Melbourne Cup Sketching Week

Image 29 Tuesday Class. Melbourne Cup Day. November 4 ’14. ‘Hello everyone, it’s Christy here’. Hope you’ve all had a good week, and as we welcome back the sketchers today we can’t believe it’s already halfway through term. Week 5! It also happens to be the ‘Melbourne Cup’ today, and for those global followers, this a particular horse race that stops the nation. Very festive and fun. You’re also meant to dress up with hats and pretty frocks, and we did just that. Image 27 So rather jovially we all meet in the studio. We also have the pleasure of seeing Erin this morning, and she’s very kindly organising photographing our work for the upcoming exhibition. We get started by recapping some of the sketching techniques which we use in this class, and with those observations noted on our print-out we present a rather free approach to today’s class. Image 28 Everyone warms up with a couple of sketches in the studio, and we apply colour with the trusty support from both Toni and I, as we are on hand for anyone who would like some input. It’s all looking pretty good!  Before long it’s time to head out. But not before some posed pics with our gorgeous hats and fascinators! A lot of giggling and fun! Image 30 We head off down the hill to “Blush Shoes” which I’ve just discovered is a really awesome shoe shop at the top of the Corso. (Having headed back there after class to pick up the most gorgeous pair of sandals!!) Image 26 This will be our location sketch today. What a good thing we chose it, because the owner has put up a fantastic display in the main window, with jockey silks and old booking tickets. The real thing, and very special. We are quite delighted to be sketching here today, and most walking past have stopped to see what we’re all about. “Yes, we’re that great sketching class that you’ll see in and around Manly!” Image 32 Coffee and lunch is calling, and we head off to Ivanhoe Hotel, where we have a booking for a lovely large table, and we can see the big screens with the horses charging past and the buzz of commentating in the background. It’s all been so much fun today and I find I’m still excited.  Should have thought about placing a bet! Anyway, next time. Image 31 We settle down and out pops the bronze horse statue that gets placed in the middle of the table for us all to sketch. We all have a chuckle when the waiter thinks it’s our lucky mascot! We tease and tell him we take it everywhere with us! We enjoy great food, lovely atmosphere and don’t want the day to end. But it does, and we all say we’re looking forward to meeting up next week. And I know I really am! ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Thursday Class. November 6 ’14 IMG_0661 Thursday Class. November 6 ’14 Hot and windy. Very changeable however. We can have an electrical storm one minute and searing heat the next. Expect the unexpected I say. I’m pretty sure some of our sketchers camp on the Studio doorstep overnight. They look so settled and comfortable I hate to disturb them chatting and laughing as I step over them to open up. Oh you’re awake. Do come in and take a seat. Image 3 We’re having Melbourne Cup Week for the whole week. It’s big. It’s global. And it’s a great sketch subject. We remind ourselves to check ‘how high, how wide and where’s the centre’, once you’ve decided how much or little you want of the still life. IMG_0673 Everyone is delighted with the objects as they notice details. A turquoise clutch bag with red patent horse silhouette, Tiny binoculars, a blue shiny stiletto – so where did she leave the other one after finishing off the Veuve Cliquo. MMmmm it’s that kinda day. The sketches were fun and by leaving your whites around tops and sides, you can make the differences between the items stand out. Watercolours seemed everyone’s favorite today, and for first timers the chinagraph was exciting to use and show off your whites. Image 4 Off we trotted, or cantered to our little shop window display on the Corso. Vanessa had set up racing silks with old betting tickets and shoes with champagne. I love that it’s her father’s bits and pieces from his SP bookie days. We all find a place to stand and peer into the window deciding on what to sketch. Again everyone managed their watercolours with waterpots at their feet, holding all else in their spare hand. Oh for a third one. Great work guys. IMG_0761 The hungry ones headed off to our gorgeous outdoor table on the balcony at Ivanhoe Hotel.  What a lovely spot. Once everyone was seated Karen placed the model horse and jockey onto the table where everyone could see it. Some great food also arrived at the same time and we watched as people fell on it (not in it)  and I helped myself to a very impressive French fry from Jane’s plate. Only needed one! Image 6 As coffees were enjoyed, pens came out and before long some very recognizable horses were making their way across the pages. Not an old nag between them. What a good day.We like helping people on the spot when they’re stuck. You can always ask Karen or myself, if you’re unsure what to do next. You can all be very pleased with today’s sketches as we certainly are. Till next time. