Melbourne Travel Sketching Workshop. Sunday February 10th '19

Everyone is concentrating hard but in fact were having a great time!

What a great group we had today. One dear student who has been with me over the years flew from New Zealand to do both this Workshop and Alissa’s on Saturday, the day before. Another flew from Sydney to do both. Another came from faraway and stayed 2 nights. It seems everyone worked hard to get to be with me here in the heart of Melbourne.
I’m grateful and delighted and there is nothing nicer than a dedicated group who are busting to learn new tricks. And we have plenty.

I tend to listen to what everyone says about what they’d like to do and go from there. So it sounded like technique was the most pressing thing before moving on.

So ‘Getting Loose with Watercolour’ would be first up. However before that, we needed a sketch - or what would we be applying paint to? The walls! MMMmm .

The subject would be easy. Whatever was on the table in front of you was it. Sketch kit, cups, water glasses sharpeners. All of it’s a sketch.

Once that was done it was out with the watercolours and making enough colour to go into the palette. Get it ready before you start and you can go faster.

First of course - chinagraph. Top and sides, See where I’ve put it? Of course you can’t! All part of the fun.

First we use a wash of yellow ochre as an undercoat. That gives you an idea of where you’d like colour.
Then it’s one layer over another wherever you think you’d like it to be. Notice I’m not trying to match the colours of the objects! Rather I put my colour where it looks good. Hold the book up little to let the colour run.

I’m doing a lot more now with connecting type and wording to sketches. I like that you can write all sorts of thoughts, ideas, descriptions on your page and use colour and borders to bring your story together.

So it seemed a good moment to do a couple of different alphabets to use as a style guide. Then all the sketches began to look more complete. Great work with both watercolours and headings everyone.

Hunger began to set in and one of our students with lots of local cafe knowledge became our dear leader. Off we went, no idea where we were going but knowing we’d have food at the end of the walkabout.

Very good choice indeed. Brunetti in Flinders Lane.
Very big Italian eatery with exquisite cakes and pastries lining the walkway in. We remain strong.
The staff happily pulled some tables together for our group and we surveyed the menu.

Time to go to the counter and order the delicious food displayed. Very quickly the plates arrived. Note to self: do not order bruschetta if wearing a white shirt!
I start sketching the coffee before it gets cold, and everyone does the same. Then the food was being sketched way before anything was eaten. Sketching always seems to win!

More wording and headings were added and each and every sketch entirely different.
Yet we hadn’t even had a chance to sketch the famed laneways of Melbourne, so we chose to do a quick black and white hatched sketch of an old window we could see across the alleyway.
Fab results everyone and a wonderful day. Thank you for being such wonderful company and as someone said, we have a lot of laughs. Hysteria might sometimes describe it!

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Erin Hill