Valentine Sketching

Thursday class one, Champage Thursday class 1, Valentines sketchesTHURSDAY 10am Class FEBRUARY 13 2014

It’s Valentine’s Day Eve. I saw this scribbled on one of the Students sketchbooks.

I like it.

We started our class today with a Travel Sketch talk from Tom.

He and his very patient wife Pat have travelled through China and Mongolia and by train across Russia.

Tom did as much sketching as time (or Pat ) would allow. “We’ll miss the train!’  From his books we could see where he’d been and the bonding of the country people as they gathered to watch Tom sketch. He cleverly had them write their names on the sketches in their own language. He said he felt like a star!

Several of them did a sketch for him as well.

Thanks Tom, it’s so nice for people to hear the ups and downs of creating a journal of your travels and to see the often surprising things you do end up with.

He was very kindly doing another talk to the later class.

We then got stuck into our 2 Valentine still life’s.

The very colourful red and pink wrapped chocolate roses was definitely a novelty.

Someone said if the champagne had been chilled they might have drunk it.

We were safe then.

No separate tables for new students now. It’s all in together.

Actually everybody remembers well to observe first. Not what you think is there, but what is there.

Time was a little less, but you still had to do 2 sketches with colour within the hour.

And they did.

We began our walk up the hill today, instead of down, as the later class and Christy began to arrive.

Good timing.

Our first port of call would be St Remy Baked in a small stretch of shops at Fairlight.

Ceridwen the very passionate owner of this gorgeous little bakery, had knocked up some heart shaped double layer cakes, and decorated them with pink and white icing and silver balls. The girls had also made Cupid Cupcakes with glittery sparkles on them.

Our sketchers were so excited.

It can get a bit crowded in there but stools were kindly offered so that the sketchers could comfortably sit and do what must be done.

The sketches here were a pure delight.

Everybody loves a bakery where everything is made in front of them.

We’d just love to get out the back there and sketch as those tarts and cakes and biscuits are mixed and popped in the oven. And lick the bowl. Don’t you remember doing that as a kid!

St Remy Baked sketches Cafe Sketches

Our other sketch venue was Watermelon Home. It’s a little decorator place next to the cafe we’ll soon be descending on.

Kerry would create some Valentine displays for the customers but also for us to sketch.

We loved the bunches of metallic hearts, and a heart shaped mirror which we could use for our Valentine theme this week.

The call of the coffee was too great for some, so Andrew at The Butchers Cafe set up a couple of tables outdoors for everyone to gather around. He cleverly moved a few customers about, and a group of young men happily gave up their table to sit on the park bench street side.

This is where a mix of subjects are sketched.

I love the fact that some are doing quirky little people sketches, others are doing the lunch food they’ve ordered and others add last touches to their other sketches.

Valentine’s Day is a happy time. It doesn’t have to shared with anyone, so you can treat yourself to those heart cakes and wash it down with a good bubbly.

Who better to be with than you.


THURSDAY 11.30am Class. FEBRUARY 13 2014

Valentine Sketches

THURSDAY 11.30am Class. FEBRUARY 13 ’14

We arrive as the first group are cheerfully heading out to sketch on location, and our 9 are getting settled quickly so we can listen to Tom (who has kindly come in to share his sketching journey through his latest travels.)

We marvel over beautifully detailed encounters that Tom has sketched through China, Mongolia and Russia, and how he came to feel like a celebrity when the locals noticed there was an artist in their midst, all crowding around wanting portraits and getting to sign their names! What a lovely way to make contact when we travel! Thank you for sharing and inspiring us Tom.

Thursday 2. In the Studio

We then have just enough time to sketch one of the two gorgeous ‘Valentines’ displays on the table. There is champagne and chocolate goodies for us to sketch today. ‘Boy, what fun!” Everyone, feeling inspired this morning, happily got busy with the first sketches of the day. We all paid attention to the basics of measuring up, and we discussed how to approach sketching glass and the shiny parts of the chocolate foil.

Before long we are photographing the sketches and getting ready to set up the hill to our next sketching location.

One of the sketcher’s spare pages has flown off onto the main road, and we’ve risked life and limb to retrieve it! We wouldn’t stand for losing special work like that!

St Remy Baked Valentine cakes

Then it’s a short amble up the hill to Fairlight. Two beautiful shop fronts have been chosen for us to sketch, ‘Watermelon Home’ and ‘St Remy Baked’, which have great sketching material, in keeping with our ‘Valentines’ theme.

From the delicious baking aroma in the St Remy Baked, which enticed the appetite, and beautiful sketches emerged of their scrumptious cake displays.

