This is a sketch from one of the gardens that was in the Garden Festival. It still seems intact after the crowds returned home.
Here's a view from my window. A little bit of sun made it more appealling to sketch. I've never drawn this view before since it always just seemed like too much at once. So many leaves! And tree ferns! So overwhelming. Well, I think I managed to find a way to draw it all without drawing EVRY leaf.
Before Lockdown, we stayed at a classy old-timey hotel in Rotorua. It had hotpools, creaky floors, stained glass and many chandeliers. The restaurant also had a painting of Duke, the man that the restaurant was named after. Clearly though, that was a nickname and is real name was George.
This one was done in July before lockdown. It was just after a big storm and patches of seaweed were washing up on the beaches. Although I've never collected it myself, it's pretty good in a garden. There's a small window from when it shows up to when it washes back into the sea. At times, there were quite a few harvesters on the beach. While stuck at home, I gave this one this one the colour treatment.
There's a pedestrian bridge that connects to a hill that overlooks the Tasman Sea. Of course I'm drawing in the other direction. I don't know. It just how I do it.
There is a local flower farm that had an open day to invite the public to have a look around. The rows of different varieties not only attracted the bees but all the local social media influencers. While I sketched*, I watched many important online personalities requiring their photos amongst the flower fields as if this was a daily occurance for them. The truth is, it was kind of surprising that Emerden Flower Farm is here in Taranaki at all and it is actually quite a place.
(*sketched on location, but coloured four months later on a rainy winter's day at home.)
This one's from March when we were watching the triathlons finish at Ngamotu Beach. You can see here that there was a big screen behind the podium. It had drone footage of the other parts of the course so that we knew when to clap.
This year's ANZAC dawn ceremony had a naval crew attend when they were docked in Port Taranaki. Also, shown here are some of the other year's sketches.
Some people have asked me how I can do a sketch like this. Well, here's some protips:
- Get there early and find that sweet spot. Good view for composition and in this case, good lighting - it was pretty dark.
- Start into it right away. You won't have that much time at something like this. Also, you might get cold and that will make it harder to draw. So draw before you get cold.
- Start getting in the stuff that won't move or won't get covered up by people as they arrive.
- Because when people start to arrive, it's all go on the people. (You thought you had no time before!)
- Try to draw all over and roughly get the whole scene in. You can clean up lines, fill in dark areas and colour stuff later. Once your subjects are gone though, that's it!
- Also, don't be afraid to do that stuff. Clean up lines, fill in dark areas and colour stuff later! It's totally allowed since it's your sketchbook. It's always better to draw on location but if you can't stay, or the subject isn't there anymore, there's no reason that you can't improve your drawings if you felt like it and are able to.