Urban Sketchers Perth met at the Rail Heritage Museum WA in Bassendean yesterday afternoon, it’s right next to the train line, packed with old locomotives and carriages from bygone days. Volunteers do a fantastic job to restore and maintain everything, apparently some of the Locos do still work but the insurance is too high to allow the volunteers to start them up.
It’s been a while since I last posted….here are some sketches and photos of a holiday over Christmas and New Year to the South West of Western Australia. We visited Margaret River, Walpole (Warren River National Park), Denmark, Albany and Esperance. It is a truly beautiful part of the world with stunning sea-scapes and the whitest sand imaginable…..
Top of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges… Flowers clinging to the summit of Bluff Knoll…Top of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges…. Albany windfarm… “The Gap” in Torndirrup National Park…Raging water beneath the lookout platform….hypnotizing…
Karri forrest drive… The “Giant Tingle Tree”….estimated to be 400 years old and is still alive despite the middle hollowed out…the outer edges of the tree carry nutrients to the top…. Circular Pool, North of Walpole… “The Old Northcliffe Trading Company”….looks like it is undergoing very necessary restoration….Close up of the door, and beautiful cracked paint…..The “Bicentennial Tree” just outside of Pemberton…. a 75m (246ft) tall Karri tree originally used as a fire look out (the view from the platform fixed to the top is spectacular). But you have to climb up 165 metal spikes that have been hammered into the trunk to get there (and there is no safety net between each spike!)
Rope and plank bridge next to “The Cascades” Pemberton… View looking North from Stoney Peak (Torndirrup National Park)Trail to Stoney Peak, looks like a bush fire has gone through here at some time…. View of “King George Sound” Albany from the top of Mount Clarence….Local kids playing in the beach (I forget where) somewhere near Denmark WAView from the top of “Monkey Rock” Denmark… (and my feet!) Greens Pool (Denmark)….a still and hot afternoon…Horse riding lesson with Justin from “Brumbies Run Horseriding Tours, Denmark (https://www.brumbiesrun.com/). I highly recommend Justin for his horse knowledge and calm teaching. Three boys who had never been on a horse before thoroughly enjoyed their first ride and learnt so much about horse mindset, character, temperament and behaviour in a 3 hour lesson….highly recommended (again)…. More Karri trees…..they’re everywhere! Even in the rain the trees are beautiful…..luscious olive greens turn into yellow ochre, burnt sienna and quin gold…
One of the 3 caves that you can explore along Caves Road just outside of Margaret River….(I forget which one this one was in…a spooky face…) More trees (in the rain)… View from inside Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, it was “blowing a hoolie” when we were there…over 50 knot winds (more than 100 km/hr) so we couldn’t go outside at the top of the lighthouse (too dangerous) but wonderful stormy seas….where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean…. Getting blown off your feet…hard to stand your ground… Pounding sea… Thistle Cove in Cape Le Grand National Park….simply gorgeous beach wich dazzling white sand and turquoise sea… Tin shed at Northcliffe rail yard… Lucky Bay, Esperance….officially the whitest sand in all of Australia (according to National Geographic Australia)…Cheynes Beach Historic Whaling Station, Albany….the Cheynes IV is thankfully now permanently moored at the former whaling station and whales are no longer slaughtered for whale oil or fertilizer….It’s well worth a visit around the station, it has a fascinating history…Whalers Cove, Albany.. Original fibro and weatheboard house along The Esplanade in Esperance…. Big guns at the Albany War Memorial…Banksia mural painted by Amokisland on the side of grain silos in Ravensthorpe…. Kerosine Lamp sketched at dusk on our campsite in the Warren River National Park…..love camping
The Urban Sketchers Perth monthly meeting took place this morning at Claisebrook Cove in East Perth. We were scheduled to meet last weekend but due to awful winter weather we postponed a week, and this morning turned out to be beautiful….warm(ish) and sunning with a blue sky, worth waiting for. I decided to sit on the grassy knoll in the Victoria Gardens – a great view across the Swan River to the new almost completed sports stadium. My sketch isn’t quite accurate (I should have done some measuring first but was too keen to sketch) as I’ve made the stadium taller that it actually is. Overall I’m OK with my sketch, I moved some of the trees around to change the composition, I would make other changes if sketching again…..
