Traditional pen & ink – sketching banksia

October 10, 2011

10 October 2011, Staedtler Fineliner over pencil.

Tuesday 12 Oct 2011. Staedtler Fineliner over pencil.

My little book of banksias is close to being finished and I am taking short breaks away from ecriture feminine  and Verghian verismo this week. Given some of the more complex interactions between leaf outlines, leaf veins and shadows, I now need to add some colour.

I’ve been inspired by Danny Gregory’s filmclip of sketcher, Tommy Kane, at work:  Tommy Kane, Red Hook – a film about Tommy Kane, http://vimeo.com/28813347.  In this filmclip, he draws with pen on-site, directly on to A4-sized looseleaf w/colour paper, and adds colour at home: watercolour washes plus coloured pencil highlights, referring to a reference photo. Needless to say, I found actually WATCHING an urban sketcher at work like this enormously useful and inspiring!

See also Tommy Kane draws Red Hook at http://vimeo.com/S19506 where he paints on-site, as he does in his short film sketching on the Cote d’Azur (on a large A4 sketchbook). Tommy Kane did some black-and-white pen sketching when he visited Sydney. I found it very instructive to my own hometown through the eyes of a foreigner: Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, Waverley Cemetery and the Woolloomooloo pub near where he stayed.

Danny and his son have also just made a short film about another sketcher, Butch Belair, http://vimeo.com/30244195. He works sitting in his car, into a small notebook, starting with light pencil lines and then with a lot of chisel-edged watercolour brushes.  The stamina and staying-power of both Kane and Belair are very impressive (something I need to emulate), over and above their attention to detail (with which I strongly identify) and their commitment to filling the entire page (to which I aspire).

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