Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting around town

I must say it is a real eye opener, driving around town with the pure intent of looking at homes to sketch. You really do see things in a different light. I realise now, that every time I leave the house, I am looking for future possible sketches. I'm looking for interesting features, angles of roofs, texture of stone, distinguishing features, anything that makes a home a little different than the norm.
I love house with character. Something that makes it that little bit different and unique.

In my search I am finding that it is the older style homes in Lyndoch that I am drawn to. They just have so much character. Like the old house above. I always thought it abandoned, with its broken windows and rusted roof, but my husband tells me a man still lives in the back of the house. Homes like these hold so many stories. I wish I could read the walls like a storybook.
Another home that has always interested me in the past is the one above. For as long as I can remember it has had this old black sofa couch on the front porch, yet I have never seen anyone sitting on it. It also has this newer building at the back which I am not quite sure belongs to the front property or not. I love these sort of older style homes and I think out pretty little town wouldn't be half as pleasant without them.
Hugs Sonya

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My urban sketchbook

I've been busy getting out and about the town with my trusty camera. I'm just filling up my sketchbook with some of my favorite buildings from my home town of lyndoch, South Australia. Enjoying myself with my sketchbook, paints and a cup of tea after work each day.

Happy sketching!

Hugs Sonya

Friday, April 10, 2015

Watercolour book review

I am a big lover of watercolor paint, as you may have noticed if you follow my blogšŸ˜‰
I think out of all the paint mediums this is definetely the most expressive medium for an artist to use. It really can do things on your paper that oil and acrylic just can't do. But that's another story...

Right from the start of creating my sketchbook entries, I have used watercolor paint, however recently I have been wanting to learn some more techniques, rather than just colour-in my sketches.
I decided to purchase a book by Jean Haines, called Colour & Light in watercolour.
I recieved exactly what I was looking for! This book is for people like me, who love loose expressive style watercolour. It's a style I have admired for a long time but never really had the courage to explore in fear that I would ruin a sketch in my book,something I really don't want to do as I paint on the back  of the pages as well.

The paintings in this book are so wonderful and so expiring. Not only does the author start with the basics such as the usual stuff like brushes, colour palette, paper etc, but she also has several step by step paintings to work along with, which really help understand the process she goes through.
To me her style of painting is so very more artistic than realism. 
A lot of the times you hear painters say they 'change the scene to suit a better composition, otherwise you may as well just frame the photograph',but to me this loose style of painting is even more exciting!
Here are a couple of images from the book that have inspired me to be fearless with my watercolour and enjoy happy mistakes.

Even though Jean keeps to the rules of watercolor, she discusses how when she begun she dreaded the frowned apon watermarks and runs, but now she can't wait for them to happen. She has developed her own style, kept some of what she learnt from the 'experts' and thrown some advise away. I love this woman! I don't know why there is a set of rules to paint by anyway. I think a true artist should just go for it - maybe just remembering the very

So I am on a mission to add a little of Jean Haines style to my sketches. I still like my sketches a little more realistic but it has opened up a whole new way to paint.
Who inspired you in your sketchbooks? Do you have an artist you just adore? Leave me a comment

hugs Sonya

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Looking forward, Looking back- Sketches of Kangaroo Island

Today I decided the only way to go forward is to look back.
Way back in 2013, I mentioned a holiday I was about to embark on, to Kangaroo Island and promised to show my sketchbook pictures of the venture.
I never did get around to showing you those pages, but today I finally picked up those old watercolor sketches.
Looking back, one and a half years later, wow! I can definitely see an improvement. I actually cringe at some of the drawings and definitely squirm at most of my watercolor efforts.
( I do still love the rawness of some of the drawings and am particularly still fond of my fresh marron above, and the sketch below. I just love the shape of that iconic KI rock!)
But, you know what?  It is so exciting to see how much I have improved. I am now trying new things, I'm not scared to experiment and I personally think my watercolor sketches have more feeling in them.
I hope to write another blog entry in two years time and see even more improvement. Isn't that what art is all about anyway? Having fun, and enjoying your own journey...



April 2015 sketchbook entry
An old bed and breakfast cottage in my hometown of Lyndoch, South Australia.

I hope someone sees these sketchbook images and decides to jump in and have a go. Everyone can draw and paint, yes everyone! and you never know where the years will lead you. Join me climbing that ladder one step at a time.
I am having a blast thinking of doing some more uban sketching and painting all the remarkable buildings in my home town.
What would you like to sketch?


Friday, April 3, 2015

The Botanical Gardens

Hi all and Happy Easter!
 I hope you have a wonderful relaxing Easter with family and friends. As tradition we are heading to Great Grandma's house for lunch and the traditional breaking of the eggs. Our extended family is Polish and every Easter we have boiled coloured eggs dyed with brown onion skins. Each member of the family is given an egg to crack onto someone else's until there is a winning uncracked egg. What does the winner receive, hmm nothing.... except the glory of being the egg winner!

On Good Friday we decided to spend a family day at the beautiful South Australian Botanical Gardens, as it was such a gorgeous Autumn day. My youngest daughter who is 14, loves going for walks in the great outdoors, so there really is no better place to go.
A part of the gardens, alongside the path are giant bamboo. It seems to have become a part of the visitors tradition to carve their initials in the bamboo and in such great mass, it actually really does look like a masterpiece of art! Of course my daughter just had to do it..
The best part however was the Rainforest Conservatorium. It is a wonderful dome shape type of building with glass panels to let in the wonderful sunshine. While walking inside with the beautiful trees and palms, they were watering with slow mist coming somewhere from above. The effects were beautiful and I tried to catch some on camera.

Unfortunetly, I forgot to get a photo of the outside of the building so I managed to google an image for reference and found a really nice photograph I thought I would use, by Mr Trevor Hampel. Thankyou, Trevor for letting be borrow your photo as reference!