Sketching ‘things that go away’

In other words the dreaded p e r s p e c t i v e.


Is that rain I hear?

Oh well it’s only 6am so it will surely clear for our sketch classes.

This week we’d decided some ‘Perspective’ would be helpful.

It does take our brains some time to SEE where all the lines go, but once you do, you’ll have the answer to how perspective works.

In the Studio for our warm up sketches, we have various shapes and sizes of boxes.

For the newer sketchers we have 2 only and for the experienced sketchers, a more complicated setup.

Two piles on each table, and we are on a time limit again.

We were not concerned about getting the colour on in the time, we would however be concentrating on watercolour pencils this week.

This is a brain exercise so getting the lines going away in 2 directions is quite enough thank you. If it looks wrong then go right over the top and correct it.

These are learning missions and very much for you to work out what goes where.

The rain was coming and going.

There is a brick corner on a house in Eustace St which was a great way to get a hands on idea of where your eye level is.

Stick your nose on the corner of the building and see which line of bricks is in line with your eyes.

Step back and all will be revealed.

This was an Ah Ha moment for some.

So once you can see where eye level is in a street scene, interior or exterior, all the other lines radiate from that as we discovered today.


Sugar Lounge Beach Bar and Island Grill was calling once the rain blobbed on our books.

This is a casual bar/lounge opposite Manly Beach and open all day from 8am till late. No bookings needed. Just rock on in.

We took tables at the front to get the best light, ordered coffees and decided the fringed bar was a good subject to try out our new skills on.


I wanted at least 2 sketches and we almost managed that. The pale cane sofas were also ‘going away’

An excellent effort from both groups today.

Be proud. A whole lotta learning’ goin’ on.



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Good morning to the second group today, and its raining. Our sunny days of May transitioned into wonderfully wet days of June. I love the rain, however we like to be out and about with our sketching and so we brave it with a brolly and a smile.

Today we have a little group, (and luckily one was a more experienced sketcher, or we’d have been even fewer)  We’re focusing on ‘perspective’. We observe a stack of boxes on the table for our first sketches of the day, and do a series of studies, correcting our lines, and making sure we have applied those ‘going away’ lines correctly.

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Before long it is time to head out, and the rain has abated for the moment, which is great so we don’t have to balance brollies and sketchbooks together.

Our little group has gotten smaller unfortunately, but its that time of the season when flu and head colds go around, and so we wish all those feeling under the weather, a relaxed and full recovery, and we look forward to seeing you next class.

We are down the hill and into Eustace Street, where we observe the red brick buildings sloping away down the road. A perfect example of ‘perspective’ in the real world outside the studio. So we sketch these in, and have time to do most of the colour before the rain is back, gently suggesting we need to make our way to the café.

Image 1

We’re off to the ‘Sugar Lounge’, which is the perfect café for us today.

Its relaxed setting, comfy seating and seaside views encourage you to get lost in thought as you sip on coffees and watch the watery landscape in front of you with swirling showers.  But we snap out of that, and make sure we’ve finished our sketches with colour.

A great day everyone, and wonderful progress on the ‘perspective’, see you next week.

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Gosh rain! I’d forgotten what it looked like to be honest. We’ve been that spoilt for so long it came as a bit of a shock to the system. Never mind nothing stops us intrepid sketchers that’s for sure!

Heck, it’s perspective time. Everybody’s favourite subject (not).

An array of boxes on each table were generally met with groans some louder than others. Not to worry if we get this right we will be invincible with our sketching.

Just got to remember to observe. Ah yes Judy we keep forgetting that one! It is a key point after all – don’t sketch what you think you see, draw what you are actually looking at.

Gee what angle should these lines go at disappearing into the distance? We worked it out.


Boxes done we looked out of the window with dismay at the driving rain and quickly decided we would do our location sketch in a different spot than planned. We didn’t want to look like drowned rats!

Good move as the rain got heavier. So we sketched perspective of everyone’s chosen spot on Whistler St. Wow you all did so well and the penny was dropping.

Chilly, wet and a tad damp we made another change of plan for the cafe location as everyone wanted to stay dry ( what a flexible lot we all are eh?) so Belgrave Cartel it was!

