Jul 31, 2017

On the corner

When this one was started, I was just looking for a warm and dry place to do a bit of sketching. I ended up in the Egmont Street Deli and came back there on multiple lunches to finish this one off. While the building on the opposite corner has tons of detail, that's not the reason that it took me so long. It turns out that the person who makes the desserts at the deli really knows what they are doing. So, I ended up doing way more eating at lunch, than drawing. (If you're the one responsible for that and are reading this, I think that the orange chocolate torte should be available EVERY day.)

Jul 25, 2017

The Breakfast Club

Winter sketching means coffee shop sketching. If it's rainy I'll have a drink someplace dry before work. One wet week, I went to Joe's Garage pretty much everyday. There's a bunch of very regulars who meet up there and chat before work. It's always a varied selection of the usual group of people. Each day I drew a different person. As a result, some of the very regular Joe's didn't make the cut while one guy made it into the drawing two times.
I also included a colorised version of an older sketch from the same place.

Jul 12, 2017

New Plymouth Ravens

A while ago we went to go see the New Zealand National Inline Hockey Tournament, here in Taranaki. Truth be told, I just went to do some sketching. One of the games was actually pretty exciting though. The local, New Plymouth Ravens, pulled their goalie in the last seconds to tie it up and send it into overtime. The game winner was scored by one of the smaller players too. So I came away with this sketch and brought one that I made of last year's tournament to get the colour treatment.

Jun 12, 2017

Ponsonby, Auckland and Airports

We've had a couple of trips to Auckland lately. There wasn't really much time for sketching other than at the airport. One morning though, I decided to get up just before dawn to get another drawing in. The previous evening, I noticed this one building had a nice glow from the signs, lights and interior lighting that disappeared during the day.

Jun 7, 2017

Colourize Project: Security Pipe

The marina off the breakwater at Port Taranaki has a weird gate that seems to be a large steel pipe with a door cut into it. Here's the colour version of a sketch from a few years ago.

May 28, 2017

Colourize Project: Blagdon Hill

More rain!.. So I'm dusting off some old sketches again and giving them the colour treatment. This one is from the hill in Blagdon. It's a patch of steep farmland surrounded by houses. The local New Plymouth station, Access Radio Taranaki, broadcasts from the top and they have great sea views from up there.

May 22, 2017

Port Taranaki


The other day I was biking around the port area, looking for something to draw. I noticed a road sign that said 'Port View Crescent'. I've never been there before but with a name like that I went up the road hoping for a good view. Not much yet so I turned off a side street and had a nice open vista over Port Taranaki. Actually, between the end of a driveway and the start of an open grassy strip there was a park bench. I'm not sure who's it was but it overlooked the port and was out of the sun and under a tree. So if someone's reading this and noticed, "Hey... that's my bench", I hope you don't mind and thanks for putting it there!

May 11, 2017

New Plymouth ANZAC Day 2017

I've been out sketching other things since it's actually been pretty dry lately, however here is my finished ANZAC Day dawn ceremony sketch. As you can see I've made most of it way darker. The areas that you had seen in my previous progress pic are sort of visual notes reminding me that these are the really dark areas. This allows me to do a reasonably detailed sketch of something that is only there for a short period of time. This is my third ANZAC sketch, three years in a row. I didn't plan on coming out to do another one this year, but my sketch from last year was chosen to be in an art show in New Plymouth (running from June to November). This sort of motivated me to try it again. I don't think I will do a fourth any year soon but I'm happy with three; they look good together.


May 2, 2017

Progress Pic: ANZAC 2017

Here's a sketch that I did at the Taranaki dawn service on ANZAC Day in New Plymouth. For those that aren't from down under, this is a very early morning Remembrance Day. (ANZAC stands for Australia & New Zealand Army Corps.) So it's very dark but there are also bright spotlights. It's hard to see the dark bits while blinded by bright lights. Still, I found a good view that didn't have a spotlight facing me, but still had enough light to see my page. I also had to keep in mind that when the people get there they might be casting a shadow on my book. In the end, I just started and hoped for the best!
At that time, most of the people weren't there yet. I started to draw the monument, trees and black foreground tree shapes. I keep doing that until the people show up and settle in the place that they will be. I have about 20 minutes the draw as much people as possible. By the time that's over, the suns coming up and everything looks quite a bit different. What you see here is about an hour of drawing. The people in the foreground will have very dark shadows, with highlights around the edges of each on, due to the spotlights. It's mostly like you see but darker. The monument the the mid ground people will also be darker, remembering that the main light is coming from the right. The trees could also barely be seen so I'll build up quite a bit of ink. Although they are white as you see now, they will blend into the sky. This seemed like something I could do later so I left it at the time.
That was about a week ago now and I've been chipping away at it a little at a time. I always think that I am taking notes, as in I draw enough of each part so that I remember what each part looked like. My next post will be the finished one and you can see how it turned out.

Apr 29, 2017

Making time for fries

I've been busy this month with lots of extra jobs. As a result, I haven't made time for sketching. One day, I did have some extra time when I was in town and saw a sign that said "Curly French Fries". Oh, aggressive marketing... you win again! So I sat at a table with a street view and did this one.
Other than this one, I have a few 'sets' of sketches but won't put them up here until each group of 2 or 3 is done. They just look better when they are together but with some of them, I'm waiting for things to happen, like construction. I was also at the ANZAC dawn service and did half a sketch. I thought I might put up a progress pic of that one before I finish it. I know some people are interested in seeing how I start.

Mar 16, 2017

Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Parade

I didn't plan on drawing the Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Parade. I came down to see it and was just going to draw the New Plymouth clock tower as I waited for it to start. When people started to wave the flags around though, I decided to include the crowd that was growing, just before the start of it.
When the parade was finished, I was still drawing and some of the groups were now walking back to the start area where, I guess, their cars were. On the sidewalk, there was a group of Irish kids together with some Chinese kids, both in national costume. Proud mums were taking photos of the multicultural bunch who was having a good ol' time. They were just having fun and not noticing that what they were doing was actually the whole point of the event.

Mar 2, 2017

Americarna 2017

The 10th year of the popular Americarna festival was still popular. After a very rainy Taranaki summer, the weather in New Plymouth was perfect for the multi-day event. I just sat in the shade and sketched the people looking at the classic cars.
Below is an Impala and a Belair from two years ago, and I've coloured last year's sketch too.