Anzac Day Sketching Intensives

MELBOURNE INTENSIVE. Saturday April 25 ’15 with Erin Hill

Looking out onto the Melbourne cityscape at first light, the very thing we hoped not to have – rain. It’s Anzac Day.   For sketching it’s always good to have blue skies.   Clearly we’d be moving to Plan B. So ‘Parks and Gardens’ at Flagstaff Gardens became ‘Coffee, flowers and Leaves’ at Pegasus Hotel.

Our Studio for the day was the enormous restaurant with lovely big tables, at Pegasus Hotel near Flagstaff Gardens. We were safely away from raindrops, warm and well looked after by the attentive staff with food and coffee at our fingertips.

Everyone was excited to meet one another and our guest sketcher Alissa.  We have all travelled from far and wide to get here. All keen to learn the skills of Travel Sketching.  Our first subject was brought to the table- our teas and coffees and a chat about what we’d do today.  Quick – lets get this sketched and then we can drink it. A demo from me and everyone is quiet.

Alissa gave a little chat about her way of Travel Sketching and what it means to her.  Our centerpiece was a large vase of yellow chrysanthemums.  Now we’d start with planning the page and getting the first lines down.  Before long we had sketchbooks each with a glorious yellow flower arrangement and happy smiles.

We didn’t feel at all concerned about the weather being cold and grey.  We were warm, with friends and having a good time.  Lunch was ordered and sketching carried on.  Autumn leaves pile up on the pavements here in Melbourne. Leaves of the plane tree. I’d collected some so we could share them round. We’d show light and dark and the variety we can get from just a few colours.  What wonderful glowing sketches we produced on such a grey old day.

What a fun day we’ve had. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the results of our day together. In fact are keen to meet up and sketch together before our next Intensive.

Melbourne Coffee sketches

Yellow Chrysanthamums

Autumn leaves


SYDNEY SKETCHING INTENSIVE. Saturday April 25 ’15 with Judy Salleh

Manly was a hive of activity from the first break of day for Anzac Day and how lucky were we that the storms stayed away.  By ten o’clock when our sketchers arrived things were quieter and after introductions and a cup of tea it was time to get stuck in to sketching techniques.

We discussed looking at tones in our art and simplifying things into three tones – light, mid and dark.  Of course the light is easy as with the Erin Hill technique we keep lots of white in our sketches using the paper colour to our advantage.

Oh and then a couple of folk asked about “Perspective” as it is so important particularly when getting the angles right on buildings.  It can be a challenge to any artist so we digressed onto the dreaded subject until I felt that people “got it”.

First sketch was a pair of gorgeous terrace houses on George Street.  Yes we walk past them all the time with oohs and aahs of admiration and today the pop of Yellow on the newly painted front door was a wonderful addition to the look.

Fast sketching was the order of the day – don’t overthink it – the wobbly lines and wonkiness add to the sketch, in fact they make it look more creative.  The same goes for applying watercolour.  I really want to help people see that watercolour is gorgeous but don’t fiddle with it!  If you fiddle you lose the flow and translucency – let the watercolour do it’s thing and be amazed by the results.

We then sketched the charming terrace houses opposite focusing on light and shade before heading down to Manly as our tummies were grumbling.  Gee is it really one o’clock already?  Hard to believe – well time flies when you’re having fun!

We found the best spot for lunch – upstairs on the balcony at The New Brighton Hotel with great views down the Corso in both directions.  We weren’t sure if the pubs would be packed with folk playing “Two Up” but it was surprisingly quiet.

We shared two antipasto platters between us and it was so lovely to all be together enjoying the day and great weather.  We ate and sketched at the same time capturing the shop facades opposite which are really interesting.

So time flew away with us but we managed to spend time on techniques which was the aim of the day and people said that they felt they had learnt a lot from the day.

Sydney. Manly architecture

Sydney. Terrace houses

Sydney. On the Corso

© ErinHill StudioJudySallehAp’15

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