It was just round the corner and we know they do great coffee (great for us addicts) and yummy food.


We descended en masse into the back room where a poor male barrister all on his lonesome had hidden away from the madding crowds to peacefully get on with his work. I think he must have felt like a cornered rabbit surrounded by a pack of wolves as we took every table around him .  No, we’re not wolves, we are gentle lambs.

He even asked us if we’d like him to move. We were very kind wolves and said no stay where you are – after all he did get there first. Fair’s fair. See, we’re not just flexible but awfully nice too.

Should have got him to sort a bit of legal paperwork for us  – if only we’d known!

Oops one sketcher lost a sketchbook on the way to the cafe.  Oh no, disaster – but it had been handed in at the bookshop so sigh’s of relief were heard.

A few demos of layering colour and it was time to go already! Lots of thank you’s today as although nobody likes perspective but there was some obvious satisfaction when results were achieved. Onwards and upwards that’s what I say.





Welcome to Inaugural Grand Opening of Advanced Sketching, on this very wet day!

As the previous class departed and our class arrived the noise was deafening.

However silence fell as we began our first sketch of the day.

It’s bamboo pens and black ink at the ready this week.

Most haven’t used them before, but are a favourite with many sketchers.


Everyone was asked to take a few items from our collection, and create a still life of their own.

These classes are for you to sketch pretty much whatever takes your fancy.

It’s about the medium we are using now.

We had flowers in vases, silver barrels and dishes, white bowls, wine corks, a Vietnamese dagger and so on.

We are using the bigger A4 book, which means you can let go and be loose. Let the pen do its thing. In fact for one sketcher, the pen did indeed do its thing. Large black  blobs dropped from the pen onto the clean page. She decided to incorporate these into the sketch. Looked fab. Throw some colours on and use some pure pigment on top to pop the colour, and there you have it.

Everyone surprised themselves with how free they felt.

You are out of your comfort zone here, and flying by the seat of your pants!

Go go go.

The plan had been to sketch in the park over the road and use our bamboo pen and inks doing tree ferns, flowering shrubs or whatever appealed.

Instead we pulled on our wet weather gear and carefully tramped through the soggy park to the first cafe around the corner.

One sketcher had a fabulous yellow umbrella with flashing lights. She stopped the traffic at one spot.

Hello everybody, the flashing sketchers are crossing the road.

It’s now Cafe Lane. Since we used to come here, the new owner Damian, has pulled it around and with his chef, Veronica, they’ve created a smart new cafe space with gorgeous home made offerings tempting one on the counter.

I tried a citron muffin. Loved it. My coffee had a swan pattern on top, though I’d ask for double strength next time.

The sketching choices were whatever you could comfortably see from where you were sitting.

Such a lovely choice of styles today. Each one’s personality shining through. And everyone deserves a bravery award.

I call it jumping off the cliff! Throwing yourself in. Does take courage.

Let’s see what we do next week. Huge fun.







Blue skies are back. We knew they would be. Chilly though.

It’s almost mid June so it not surprising.

Not so many groans as we entered the Studio today, as most people didn’t realise what they were in for.

Newer sketchers were given the 2 boxes to do.

Our experienced girl romped through the more complex setups. I like the challenge she said.

Great to hear that. 50 boxes next time.

People began to see how the lines going away, get closer together. Both ways.

When it’s actually pointed out, it begins to dawn on you.

Of course you have to attempt putting lines down so you have something to start with. Then you go right back over, and correct any funny bits.

It’s all learning. How are you going to get it right if you don’t have a go.


We ambled down to Eustace Street to stand in front of the brick building we would be sketching. No rain at all.

By getting the tallest and the shortest people to put their noses on the bricks, and seeing which ones were in front of their eyes, we were able to establish everyone’s eye level.

Everyone began to ‘click’.


Time to head to Sugar Lounge.

A little busier on Saturdays, but they always find us a table. Moody lighting of course, but that’s just something that you deal with. It doesn’t stop you sketching.

Coffees are ordered, and lunch decided on.

Everyone was keen to get another sketch knocked off so things on the table were popular, plus for those on that side, a view of the bar.

Great work everyone. You did extremely well.

More challenges next week.





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