an architect I used to really be unsure about doing...
110226_06 Herb Garden
And finally - I caught up with Alissa at 4.30 and we did a sketch in the herb garden.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Solar Plate Etchings from sketches

Last week I made the first prints from my new solar plate etchings based on my drawings in the Gardens.

The first one is based on two drawings - one of the statue of "Autumn" and a different drawing of banksia in the grounds of Lion Gate Lodge. Similarly, the lion has a different background in my sketchbook, and I drew in his actual surroundings from a photograph. These drawings are done on architect's drafting film. In each case I've used a pen for the main figure, then a very large soft pencil for the background.

The solar plate is exposed to the sun through the drawing, then after a few very simple and quick processes, I have a plate that is ready to ink up and run through a printing press.

The "Autumn" print has been done with Sanguine ink and a Cerulean Blue colour roll, and the "Lion" print with sepia ink, and a Cerulean Blue colour roll. I use Charbonnel inks for this process and I've just ordered a few more in "Gardens" colours.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Went to the Botanic Gardens yesterday to check out the Tropical Centre as a sketching venue for my classes if we get a wet day. There are so many inspiring and amazing things to draw in there. Particularly checked out some plants that would be easy for beginners to sketch from and get a really good result.

I had never seen this plant before. It's just gorgeous in the flesh. It's called Beehive Ginger, but I wonder if the botanical name means 'respectable ginger'? And if there is one that is less respectable.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Photo Shoot sketches

Following on from alissa's sketch here are mine
110216 Photo Shoot Sketches 01
110216 Photo Shoot Sketches 02
These are the sketches I did while 'pretending' to sketch! Of course I can't PRETEND to sketch... I am used to asking someone to photograph me while I am doing a for the photography to be more important than what was happening on the page was rather different. Also strange was the need to be reminded to smile (normally I have that intensely serious concentrating look!) It was a lot of fun... but I am more and more convinced that it is often easier to sketch than to take a good photo!
And just as an aside - I am SOOO looking forward to sketching the afternoon tea as well as sketching in the garden. Nothing beats having a good cup of tea and cake after some serious sketching... and it is a lot of fun to sketch as well. I will certainly be booking a spot!

Photographed in the Garden !

Last Wednesday. Liz, Annie and I were invited to the Garden to be in some photos for the upcoming Sketchabout and the following Afternoon Tea that the sketchers can book into.We were photographed in the Restaurant, having tea and then walked up to the Herb Garden for some more photos. It was certainly a very interesting experience !

While Jaimie was photographing us, we were drawing him !!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A stroll to Mrs Macquaries Chair

Today was such a lovely day that I decided to take a walk from the Sydney Opera House and out to Mrs Macquarie Chair and then around to the NSW Art Gallery.

I am ashamed to admit that this is the first time I have been to Mrs Macquaries Chair in the six years I have lived in Sydney (and that's only because there are so may other lovely things to do in the Gardens)

It took me two hours to do my walk and that's because I was drawing along the way. My first stop was the Bottle tree and then a fig.

I then stopped in the shade of the rock wall to take inthe stunning view (and wishing that I had bought a picnic lunch)

and then finally out to Mrs Macquaries Chair.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Moreton Bay Fig and a wedding

I went to the Gardens afterwork today. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to draw, but when I saw the massive hanging branches of this Moreton Bay Fig on the Bennelong Lawn I knew this was it. If you look carefully, there are two people sitting at the base of the tree.

And then... a wedding party arrived for a quick photo, before moving on. The photographer spent a few minutes lining them up for the photo, so I quickly scribbled down their shapes onto paper, adding the colour afterwards.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Succulent Garden

I drew this sketch with my new brown Copic Multiliner pen. I love the way these pens move on the paper, though I think this one is a bit on the fine side.
The succulent garden is a source of inspiration to me with all those amazing shapes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sydney Morning Herald Autumn of the Arts

To view images of the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust's new flagship event starting in March, the Sydney Morning Herald Autumn of the Arts (which includes the Garden Sketchabout), follow this link

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reminds me of Bali

This shrine reminds me so much of Bali, though I don't know the provenance of this one. It's in the Oriental Garden of course. It has such beautiful lines. They used to have small ones with shaggy roofs as lights around the pool many years ago when I first went to Bali. Happy memories!
The banksia are in the garden of Lion Gate Lodge where we attended the launch yesterday, though I found these and drew them last week.