Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mitsubishi 4x4 van

This awesome van was for sale on the side of the road. I like how it's just a normal small van with a bunch of outdoorsy optional extras. It's over a quarter century old and has over a quarter million kilometres on it. It's also way overpriced, but I'm sure someone will buy it.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Old 'A-frame' baches and tua tuas

Happy New Year sketchers! I'm starting the year off with my last sketches of 2019. These were sketched at Papamoa Beach in the Bay of Plenty while gathering tua tuas. 

I love the old 'A-frame' baches from the 70's and there are still a few of them dotted around Papamoa. This one is embellished with a faux Italian balustrade and an enclosed sun room on the front – not  exactly 'rigidig' as they say but as it's for sale, it could all be yours for a rediculous fee!

The tua tuas were delicious by the way – olive oil, garlic, parsley and steamed for a few minutes in a small amount of sea water. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Old gold mining towns

Over the last couple of weeks I've been enjoying some the gold mining history in Central Otago. Landscapes completely shaped by man, but still retaining a unique kind of beauty.

Cardrona Hotel

Old miner's cottage at the Cardrona Hotel's back garden


The remains of Welshtown, Bendigo

Exploring through the old gold workings, Bendigo

Old wagon, Bendigo

Bannockburn Sluicings

Recently restored old building, Stewart Town, Bannockburn

Bannockburn Sluicings - completely man created!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Car troubles

I've been having a few car troubles lately so have been in and out of the garage a few times.

The good thing about having an old car is you have to go to a garage that understands old cars, and those garages are full of old cars – just perfect for the sketcher.

A good example is the sketch at the top, they had an E-type and an MG Midget up on the hoists, there were some other MG's and an old 50's Austin out that back that I'm going to sketch next time I'm in (let's hope that's a while off because the latest work means I'm broke).

The jags rear subframe was out for work so I got a good nosey at it. Quite an impressive piece of engineering – fully independent suspension with inboard disc brakes and two coil-over gas shocks on each side. Quite a lot more sophisticated than your usual old car!

I got to sketch this absolutely mint black '32 MG, and another white E-type which pops nicely off the page using a white Posca pen on kraft paper...

Monday, November 18, 2019

Self portrait Sundays

I find doing selfies the most difficult of all portraits.  They're not as self-indulgent as they may seem, rather a bit of a challenge to portray yourself in the image you have.

To this end, I've started following a small Facebook Group where you post a weekly selfie.  Rules being, no photos used / drawn from life. I see some people have been members for a couple of years and are producing stunning selfies, so there's plenty to aspire to.

Here's my first few weeks efforts.  Every one felt OK at the time... Though it's hard to avoid the stare!

This was a ten minute fude pen sketch in front of the bathroom mirror with strong overhead light

Here I was trying out some hot press paper with watercolours.  It felt stiff and that seems to have come across in how I look!
This time I got my favoured 2B pencil out and used a new sketchpad I bought in Melbourne with nice, rough textered paper.  Interesting shadows being cast on my bald head!
This is last week's watercolour on some old Bockinford paper I must've bought over 20 or 30 years ago.  The paper  made all the difference in how the paint flowed and could be controlled.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Taranaki Gardens

Taranaki just had multiple simultaneous garden festivals. After looking through the programmes and maps, I decided to visit some at random entrants' properties after I grabbed my watercolours.