Saturday, August 19, 2017

Down Dominion Road


I had lots of fun with this drawing a few months ago at a Big Draw meet up.

Leaning against a lamp post, trying to juggle the sketch and pedestrians and paints. I do find that when I paint to the edges of my book I end up with a more satisfying experience - so long as no one uses my drawings as gospel.

Chancery Square



My sketch from yesterdays Big Draw meet up in central Auckland. We had the pleasure of a couple of Sydney urban sketchers, Rooi and Fiona joining us. Unfortunately Auckland was doing what it does well – rain – but we found this excellent dry sort looking down on the square.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Birthday party in Paradice



I know, cheesy title, but I couldn't resist.

We took 3 car loads of screaming 13 and 14 year olds to the Paradice Ice Skating Rink at Aotea Square a few weekends back. It's the pop-up version of their big rink out at Avondale, and returns each winter. It's a great place for the kids to have a blast on a typically wet and miserable Auckland July school holidays and ensures parents pockets are completely empty by the time the kids go back to school.

The birthday revelers had a ball of course with only a few crashed here and there, nothing serious, and I got to grab a couple of sketches.

Monday, July 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.)

Tuesday, July 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.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sketching an Antipodean Adventure

A year ago I waved goodbye to Southampton Urban Sketchers (UK) and packed up my sketching gear for an adventure in New Zealand. My husband and I had offers of work in Auckland for a year and we were excited to travel to the other side of the world for a great adventure!

I didn't know what kind of art materials I would be able to buy in New Zealand and I'd heard that internet shopping could be expensive (everything has to be shipped a long way!) so I carefully packed my bottle of De Atramentis ink, my Lamy fountain pen and my Schmincke watercolours. On arrival I was very happy to find that Gordon Harris Art Stores sell my favourite Fabriano Venezia sketchbooks. 

We left a warm UK summer and arrived in cold, wet Auckland. After a couple of weeks of jet lag and disorientation I picked up my sketchbook and started to draw the unfamiliar buildings and scenes I discovered. The intensity of colour in nature here is quite staggering. In particular I remember being amazed by the turquoise colours in the sea and sky. I've got through a great deal of cobalt turquoise over the last year! It has also been exciting to include palms and tree ferns in my sketches, having been accustomed to English oaks and beech trees.





I made it to my first sketch crawl with BIG DRAW (Urban Sketchers in Auckland) in August 2016 and it was such a joy to find like-minded sketchers at a time when I was feeling uprooted and far from home. I've really enjoyed seeing parts of the city I might not have visited if it weren't for the group.


Auckland CBD skyline


Sketching in Auckland city centre with BIG DRAW

Sketching inside Ponsonby International Food Court

Over the course of the year I have tried to capture some of the heritage buildings in Auckland. I was fascinated to read the story of the Birdcage pub, formerly the Rob Roy Hotel. Built in 1885-1886, the building was moved 40m down the road and then back again (using huge hydraulic rams and a teflon-coated track) in order to facilitate the building of the Victoria Park Tunnel in 2010. The time lapse video of the building being moved back into place can be seen here: The Move Back

 Devonport, Auckland - a great place to sketch!

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland

Auckland Town Hall during Auckland Arts Festival week

During our year in New Zealand we've managed to fit in a few weeks of travelling, around both the North and South Islands. Drawing has allowed me to preserve memories of our travels in a way that photographs cannot. Looking back through my sketchbook brings back vivid memories of the places we've been and the views we've admired. 

A Christmas break beside Lake Tarawera, North Island


Some quintessentially Kiwi specimens!

We will shortly be leaving New Zealand to return back to the UK. I have loved every moment of being in this amazing place and I very much hope to come back in the future. Ka kite anō, Aotearoa!

The lighthouse at Waipapa Point, South Island

Tabitha works as a GP and has been sketching for about 2 years. She loves to draw buildings and urban scenes using pen and ink with watercolour wash. Her 'big project' is to draw all the cathedrals in England. She collects her sketches online here