their work and words, interviews, blogs, images, hints, tips, websites
and more...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Best Pencils...

I've been meaning to share this article with you for some time, and I'm finally taking care of some "to-do" list items!  http://wonderstreet.com/blog/choosing-the-best-pencil

As always, "the best pencil" is a very personal thing, of course, and depends as much on what you're doing at the time as it does the person using it.  I recently rediscovered one of my mentor Ann Zwinger's favorite pencils, a Berol Turquoise HB--I treasure the two I had hoarded, and was afraid to use them much, but picked one up at the cabin recently and loved it, all over again.

(Unfortunately, we discovered when we went to buy more that Turquoise is now made by Prismacolor, and though they're okay--they're not the same.) 

These days, when I'm sketching in my journal, it's most often a Pentel Forte HB or B mechanical pencil, with that nice soft white vinyl eraser.  Convenient, versatile, no need to sharpen, and with enough range of value to satisfy me.

And sometimes, I love the pick up a dark-colored Prismacolor and add watercolor wash...an old favorite technique.

What's your favorite pencil?  What do you pick up most often?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

sketching at concerts

This week I went to two classical music concerts in libraries and sketched at each . Both concerts were beautiful and I am in awe of the skill of the musicians and performers . They were:

Saverio string quartet at Melbourne Athenaeum Library

I am most pleased with the above sketch of Saverio , at the second concert I attended. Perhaps I had warmed up my sketching the night before. I think I may have been a bit self conscious at the first (Bottled Snail) concert, as it was held in my workplace and a few people know that I was sketching,

Habeas Chorus of Bottled Snail at Supreme Court Library. They were warming up just before the concert began

I have sketched irregularly at classic (and other) music concerts over  the past few years. It is something that I enjoy, but don’t feel in my comfort zone. I often draw people in groups, audiences or events, but for some reason I am not entirely happy with the results of musicians.

Sketching while listening to music enhances my appreciation and relaxation.  However, it all depends on the music. Sometimes  I will put my pencil down, close my eyes and soak it all in.

I have been reflecting about why I don’t have the same level of comfort as in other situations. I don’t have the answers but I think I know why I don’t have the answers,

One thing I have learnt – each situation is different – indoors, outdoors, size of audience, amount of lighting, number of musicians and how many musical pieces and the length of the pieces.  Sometimes I can choose where I get a seat but not always. There are often unknowns.

Choosing pen and ink to sketch the highlight of the black and white of the choir , the outline of the audience members. Adding colour to the Chief Justice's portrait and the gasolier lamp.

I know that I need to make an early decision on what to draw with. I need to decide whether to choose my Lamy Safari ink pen or one or a few choice watercolour pencils. I then put everything else away. I don’t want to be disturbing and distracting other audience members by fiddling around, looking for colours.
Although listening to a concert is an audible experience, there is often so much visual.
One of the decisions I think that I need to make is about what to focus on and put down on paper. Are they sketchy or detailed ? Often this depends on my mood.
Do I want to capture
  • The feeling of the music
  • Musicians – faces, feet, hands, their movement
  • Instruments
  • Audience
  • Surroundings – the building, stage
I will try to think of them as a suite of options open to me.
At the moment I think that I try to capture it all. Some concerts are only 45 minutes, some much longer and will have a few different sets of musicians playing .


Add caption
I knew that I had seven minutes to sketch Kylie, the accompanist. 
another quick sketch

Does anyone have any hints and tips for sketching at concerts? What is your approach?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...