Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ink stained fingers - Media experiments with my urban sketches.

This week I went out sketching four days to two different locations. For those following my work closely it will already have become apparent that I am concentrating on the Brisbane River. I have done nine from the riverbank so far. I am going to start numbering them Brisbane River 1 etc.

It is winter in Brisbane at the moment and although the temperature range is 7 - 22 degrees C it does feel a bit uncomfortable giving up the comforts of the studio to be subject to the vagaries of the elements. I am realising I had my little studio routines all worked out and now that I am working so much en plein air I am made uncomfortably aware of how many cups of tea I must have been making in the studio not to mention loo visits etc. Also because I have done so much life drawing I must have developed a 25 minute habit of working then a five minute break ( to suit the model posing)! I am tending to do this outside as well.   It is really a question of being more organised with a coffee break, loo break before setting up.

Robyn Bauer Urban Sketch of Brisbane River

I have so many different materials I decided to go back to this buff paper and use black and white charcoals. The result looks a bit too neat for my current sensibilities. I would like to go back to the same spot and do a quicker messy ink drawing. The view is from the Newstead House lawn looking over where Breakfast Creek joins the Brisbane River.

Robyn Bauer Urban Sketch of Breakfast Creek Hotel

 This is just a little further to the left of the last image. The famous Breakfast Creek Hotel from the other side of the creek. I have a little set of watercolours but dislike adding colour piecemeal like this, too much like colouring-in. I did throw some salt on the wet patches as it dried (fish shop nearby) but would like a lot more of the accidental effect than is happening here.

I caught the bus into the City and walked down to the City Botanic Gardens. It really is the most awesome spot for sketching, with the river, boats moored and the bank on the other side. I used a bit of coloured oil pastel (old fashioned cray pas) on the yellow, blue, orange bits and on the white masts. The plan was that this would act like a wax resist with the ink wash, but it wasn't too successful with the masts so I went over them with, wait for it...  Bic Whiteout! This is now a staple in my kit.

Robyn Bauer Urban Sketch of Brisbane River

My fourth sketch for the week and I think the most successful, having learned from some of the earlier frustrations. The white of the boat ropes is white ink over the ink wash. I have to wave the book around to dry it before this can be applied. The view is very close to the previous one, from the Botanic Gardens looking toward Kangaroo Point over the Brisbane River.

People have been pretty much ignoring me as I sit and work. Only one man asked if he could have a look and an old lady said I was wearing too much red!

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