Location sketching #2: Circular Quay
December 27, 2014
I added to my collection of loose A4 photocopy paper sketches, figurative, anatomy, urban environment, with six pages done at a gathering of the Urban Sketchers Sydney group on the occasion of several overseas visitors, from the UK and Singapore. The location was the Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular Quay, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
I arrived twenty minutes early and that gave me a chance to do a closeup of the new MCA extension to the original 1952 building. I want to return sometime to differentiate between the blacks and whites of the facade.
As a group, we sat for three hours in the Museum cafe, out of the sun, by turns talking and sketching. This was one of those sessions when everyone is seated together, eating and drinking, when sketching becomes a secondary priority. Sketching food and drink as a meditation on transubstantiation or on contemporary consumerism is fine by me, but normally I’d be on the move looking for more interesting compositions; today was a matter of drawing everything directly in line of sight, regardless – a new page every thirty minutes.
The heads and figures are a result of privately mulling over issues raised recently by artists whose work I am inwardly digesting: Stan Prokopenko’s work on heads and figures and Marshall Vandruff’s expertise in perspective. I wrestled with the enormous gulf between working indoors with reference photos and squirming, agitated people in real life, obscured by furniture. Trying desperately not to be noticed was also difficult. I come away from this sort of session wanting to do more draped figure work.
In my rushing out of the house to arrive on time, I forgot my camera, sunscreen, eraser and Exacto knife. And I was the only one without an elaborate Moleskine full of exuberant watercolours. I wanted to do some work in gouache today on Smooth Arches 185gsm watercolor paper, but that would have required much more interesting subject matter.
Two pages scored a Chinese chop, in honour of our Singaporean visitor.