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Friday Class, October 7 2014. Image 19 Friday Class. November 7 ’14 We were lucky to have Erin with us in the Studio this morning – she was rather busy preparing artwork for the forthcoming studio exhibition at Bella Vista Cafe starting later this month.  Lots of sketches to photograph and frame and so exciting for everyone to have this wonderful opportunity.  Won’t it look fabulous to see all our artwork on display in such a fabulous place! Image 16 It was Melbourne Cup fever this week and Karen had very kindly donated very glam high heeled sandals (sure looked better than my thongs!), a handbag with a horse on and a fascinator for us to sketch accompanied by a bottle of champagne.  Tempted to drink the champagne – but we all resisted.  With a number of objects on the table to sketch it was crucial to get the shading right so that the end sketch didn’t look confusing. Image 18 Today I really saw some obvious progress being made by our fabulous sketchers, some of your new found skills are clearly reflected in your artwork – amazing! Image 7 Next stop was Bliss Shoes on The Corso, one of my favourite independent shoe shops with a lovely selection of quality shoes. The owner was so lovely to us – she welcomed having our group there and had a lovely Melbourne Cup display intermingled with the shoes in the window.  Apparently the silks in the window on display belonged to her father (or so I was told). Image 15 Shoes can start to look a bit bizarre from certain angles we discovered so you have to really follow what you see and trust your eyes. I think the resulting sketches look gorgeous and such a nice memory of the Cup. Image 17 Next stop was The Ivanhoe Hotel upstairs where we had a reserved table on the balcony.  What a fabulous place this is as whoever designed the interior really had a good eye for things and our spot was just perfect to sit. Image 8 Karen had done us proud again with another subject to sketch – this time a bronze horse and jockey. It was such a lovely sculpture and we really got a good opportunity to sketch a horse!  I know it didn’t move, but who cares?  After all we don’t see many horses generally trotting through Manly. Well done everyone another lovely day and fantastic results. Image 21 Image 14 …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Saturday Class. November 8 ’14 Image 23 Saturday Class. November 8 ’14 Hurry remember it’s a 9am start for Saturday’s class as I insist on putting our exhibition up on Facebook when I should be getting ready. It seemed to work cos I soon had people responding. We had plenty to do today as we were doing pics of the sketches going into the exhibition first thing. Image 29 As Christy and Judy did in their classes, I wanted to go over our sheet of info basically reminding everyone how we begin to Travel Sketch. Good to step away and take the time to remind ourselves of the steps again. Melbourne Cup week has managed to stretch all week, and we’re still loving all the fun of it by today. We talk about leaving those whites around all the objects. Dark down the centre. Ignore everything you’ve ever learnt about light and dark. It’s my way and for speed this works. It’s an impression. Image 27 We realised Hotel Ivanhoe does not open it’s doors till 11.30am sharp. Not 11.28 even. Most sketchers were hanging out for a beer or coffee and I was sure they’d have a meltdown. But no they sat patiently on the seating in the sun and just waited and waited. Image 30 That was I came along and noticed people beginning to stand by the doors. Hey, we are the sketchers and we want the table on the balcony. You folk ain’t havin’ it OK. So the doors open and I’m off up those stairs ahead of the mob and YES it’s ours. It may have appeared undignified but I’m doing it for you. 14 chairs were needed, so we did some heavy lifting and lined up 4 tables and sat right down. Now who’s off to order. Have to get our priorities right. IMG_0913 Image 31 Calm prevails once more and colours are applied to our Blush Shoes window display. We add a little more colour here and there. Try an opposite colour. Go for a spot of surprise. A dot can do it. Just spikes it somehow. But remember, we’re still applying colour loosely. It’s a sketch not a painting. We’re seeing some lovely work with watercolours and letting the layers of pigment mix themselves. Pure magic. IMG_0926 We’re all settled in well now. We have our drinks, our plates of delicious lunch and look at those French fries. I’m the seagull who swoops and steals them from those unsuspecting sketchers. Yummmmm. They’ll never find out! IMG_0926 The bronze horse and rider is our centerpiece. Most people had a try at observing and sketching the horse and his rider and made an excellent go of it. Every sketch looked like a horse. Not that easy but clearly we are observing very well now. One sketcher using her bamboo pen felt very free and easy with her colours of St Matthews across the Corso. IMG_0914 A gorgeous sunny day and after a time people began to drift off. Bye everyone. I think you’ve all learned a little more this week. I can see it in your sketches. ©ErinHillStudioChristyPowellJudySallehNov14


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