MY “Steve Irwin” Sea Shepherd revisited

September 4, 2012

The Sydney Sketch Club meetup broke up after lunch as usual, but especially since the “Steve Irwin” Sea Shepherd was docked in Sydney for only three days, and buoyed up by the positive feedback from sketching colleagues (it was great to see what everyone else is doing), I thought I’d finished working over the watercolour with more graphite pencil and Prismacolour coloured pencils. I knew which colours would be important, so just took the colours I needed, though – because it was possible to be seated for this one – I could have brought all of them. Working right around the colour wheel was something I became aware of.

I was able to work on the contrast between verticals and horizontals and include more the Sydney context: I had seen photos of the ship (uncamouflaged) and wanted to show it was berthed in Sydney, not just in any old port. The repetition of flags became evident (I didn’t know then that the next day was National Flag Day, 3 Sept) and it was interesting to see the effect of coloured pencil worked over watercolour. The inclusion of the Circular Quay vantage point from which I drew it the day before was an ‘in joke’, as was the inclusion of the Lands Department building (it’s a miracle it can be seen in among the skyscrapers) since its impressive architecture wowed the late-19th century arrivals in Sydney Cove. The maritime flavour of the outdoor restaurant had to be included as well. Of course the ship was a whole lot darker than thi; watercolour means everything is automatically in a much higher key than in reality.

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