Saturday Workshops & Monday Sketchclub

We have been very busy with our Saturday Workshops lately, and the last two were “A Taste of Sketching” ( Nov 22 ) and “Loosen up with Watercolour”(Nov 8)

It’s lovely to have the best part of a whole day to really concentrate on techniques and getting results.  With our Loosen up with Watercolour Workshop the aim was not to produce our usual sketches at the end but rather to practice some key skills until we got them right.

The focus was on how much water to use in order to achieve effects, how to let the colours bleed together, when to stop and when to work quickly.

Next technique was water and sky, people often ask how to achieve a gradated wash or clouds and so we had a view of the ocean from Manly Wine and practiced how to paint the ocean and sky.  Where to leave things white, how to use chinagraph and the final point……putting in those darks to great effect.

So, no pretty sketches like we usually do but an educational and quite intense time really honing those skills.

The “Taste of Sketching” Workshop was on a glorious sunny day and we had a mixed range of abilities so it is always good to start with our favourite Hibiscus sketch to really get to grips with the Erin Hill way of sketching.  Great work everyone!  We then used these new found skills on Bird of Paradise sketches and I threw a spanner in the works by getting our brand new sketchers to do two minute sketches.  Yes!  I am SO mean, but………what happens is amazing………when racing the clock we stop over analysing and just start sketching what comes naturally.  Funny thing is that the fast sketches often turn out to be the best ones.  I find this with my own sketching too!

We had lunch at Metropolitan Cafe where the food is rather yummy and then again did some fast sketching of water and couldn’t help ourselves from squeezing in a Jacaranda – after all it’s only once a year we get this magical opportunity to paint purple trees.  And the colours are so delicious they almost look fake.

I think everyone achieved an enormous amount in our Workshops this month………….keep an eye out for future ones, perfect for enhancing your technique or seeing if sketching is “your thing”




• A happy and jovial evening spent sipping wine, sharing different card making tips as a group, tasting very yummy Christmas goodies (including a very nice Christmas cake made by Therese), and enjoying a fabulous couple of hours this evening in the company of such lovely people.

• A few felt inspired to pick flowers and greenery on the way in, as an additional theme for the cards. An “inch worm” which had found himself carried into the studio, became the centre of attention and made his way to stardom, featuring in some of the sketches.

• The evening being such a success, and enjoyment for all, was well received by those attending and we all can’t wait to do it again next month with a new theme to look forward to.


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