Teapots and Rubber Duckies

This has been a wonderful week in the Studio. In my absence our two very passionate Sketch Tutors Christy and Vivianne have run the show completely.

Between them the girls have taken the classes, supervised all activities, taken pics of the students and their work, written the blog postings each day – and tutored. I am delighted.

Thurs 1

Thurs 2


In keeping with the “High Tea” theme this week, we were sketching ‘tea pots, and cups and saucers’ in the studio this morning.

A beautiful mild day, with sunshine to add, accompanied a full house of sketchers today.

We all happily got settled and were on our way to perfecting our ‘ellipses and curves’ as we tackled the saucers and the spouts of the tea-pots.

I (Christy, in place of Erin, who unfortunately isn’t well this week.) was impressed with everyone’s progress.

Everybody applied fast sketches with wonderful loose-fluid lines, making sure shading was noted before adding the flowery patterns of the tea-pots.

We welcomed back Monica, a former sketcher who had taken a little detour to Sth Africa to be married, and has now returned to the fold. Even if she insists in sketching in blue and orange pens! We’ll sort that out!

Today we all chatted happily as we headed down to “The Rubber Duckie Taphouse”, a new and vibrant restaurant which has replaced “Murrays at Manly”. A rubber duckie is what lifesavers use to rescue you!!!

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The decor is somewhat beachy, with umbrellas decorating the ceiling, a very spacious setting with lovely indoor-or outdoor seating. We chose the outdoor and basked in the sunshine gazing out at the sea views.

There was no outside sketching prior to arriving at the ‘Rubber Duckie’, so being that we’d arrived early, we busily got sketching, and ordered an early lunch to accompany the drinks. Which turned out to be an excellent sketching opportunity. Most of the platters were beautifully presented, as you’ll see from the sketching that ensued.

Leonie and Penny had to leave a little early, and their sketches are photographed separately.

Thanks to everyone for such cheerful banter, beautiful sketches and above all the buckets and spades of enthusiasm you brought with you today

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Friday 1

Friday 2

Another bright and breezy day for us today. It’s me Christy again. Most sketchers arrived early to the studio, eager to start sketching the ‘teapots and cups and saucers”.

We discussed making sure we remembered how to approach the start of the sketch. Firstly measuring, then onto composition. Next sketching in the form, then shading, and finally the patterns if applicable. Everyone approached their sketches following these steps.

Our happy banter carried us through today’s sketching, with fat-bellied teapots in cheerful warm colours, alongside pretty purple flowers.

All enjoyed sketching an option from each table, and with delightful compositions taking form, everyone should be proud of today’s sketches. They looked so good together as a collection.

Marg joined us a little late, but was able to manage a delightful sketch before we all headed down the hill to the café.

Friday 3 Friday 4

It was a breezy amble down the hill to “The Rubber Duckie Taphouse”, discussing, along the way, how exciting it will be for the ladies heading to Fiji in a matter of weeks. Those of us remaining are rather jealous of the fantastic sketching opportunities this trip will no doubt produce.

Once arriving at the lovely spacious “Rubber Duckie”, everyone naturally chose to sit on the outside seating. We had spectacular views of the beachside from here, and most sketches portrayed a bicycle or two, people walking or sitting on benches, and the wavy seas framed by trees.

With coffee’s and teas, some of us were marvelling at how suitable this location wlll be for the soon to be “Sunset Sketching” classes. No doubt, with views like this, a sunset would bring an array of warm colours to the palate.

Marg was telling us of her recent skiing trip, and when asking if others in the group ski, it was Atsuko who revealed she used to be a downhill skier. I was amazed, but not surprised that our dear Atsuko would not be afraid to hurtle down a snowy mountainside going at the speed of light! And even more charming was Atsuko demonstrating how one should look ..”Knees bent, arms close to the body, and lean side to side….”

So you see, we are learning more than just sketching when we’re out and about!

Thanks to everyone today for your beautiful sketches, lovely company, and I look forward to next time.

Friday 5





Although Erin was still not well, she messaged me with some last minute details about the class…and asked me where the sun had gone.

I assured her that I had booked the sun for 10 o’clock…and it arrived just in time!

Christy had set up some beautiful still lifes with brightly coloured teapots, crockery and flowers.

Very proud of her new purchases, Susan was excited just to PAT her neatly organised watercolour pencils …but, once she got going, she was like a sponge! – picking up a whole heap of new techniques and trying them all out.

She is excited about Fiji…and curious to see what her sketches will look like…especially after some Kava!

Then clever Rooi showed us the amazing sketchbook from her time in Malaysia, stating she did not take any photos this time!

They were a wonderful memory of her trip, and really showed the intimate cultural differences in a way a photo never could.

Unfortunately, in the middle of doing our still life sketches… like a ghost, one of the cacti went flying across the room…the “Cactus has gone cactus!” Therese yelled out, while another student (no doubt thinking back to Alissas sketches of the cactus as a doll) thought its head had simply gotten too big for its boots!

Walking down to Rubber Duckie, this hesitant tutor was not too sure about navigating a group of ladies through the centre of the Manly Markets, scared she would lose a couple along the way…But fears were allayed and we made it to the Rubber Duckie with plenty of time.

Food and drinks were chosen and…whether it was a Saturday, or because of the talk of exotic Fiji (as Wendy pointed out)  Lemon Lime and Bitters were ordered in abundance, nice and fresh.

Rooi challenged herself with how she sees angled lines and used the “holding up the pen” technique to get things looking right.

The sea, bikes and all manner of people found their way into our sketches this week…and the food too proved “sketch worthy”… especially that lovely tuna nicoise salad.

Most students managed to finish 2 sketches today, and 3 did 3…telling me it was largely thanks to being in a smaller group…less chatty distractions!

Another lovely day, with happy sketchers and a happy tutor…who is slowly learning everyones’  names and who was once again grateful that you lot order more food than what you manage to eat…and you wonder why I keep you so busy sketching?!?

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© Vivianne & Christie for ErinHill2013

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