Sketching in the street

Then one had a feast for the eye at the ‘Watermelon Home’, with their fantastic homewares and colour themed layouts in store.

We were spoilt for choice on what to sketch today!

Watermelon Home displays sketches

Janneia. had to go. jpg

We then all joined up at the Butchers Café to finish off our last touches to the sketches, and some went further to sketch our coffees and yummy lunch!

What a delightful day, all glowing in the rosy warm fuzzy happiness of Valentines and all it entails, we enjoyed sharing our work with each other and remarking at how well our sketching is going.

Well done everyone!

Cafe sketching…………………………………………………………………………………………………


Friday Valentine sketches

Friday Champagne & Chocolate


It’s St Valentines Day.

Hearts, cupids, romance and that sort of thing.

For our sketchers today it means a bit of fun sketching kitsch foil wrapped roses and eyeing the champagne and chocolates.

These festivals provide us with excellent sketch subjects.

We simply enjoy the bright colours, heart shapes etc and the decorative ways Valentines Day can be celebrated.

Everyone was on the 30 mins with colour ritual.

A bit of a shock for some at first, but it’s always amazing how much you can do if time is limited.

Judy and I worked the 2 tables and gave guidance where needed.

The things that usually needs checking is ‘seeing what’s there’ and getting darker colour behind lighter objects.

Get those 2 things right and you’re on your way.

It was a trot up the hill to St Remy Baked to see if there were any heart cakes left.

Whew. Yes and they had tiny biscuits with little icing hearts on them as well.

Some sketchers settled on the stools to enjoy sketching the tempting displays, while the others began theirs at Watermelon Home.

Friday. St Remy Baked Sketches

Then people could swap over to get a couple of different sketches.

Judy kept an eye on one group and me on the other, although we really just give anybody a hand who squeaks for help.

Watermelon Home today had a very cheerful Valentine themed display out front, so t’was easy for us to take a park bench, milk crate or cafe chair, and make ourselves very comfortable, much to the amusement of passersby.

The cheerful Butchers Cafe beckoned about the time a caffein hit was required.

We almost managed to squeeze round the tables, though a couple of sketchers found a good table inside and worked away happily there.

As you’ll see all the sketches are a heap of fun, we have a lot of laughs and that’s the point.

The cheerful Butchers Cafe beckoned about the time a caffein hit was required.

We almost managed to squeeze round the tables, though a couple found a good table inside and worked away happily there.

As you’ll see, all the sketches are a heap of fun, we have a lot of laughs and that’s the point.



Saturday. Valentine Choc RosesSATURDAY FEBRUARY 15 ’14

It looked like it could be a wet ol’ Saturday. It’s post Valentines Day! In other words, half price roses.

Only a few sprinkles fell as I was on my way to the Studio and it was definitely steamy.

A happy smiling group arrived and very much enjoyed seeing the displays.

As one knowledgeable sketcher pointed out – Saturday class gets to eat or drink the displays, which the earlier classes only get to look at  🙂

Again when it’s explained that you’ve all graduated up to 2 sketches in the hour, nobody seemed phased.

It would have happened anyway.

The 10 minute sketches done anytime during the week have boosted confidence.

Saturday. Champagne for Valentines Day

Colours are being applied in layers and built up and the results are very pleasing.

We finish pretty much on time and a quick break takes place while I find a dry spot to photograph the finished sketches.

Umbrellas are borderline as we wend our way up the hill.

Cakes at St Remy Baked

The girls at St Remy Baked have managed to save just a few heart cakes for our sketchers today.

They love it. There they are sitting in a cake shop sketching.

We sketchers do what it takes to get our sketch.

Some have headed to Watermelon Home and avoiding any drips to get a good view of the outside display.

These subjects really appeal to some and as one sketcher says, you can really tell a story.


That’s what we do.

We are storytellers.

The Butchers Cafe & homewares sketches

Some of the sketchers are keeping an eye on the cafe tables now.

It’s pot luck today, as the 2 cafes along this little stretch are full to bursting. A wet Saturday!

But the sketches are being done while a keen eye on a vacant table has some spreading out of gear for the rest of us.

A second table comes up and suddenly we have things going our way.

Coffees and some tasty dishes come out and everybody settles in to complete sketches or start new ones.

You’ll see some very successful perspective sketches here, and some people included.

We complete a happy week and if you passed the Studio choc roses and hearts are yours.

An excellent day and some amazing sketches after only our second week.

©ErinHillStudio with ChristyPowell & JudySalleh

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