Shiny Silver and the Monument

002 003THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21. 2013.

A great day to be out & about travel sketching.

Big class. Three tutors to assist anybody in need.

This week we are doing antique silver. Learning to get those elegant shapes and little decorative flourishes without getting too caught up.

Getting the initial pieces where you want them on your page is the first challenge.

However it’s colour we’re really looking at.


Using watercolour is very rewarding or very frustrating.

You are going to learn the joy of using the pigments and letting them do the work.

Choose any three colours.

Mix enough pigment with water and get all three ready mixed on the palette on the lid.

Ready. Ok.

First your chinagraph pencil.

Indicate where you want your whites.

Using the side of your brush, load it with your first colour and run one stroke down the centre.

Wash and wipe brush to be sure it’s clean.

Do same with second colour.

Then the third.

004Hold up the sketchbook and watch the colours work into each other as they slowly run down the damp paper.


If it needs it, drop a bit more colour where you think it needs it.

What’s to be afraid of?

Nothing. It’s just fun.

May not be an exact copy of silver but it’s way more interesting.

You are learning to take risks and let go.

All three tutors are busy moving from table to table, doing little demos and making sure colours are clean.

No more mixing one pan with another without cleaning the brush.

All of this is designed to save you time and get pure colour on your sketch.


We are doing the ‘Lest We Forget’ monument in the Corso today.

It’s where the Anzac services are held and the flowers from Armistace Day are still looking bright.

Again. Measure visually and see how it will fit on your page best.

It suits everyone that there is seating on the edge of the grass, so it means you have a shady place and Christy, Judy and I can easily get to people who are waving not drowning.

Bacino is  where  we are head for coffee and a taste of Italian.

The seating is under umbrellas and little cafe tables. At least four can sit happily together.

We 3 tutors are very pleased with every sketch and can see how much pleasure people have just playing with colour.




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6am. Drip drip drop. It must be raining! Thunder roll, flash of lightening.

Yes I think it’s rain.

Whoever is in charge of weather usually lets us sketch before the skies open.

Wearing a hooded jacket I set off to the Studio, It won’t matter now.

Jane arrives early. Hates to be late.

Yvonne is next and spending the week with us from Melbourne Australia and Squarmish Canada. Summer in both countries. Sketching in Manly and soon Tuscany.

The others arrive and will do the shiny silver.

Yvonne has done these, so can do little greetng cards which the others will do next Thursday.

I do the demo of colour mixing and apply the layers of colour.

Everyone loves the effect.

Perfect for travel sketchers.

Get your 3 colours decided, get it ready and it’s on the sketch in no time.

We had a few laughs as I try to stop people doing more than one brush stroke straight down.

No dob dob dobbing up and fiddling with the brush.

Everyone is used to colouring in.

It’s not what we do.

The effects are just so exciting and it’s very good for helping people overcome their fear of ‘making a mistake.’

You cannot make a mistake with sketching!

We take pics of the work before trotting down the hil,l including Yvonne’s delightful greeting cards.

Looked like rain but we just got wind instead.

Here we are at the War Memorial.

Palm trees in the wings with the Australian and Aboriginal flags flapping in side by side.

Another 3 colours, and more paint ready to apply.

Such an element of surprise here, as people pick unexpected combinations.

Just what we want.

See how many colours you get when they work together.

Bacino Bar was right there with plenty of tables for us when coffee was calling.

Along with some tasty panninis and Italian breads with yummy fillings, sketching carried on.

Sketchers are so enjoying playing with colour now, that some do cafe sketches and use the same techniques. Letting go. Enjoy the effects. Watercolour is magic.








Will it be sunny or rainy? Actually we end up with both and some thunder for good measure.

Three of today’s class have done shiny silver things, so I have 2 more setups for them.

Sit here Yvonne, Karen and Margaret.

I’m fencing this bit off for you.

Some patterned jugs to start followed by some French pots.

The same 3 colour watercolour technique can be used.

Once everyone is settled, we have the colour demo with any 3 watered down colours , applied after you’ve highlighted where the lights are in chinagraph.

Make your observations before putting down your first lines.

Where is the centre.

Which piece to start with. Will it all fit in.

Yes if you’ve looked at where each shape relates to the next.

Get started and get some clean simple shapes going.

Now for your 3 colours.

One stroke of colour over the next.

See the pigments blend and run.

You have little control now so sit back and enjoy what’s happening.

Every sketch has gorgeous colours working together.

No more colouring in. OK.

It’s not raining yet but skies look black as we head off to The Corso.

Sketchers decide to sit at Bacino Bar outdoor tables and do the Memorial from there.

That way coffee can be easily and continuously on call.

A fairly essential ingredient of sketching is the coffee.

Someone discovers rain drops are falling on their heads so we decide to go to the upstairs and secluded part of the cafe.

From upstairs we can see past the chandeliers to the rain bucketing down below.

We are all very cosy and happy up here, with our sketchbooks and our friends.

Lunch is ordered and sketching goes on.

Using the new easy loose watercolour trick is a great way to get a dash of colour.

Time to get the sketch pics before Yvonne heads for the airport and back home to Phillip Island – yes, where the world famous Little Penguins live.

Some stay on and some of us wait for the rain to ease, before heading off into what would soon be a sunny afternoon.



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