Monthly Archives: August 2017

sketching musicians

This week I had two opportunities to sketch musicians.  

You would think that musicians would be easy to draw as they don’t move much.

But, I find that they are difficult as it is hard to capture the flow of movement of the body with the instrument . When an instrument is being played the upper body (if it is a stringed instrument) they do move a lot !

Of course, like anything, this would become more comfortable for me if I practiced drawing musicians more often. There are enough buskers around Melbourne, so I have no excuse not to. 

I feel as though I need to choose between featuring the musician or the instrument, the individuals or the group. Sometimes the instruments will be the only colour as the musicians will be in black. 

 The quick sketch of the jazz band (above) was done at the end of the evening, most people had left the event, and the band, The Tom Barton Group  was on  their last two songs. This is why the singer and last musicians are not completed.  I did not have my sketchbook and pencils with me, but there was a pencil on the table and some programs that were blank on the back. I could not help myself but to start sketching. 

Once a month the Supreme Court Library hosts free Lyrical Lunchtimes, with the Bottled Snail company playing instruments  or in this case singing. Bottled Snail (named after a famous legal case) performers all work in the legal profession in Melbourne and also have amazing musical talents.

I don’t normally sketch at these concerts, as I am at work. But today I was able to stand back and listen and sketch. The first sketch was of the choir (above) was sketched on their last song . I knew I had to be quick and not mess around with too many colours. Today I felt like using watercolour pencil and not ink.  I could have added water after I finished, but decided I like the mark of the pencil here. 

The last performer played the piano (beautifully) . I started by sketching his head and body stance, as I was not sure how long he would keep his head down. I could have featured the piano with its wonderful warm wooden colours. However I wanted to set the context by sketching the background – the portraits and bust of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Victoria . 

Books, music and sketching – perfect !

Urban sketching with watercolour pencil

Thanks Tina for the question about using watercolour pencil on location as an urban sketcher.  (in comparison to drawing at object in front of me, often with a more controlled situation and time) 

I had a look though my sketches that I have completed out and about on location.

Many are with ink only or ink and then watercolour pencil added as highlights. The times I  draw with watercolour pencil  I use the same technique as  still life at home. 

It all depends on the time available and situation . I have selected a few sketches completed on location in watercolour pencil. 

If there is a major colour in the building I am going to sketch I use the same technique as at home with an object in front of me. That is, to  draw the outline,/ structure in the colour of the building. I then use this become the colour as I add water to the page and drag the colour across the page.

The examples i have included in this blog range from really quick – capturing the moment to longer sketches of 1/2 hour to an hour. I hope that this gives you idea of how I use watercolour pencil on location. 

Very quick sketches

 

OR use the sky (it it is blue ) as the outline, Sometimes the sky is the feature – the fact that the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day. The Sydney Opera House (above) and Cruise ship in the Harbour (below) were very quick sketches. 

 


 

Thirty minutes to one hour sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longer on location drawings 


Newcastle wharf graffiti – sunburnt and dehydrated but I wanted to finish it

 

Ba

 

Barcelona in the residential backstreet in the city. The day after Urban Sketchers Symposium 2013 . I  sat quietly and happily drawing 

Please let me know if this has been of assistance or if you have any other questions

drawing lunch step by step

Another step by step drawing. 

 

My lunch. Drawn as a work in progress, knowing that I would probably eat it cold as I stopped to take photos along the way.

I draw all the main shapes and colours in their watercolour pencil colours. I do this so that when I add water to those lines, they become the object, rather than leaving an outside line.

I decided to add some of plate . I had considered just the food and chopsticks – you don’t need draw the plate to show the food is   on a plate. The viewers mind/imagination fills in this information.


I gradually build up the colours, adding dark. I decided not add dark around all  of the plate.

These are the watercolour pencils I used . I have about 26 in my pencil wrap and rarely use any outside of these (I have many other colours in the range in a box).

By this stage the page was getting murky and I was getting hungry. Time to stop and eat !