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.
This is a fake lighthouse. We were driving around the coast and thought that we would like like to turn off and see it again. We've been there before but it was a number of years ago. When we got there it was watching over the stormy boat launch. Since we were there last, a boat club building was also built next to it. But then we remembered, it wasn't exactly on the shore like this and was also on a small hill. It turns out that Google said that the actual one, that is pretty much identical, is another minute drive down a road from where we were. This was a fake replica that looks pretty much the same, in almost the same place as the other one. Since we were already there though, and it was against the dark grey sea, we thought that this one would be at least as interesting to sketch.
Here's another one from Inglewood. I found a bench out of the sun and noticed all the signs and posters. The top signs were reasonably redundant. The left one was missing a bit in the middle displaying a plywood midriff. Beside that one was a flippy one that displayed different ads, except that it didn't flip or display anything.
Last weekend, we went to a car show. It was the kind that had all types of clubs showing off their best. By far, our favourites were the ones that were in the shade. This happened to be the New Zealand Military Vehicle Club so there were several trucks and jeeps. (We found out later that some members even have small tanks!) It was quite hot that day and after many minutes at the Sausage Sizzle and the bake sale we decided to sit in the shade. I pulled out my book and sketched this officer's World War 2 deluxe jeep (actually a Dodge). Since it's not as tall and wider than other jeeps of the time it seemed more modern with it's Hummer-like proportions.
Over two years ago, I helped put together a catalogue for a "Complete Dispersal" cow sale (A Cattle-Og). When completed, I was invited to the event. It was in a very small town in South Taranaki. Several generations of award-winning breeding came to an end and was to be sold off entirely. It was way busier than expected and was broadcast live to the food barn and the internet for international bidders.
It was actually quite a big deal and we spent the weekend down there sketching the sale and the town. Instead of posting them online as usual, I put them aside. In 2020, I put them all together and digitally painted (coloured) the cow sale sketches. The final piece was 1x1 metre and was entered into the 'Homework' art show at the New Plymouth museum, Puke Ariki. It was chosen and is still there until the 8th of February.
After the Covid lockdown in New Zealand, I think that lots of people forgot that they can go out to see art shows and stuff like that again. If you're in New Plymouth over the holiday period, you should check it out.
A no-breeze glassy-water morning at Fitzroy Beach. Lots of surfers. 2 hours later, a breeze made it cold, the water was choppy and the surfers were gone.