Way back in 1982, when I first started getting serious about photography, I noticed how I instantly developed a greater curiosity about our world. I started to explore detail in subjects that I had not even noticed prior to becoming interested in communicating via this medium.
Detail is one thing however, we also need to look up (I would say more than) occasionally as how much do we miss in our daily travels as we get busy with life? This brings me to the subject of this short article.
I love shooting up!
The next time you are out and about, take a minute away from your busy schedule and look up. There is a whole new world just waiting for you feast your eyes upon it.
Last week as I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed I happened upon a course through Domestika. I had registered an account with them some time ago but never actually purchased a course.
This particular day a course came up called, ‘Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink’. This of course, ‘was music to my ears!’ Amongst other subjects to sketch and paint, architecture is right up there so my interest was piqued almost instantly. Even better, it came up as a ‘Weekend Special’ and was reduced from AUD$79.00 to $12.90 so it was too good not to take advantage of.
The course is being delivered by Alex Hillkurtz, a Storyboard Artist in France who has worked on over 20 Feature films.
At date, the course has been completed by over 114,481 students and has a 99% rating.
Thus far I’m on Unit 2, Preparation and am looking forward to doing more of the course on the weekend. When I finish the course I will post the end project here.
In the meantime, here is the link if you would like to check out the course for yourself.
Last weekend, my Wife and I stayed with our friends at Millthorpe, NSW, Australia as my Wife had been invited to a Baby Shower in Bathurst, about 20 minutes drive away.
Whilst my Wife was at the party, I ventured into the CBD and started to look for a suitable subject to sketch and paint.
I came across a lovely-looking building with a dome which turned out the be the Courthouse however, I chose to sit in the park and view it from behind. I quite liked the busyness of the structures in front of it that were set against the backdrop of the dome.
For me, it was rather a challenging subject as I am still endeavouring to learn ‘how much I want to leave in or leave out?’ One of the other challenges I had on the day was it was quite chilly with a wind blowing. The light was just beautiful though, so I sat there and attempted to sketch and paint it, well my interpretation anyway…
I will definitely have another go at this subject at some point. It was the first time out using my new Winsor and Newton Field Kit which has a mix of Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith paints.
After I finished the sketch, I set off with my DSLR camera and (of course) my Phone camera to see what I could capture in the beautiful late afternoon light. Below is one example from the iPhone camera.
All in all, I had a very enjoyable couple of hours in the late afternoon light.
A couple of posts ago, I highlighted the sketches that I did each on Norfolk Island using the Sennelier Student Watercolour paints.
Upon arriving home (to presently), all my ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’ efforts have been from reference photos that I took whilst away on holiday (25th Wedding Anniversary). As you can see, I’m very much in love with Norfolk Island and have been ever since our first visit in 1997 (Honeymoon). This was further strengthened by celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary there in 2007.
At home (currently) I am using Winsor and Newton Artist quality paints and so I thought I would post a few of my Watercolour sketches that I have completed since my return.
It really is a fascinating place, and one I’ll be continuing to use for inspiration for many years to come. We are looking forward to going to other places for sure, like Hawaii and New Zealand, but a 4th trip to Norfolk Island is certainly ‘a given.’
This morning, for Day 1,058 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day I decided that I wanted to sketch something Christmas-related and, as I haven’t done a tutorial for a while, I searched on YouTube for just that.
I came across Lois Davidson’s channel and found ‘How To Paint A Beautiful Ink & Watercolour Snow Landscape, loose Watercolor Christmas Card Tutorial’.
Where I live, 60km South West of Sydney, Australia does not see snow at Christmas, in fact temperatures are often in the high 30’s (Celsius)+/ 90’s (Fahrenheit)+ on Christmas Day so the attraction to sketch and paint a subject at the opposite end of the spectrum was quite attractive.
The YouTube tutorials I have done in the past (and enjoyed) have been Peter Sheeler and Nil Rocha Art, though there is no verbal instruction just the occasional writing on the screen i.e. a few tips and colour tips.
It was a pleasant change to hear some instruction and tips in Lois’ tutorial. I believe I will be doing more of Lois’ tutorials and have subscribed to the channel.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Blog followers and visitors a very Merry, Happy and Safe Christmas!
