The American car festival, AmeriCARna, came around again. I ended up chatting with people, got distracted and mucked up a few sketches. That's the bad side to using a pen. I did get one sketch from the 2018 show though: a 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby.
We've been having such great summer days that it's hard to find time to see the indoor exhibitions at Puke Ariki museum. We went to the show, "At the Beach: 100 years of summer fashion in New Zealand" on the last weekend before it closed and was refreshed by a new exhibit. The next day, we got tons of rain, here in New Plymouth, from a front of a cyclone. The day after that, we lost power for four hours due to strong winds. So... can we have an extension on the show and get our summer back?
In the attempt to stay out of the heat, I went into Pukekura Park to sketch in the shade. As I sketched the Tea House on the lake, I kept thinking how they sell ice cream. Of course I was too weak to resist.
I drew this one last summer but waited until it was coloured before I posted it. Turns out that it took me a year to bring it back out. I remember sketching it. Last year we had a terrible rainy summer with that one day of sun. Well, this was that day and it was a scorcher. I had a tons of sunscreen on but in the end, it was pretty brutal just sitting in the sun drawing. The worst part was that I kept looking at the "ice cold drinks" sign the whole time. I promised that when I was done, I was going to walk over there and buy one. It was maybe one of the best drinks of my life.
So here we are one year later and it's been very warm every single day. The The Fitzroy Beach Kiosk is in colour. I've actually printed and framed this one and is now added to the window at the BookStop Gallery as part of my display for the month of February.
I have some work in the window of the BookStop Gallery on Brougham Street, here in New Plymouth. I'll be adding and changing the selection throughout the month of February.
Here is a set of three sketches showing the construction of a new inner city motel and the buildings that used to be there. I had to go back multiple times for these since they were done at lunchtimes and I wanted to get a newer style of taxi in the same place as the first 2012 sketch (which also has the old style parking meters too).
I had some time to kill at the local mall so I went and did a sketch of the sushi restaurant on the top floor. It's the kind that has the plates circulating on conveyors so that you can choose as you are seated. Normally when I'm there (eating, not sketching), I can be a while since I like seeing the selections go by and I just like, you know... eating. The two people in my drawing just came in and started on the first plate in front of them. They had their business faces on, had multiple plates and were gone in 10 under minutes. So I learned that this place is really good if you don't have a lot of time. It was also a reminder that when drawing people, when you start, commit to it! You don't know when anyone can move or leave.
This is a pedestrian bridge that forms part of the Coastal Walkway. It crosses the Te Henui stream just before it flows into the sea. I did the watercolour about half a year ago but I didn't really like it and put it away. After I did the pen sketch, I pulled out the other one to compare (as it was of the same place). Maybe it wasn't finished, maybe it needed more paint, maybe the darks weren't dark enough... It's hard to say since I'm sort of just starting to use watercolours myself. So I went back into it and did some more painting; it's much better than before. I saved it but it's a lesson in how important it is to get the right amount of paint/water when putting down colours the first time on a page.
Here's a watercoloured sketch of a Pohutukawa tree. It's a native New Zealand species that has bright red flowers at this time of the year. I've heard some Kiwis say that this is a New Zealand Christmas tree (I guess from them being red and green over the holiday season).