This second sketch is of “Henry Lawson Walk” a view across the cove to the new townhouses that rise up on either side of the inlet….I didn’t have much time for this sketch so it’s mostly ink with just a dot of colour for a red front door and some planter boxes hanging onto the balcony….
I joined the Perth Plein Air Painters briefly this morning in Mount Hawthorne, most people were painting the street scene but I chose to paint the lovely bright yellow earth mover (Daniel Smith – Hansa Yellow Medium) and workmen who were busy replacing Perth’s 100 year old water mains. There is digging all around the city at the moment….huge new pipes being lifted up and then fed down a hole in the foreground….presumably to join up with another piece of the pipe puzzle.
I’ve made some recent changes to my sketch kit and bought a new pen case – “Lihit Lab smart fit small double pen case” that holds all my sketch gear (except the little water bottle) in one compact unit….
It has 2 sections, one opens like a book with pockets and elastic to hold all my pens and brushes, the other side is a half zip pocket where I store my Altoids paint box and other bits and bobs…..The above pictures are a little misleading, the as the pen is resting on the floor it looks much smaller than the case….actual size see below with pen stored inside….
Below picture…. top row from top left are…
TWSBI Eco fountain pen with Extra Fine nib; Pentel pocket brush pen (cartridge refilled with DeAtramentis Document Black ink); Uniball gel pen with White pigment ink; Pentel broad waterbrush filled with tap water plus a few drops of Lamy black ink (makes a convenient grey ink wash); Zig BrushH20 “broad”waterbrush (this is actually a flat brush); Pentel round waterbrushes sizes fine and broad; Travel brushes (separated in the photo) – 6mm (1/4”) dagger brush synthetic hairs (no name on brush, bought from Malcolm Carver website) and Escoda Number 8 Sable brush; Bic Classic fine ball point; Pentel 0.7mm mechanical pencil with 2B leads; Cheap 6mm flat brush (for gouache); cheap synthetic rigger brush.
Other items above are: Altoids paint box (see next picture below for details); wrist sweat band for wiping brushes; Nalgene bottle of water 60mls / 2oz (this bottle doesn’t fit in the pen case): Nalgene bottle of white gouache 8mls / 1/4oz; Bulldog clip; Metal ruler
I’ve also changed a few colours recently… from top left…Winsor Lemon, Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Buff Titanium, Quinacridone Violet, Permanent Rose, Winsor Red, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Sepia, Perylene Green, Turquoise Green, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Indigo
Perylene Green is my newest interesting colour and the only ready-made green I carry, mixing other greens as needed from above……
I have to say that 95% of my watercolour sketching is done with waterbrushes….even though I have great “proper” watercolour brushes I still love the convenience of waterbrushes. They do take some getting used to ….hold them lightly and gently – don’t squeeze the barrel unless you want water.
It is possible (though a little tricky – needs practice) to get dry brush effects…. thoroughly wipe off excess water from the bristles and paint holding your paper and brush vertical (with the bristles pointing skyward) it feels a little strange – but gravity can’t pull the water down down out of the barrel!
The Urban Sketchers Perth met for their monthly sketch-meet and decided to do “sketch-walk” – we walked around Subiaco stopping for only about 5 minutes to sketch whatever appeared and appealed. This is a great way to force yourself to really look at the environment around you….buildings that you may have walked past many times suddenly appear much more interesting when you really look and see the shapes and details…..Of course only 5 minutes sketching time means only the very basic lines and shapes can be drawn – no time for details! Below are my sketches as we wandered around, colour was added later from memory.