Sketching for Fun on our last Workshop

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Saturday Workshop. September 27 ’14

The upcoming Saturday Workshops are October 18th and November 22nd.

I was really looking forward to holding a workshop today as it is so good to have plenty of time to focus on techniques and have that rare treat of a whole day dedicated to sketching. What fun!

We met in Nominom cafe on Manly beachfront, it’s a great place to start as we are lucky to have the whole of the upstairs all to ourselves. Like our own studio at the beach. It may not be like this in the middle of the Summer though so we had better make the most of this.

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There were 6 of us for the workshop so plenty of opportunity to have individual attention. Toni kindly came along to help where needed with beginners but it turned out that we had proficient sketchers – that makes our opportunities to advance even better!

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We started with looking at achieving good contrasts in our watercolours and really making a difference in different values in everybody’s artwork.

We worked on a couple of exercises which help demonstrate this and everyone seemed pleased with the results. We all sketched some hibiscus to practice the techniques of achieving contrast.

This was all accompanied by coffee and tea as we need plenty of refreshments to paint don’t we!

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From the beach the next stop was White House Flowers as it is always good to follow on with a subject as that way the opportunity is there to put into practice anything that has just been learnt or demonstrated.

This time the focus was to emphasise the different values.

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Surprisingly the display outside was not as usual and today there were a large array of succulents.

Now some of them are almost a lesson in geometry when you look closely, but don’t get bogged down in the detail, just make sure you have seen where the shadows are.

Some real breakthroughs seemed to be occurring as folks went a bit mad with their watercolour adding more pigment than normal and more water and just saying “what the heck I’ll see what happens”.

Yes! Da Da! It’s amazing how watercolour finds its own way on the page and starts to create some magic as colours bleed together, paint starts to granulate and your artwork has a “flow”.

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A rather late lunch at Foundry 53 was the perfect spot to finish off some flowers and then look at what could be sketched inside.

Everyone seemed so happy and enjoying themselves with their sketches. We chatted and laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the cafe, especially as we were lucky to get a large table perfect for our class.

Next to us was a lonesome female hiding in a corner with her sketchbook (she had probably chosen that spot so as not to be seen and be as unobtrusive as possible), but no we can’t have that can we?

“Hello, OH are you sketching, how wonderful!” blush blush she went.

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I had been requested to demonstrate sea and sky with watercolour so we headed back to the beachfront and as there was a bit of a breeze blowing decided that perhaps one of those rather delicious calorie-laden yummy cakes at Nominom might help us along if we sat upstairs again overlooking the water.

Good idea! We all nearly passed out with the sugar rush once those cakes arrived. I’m positive that helped our watercolour techniques!

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I was absolutely thrilled to bits to see the progress everyone made today and there were a lot of smiling faces when we all said goodbye, rather tired but satisfied at the end of our arty day.

Can’t wait to do another workshop, I love it.


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