Last year, a good friend, business associate and mentor, left for a business trip over to Europe. On her return, She presented me with a gift, a pack of “Amalfi Hand Made Watercolour Paper.” Alison said she saw this paper and thought of me. Thanks, Alison!
I was indeed very grateful as for one, I wasn’t expecting a gift at all and certainly not a pack of fine Italian Watercolour Paper!
Last year was an extremely busy and life-changing year and I struggled (particularly in the latter half of the year) to find, not only quality time but the state I wanted to be in to try the paper.
Today, for my Day 1,431 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day, I thought I would do it. Today, is New Year’s Day Holiday in Australia (as NYD fell on a Sunday), so it seemed like the perfect time to try the paper.
When trying any new paper, I’ve read that it is a great idea to try some small samples so I cut one of the 30cm x 30cm sheets into 6 pieces and I shall use them for my next 6 Watercolour Sketches a Day. This way, I can see how the paper performs, how it takes water and colour etc.
I also thought I would sketch a subject I had done before. It will take time for me to get used to the paper as it is many steps up from what I have been using up till now.
Mostly when I do my Watercolour Sketch a day, I will use Watercolour paper (in a sketchbook), mixed media paper anywhere from 200 gsm to 300 gsm.
Occasionally, I’ll try a different type, and recently, I purchased some plain and some textured Card Stock. I intend to use it mainly for some junk journals I want to make however, today, I decided to use the Card stock in my Watercolour Sketch a day.
I quite like the way the paint moves around the paper. Below is Day 1,368.
Last Saturday-week, I went on my first Urban Sketchers Sydney ‘Sketch-meet’. It was held in Surry Hills, literally 5 minutes walk from the southern reaches of the Sydney CBD.
I had joined their Facebook group late last year after it popped up courtesy of Facebook’s algorithm however, life came up in one form or another between then and this month which prevented me from attending the monthly outing.
Sydney turned on some beautiful Winter weather for the day with 19C/66F forecast and predominantly Blue skies. A warmer day than we can usually expect.
I arrived a bit earlier and met up with one of the sketchers, who had already started sketching. As time went by, more and more sketchers turned up until there were approximately 40 people in attendance.
One of the leaders of the day, Julie informed us where the important things were like local amenities, cafes and pointed out buildings and other places of interest that we might like to sketch.
We are then given 2 1/4 hours to sketch/paint and once finished, we all met as a group and enacted a ‘throw down’ as they call it. This is where everyone puts their creations in a group on the ground so that we can all see the different interpretations of the scenes being sketched/painted.
After that, a group photo is taken and posted on the Urban Sketchers Sydney Facebook page.
I chose a subject with too many windows I think and it was certainly a challenge perspective-wise. It certainly was relaxing, sitting there in the glorious sunshine. One of the attractions of sketching is that it is such a meditative experience.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning and I am looking forward to the next one!
Thank you Urban Sketchers Sydney for a great Sketch-meet!
Today, we went out to Lake Burragong, which is approximately 1/2 a hour drive away from where we live. Lake Burragorang, when full (like it is now), holds 4 times the amount of water of Sydney Harbour. We have been there many times and it is a most beautiful and relaxing place.
I took my Winsor and Newton Field kit (which now has both Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith Watercolour paints in it) plus my Aquawash brushes and a small sketchbook.
I wasn’t all that excited about the sketch/painting I did first out there but it did give me an idea to painting a similar subject but in a different way, and more from my imagination.
I’ve had my Aquawash brushes for a few years now though I’ve only used them sporadically and I need to watch some videos on how to use them with greater effectiveness. I rather like how this sketch turned out, though and I will be using these type of brushes more in the future.
I’m due to go on my first field trip with the Sydney Urban Sketchers next month and I think it would great to take these brushes.
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.
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