As those of you would know who follow my Blog regularly, one of my interests (dating back to 1982 when I bought my first serious camera) is Photography.
Whilst I still enjoy photographing with a DSLR, many photos are taken also with my iPhone. Currently, I possess an 8Plus which is getting a bit dated now but is still handy to have when I don’t have my DSLR with me.
My aim within the next 12 months is to purchase a high-end compact from the Sony RX range for the type of photography below and I’m also looking to say goodbye to me DSLR and go Mirrorless, but that’s another story.
As we have our phones on us nearly all the time these days it is very easy and convenient to photograph interesting things we have come across on a daily basis.
In the past couple of weeks, I started a new album on my Facebook page called, ‘Things That Attract My Eye.’
Here are the first 9 images in the album.
The images were taken when visiting the local Hospital, in my backyard, on walks, waiting for a Take-away food order, visiting an Art Gallery and whilst doing a ‘driver changeover’ on a motorway. All would have been missed were it not for the trusty phone camera.
We have ventured up to Millthorpe a number of times since 1995 as it is the home of one of our great friend’s ‘the Dixons’, in fact Susan and Diane have been great friends since their school days.
This time, we were up there for the Wedding of their eldest son. I’m going to leave the wedding to another post, in fact, I will wait till the official Wedding photos arrive.
Millthorpe is a historical village classified by the National Trust and was originally called, ‘Spring Grove.’ More details about the name change and further detail about the town can be found in the link below.
Even though we have been going up there for a many years it is really only in the last two or three visits that I have actually been able to walk around the Town. Mostly, we have been up there for Family celebrations of one type or another.
A rather strange thing happened this time…My DSLR did not come out of the bag. Instead, armed with a small sketchbook, three pigment liners and just my phone camera, I took the chance to do some rough sketches and took many reference photos.
Millthorpe’s buildings are older ones and have a lot of character and I seem to love sketching and painting architecture. I’ve come back with quite a few ideas for sketches/paintings and the camera phone is good enough for reference photos for the moment.
As with any town there are a few Churches as well. I can see myself tackling these types of buildings as well.
I didn’t get a chance to go into the Museum this time around but was delighted to see some Art forms and industrial machinery on the outside.
The weather this time was beautiful and sunny on the Friday and Monday, however, Saturday and Sunday were very cold with single digit temperatures in Celsius.
Usually, we stay with the Dixons, however this time they had a full house so we stayed at a local Air BnB, ‘Millthorpe on Morley.’ It was the first time staying via Air BnB and it was extremely comfortable and very friendly.
The view from the front verandah below (where I was able to sit and journal) on the Saturday morning was very beautiful.
As always, I look forward to our next visit to Millthorpe!
Yesterday, whilst visiting Mum for lunch, I came across a book I didn’t remember seeing there before called ‘100 Great Wonders Of The World’ – A collection of the World’s awe-inspiring places, buildings and landscapes.
As long as I can remember, these sorts of subjects have fascinated me. I love reading and researching them. We have not, at this stage done a huge amount of travelling so until we do get to some more, this has to suffice.
Upon borrowing the book and returning home, an idea came to mind to use the images as reference photos for my Watercolour Sketching practice. I realise I can Google these places anytime and references photos on the Internet are seemingly endless, however, having them all in one book is quite attractive. I still find that, ‘curling up with a real book’ is still far more attractive the scrolling online.
This morning, whilst flipping through the book, another idea came to mind… I have set myself a challenge and that is to write one Poem about each of these ‘Great Wonders of the World.’
I will read about each one, survey the images, go away and think on it and then write a Poem.
The first ‘Wonder’ is ’The Great Fjords of Norway.’ Here is the Poem I wrote:
The Great Fjords of Norway
Where Vikings reigned supreme
Long, narrow gorges
Flooded by the sea
Magnificent waterfalls cascade
Against a backdrop of Green
Majestic mountains rise
Tiny villages are scattered
Indeed they are so remote
Boats are the optimum way
To keep communication afloat
The Great Fjords of Norway
Where beauty reigns supreme
Long, narrow gorges
Flooded by the sea
I think this will be a very interesting challenge as it will help ’stretch my mind’ Poetry-wise and also further inspire us to do more travel when able.
Poetry and Prose by #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and Jan/Feb 2022 Spillwords Press Author of the Month