Adelaide Travel Sketching Workshop. February 18th & 19th 2019

About to start another sketching day.

Our Two day Adelaide Workshop had been awhile coming.
We arrived the evening prior in 35 degrees and wondered how we’d get on in that temperature.
However the next day dawned with slight cloud and 10 degrees less. Whew.
One of our group had been in touch with me for a year or so saying nobody taught Travel Sketching in Adelaide and how could she learn. A definite cry for help.
Another student, Lyn B who joins us in France and Australia was very instrumental in encouraging a lovely group to join in. Others found the Workshop online.
Everyone had planned how they’d get to the Workshop, (even on crutches) where they’d stay and enjoy spending two glorious days immersing themselves in sketching.

On Monday, day one, we all met at the Stamford Hotel Glenelg, a beachside suburb of Adelaide. We had a very quiet space in the conservatory and began our discovery of sketching. Coffee of course was an essential start and Emile the concierge cheerfully looked after us on both mornings.

I start by listening to each students concerns and what they’d like to acheive.
We then start with page planning and how to see. The very foundation of how we get that 3D thing onto a flat piece of paper. And quickly.
So let’s get cracking. Our subject - whatever is on the table in front of us. So many shapes but we use the ‘big shape’ first approach and add all else to that.

Out with our aquarelle pencils and learn how to layer one colour over another. Everyone soon had colour flying and bright images, and remembering to leave plenty of white.

Once all aquarelle colour is mainly near the centre, we add some text and type to tell the story. We now can try the terrifying water brush!! That’s because it seems to want to flood your page and turn all your lovely layering into a mud pie. So just a few touches are all we let it do to pop the colour.

Time for lunch at Boomers Cafe on the Beach. Quite a lovely view to the beach and very good for our next subject. Food was ordered as we were much hungrier than we’d realised.
Look at those trees outside. That’s what we’ll sketch now. First tree, a general intrinsic shape. Could be any leafy one. Next a palm and a Norfolk. Very different shapes and structure and this is what we look for.
That was enough for the day and we all drifted off to rest and recharge the batteries for tomorrow

Day 2.
Another slightly cloudy day around 22 degrees. Just right.
This morning Emile reserved our table on the mezzanine restaurant for our first hour or so of technique.
It’s watercolour day. Getting Loose with watercolour. This is the part most people are excited about. What colours, how much paint, how much water and so on. So many questions. But we have all the answers.

Having made watercolour swatches, named each colour and seen the effect of colour dropping, our students began to see how beautiful pure colour can be. The trick is a very clean brush and very clean paint.

Time to get out on location and get ourselves a sketch to put colour on.
Adelaide is a city of great examples of federation architecture, so we chose the classic old Glenelg Town hall as our sketch. I start by doing a thumbnail to decide proportions. Then it’s the first big shape - the tower - quickly sketched in. Then connect all the other pieces you can see. Watch those angles and trims. Check where the windows are and do they match anything.
Lunch was ordered and sketches completed.

Now for the watercolour demo. Get your colours ready in the palette. Use your chinagraph to keep whites round tops and sides. The paint will resist.
First run large strokes of yellow ochre wash down the centre area of your sketch. Next cad red, followed by ultramarine. These are your 3 key colours.

From there the other colours are added. One over the other. Wow every sketch is a delight. The differing styles fascinate everyone. We take photos. We all agree everyone has made huge progress. Perhaps this should be a regular event. Someone mentions it could be 4 days.
I’ll plan another in November. Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic response to this first February Workshop. Keep in touch everyone.

You may like to join our weekly newsletter for all the news and updates. See Erin’s sketches on Instagram and ask to join our closed Erin Hill Sketchers Face book page where you can post your work and see what other students post. All info below. Hope to see you all again.

Erin Hill