16 Mar 2017

Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Parade

I didn't plan on drawing the Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Parade. I came down to see it and was just going to draw the New Plymouth clock tower as I waited for it to start. When people started to wave the flags around though, I decided to include the crowd that was growing, just before the start of it.
When the parade was finished, I was still drawing and some of the groups were now walking back to the start area where, I guess, their cars were. On the sidewalk, there was a group of Irish kids together with some Chinese kids, both in national costume. Proud mums were taking photos of the multicultural bunch who was having a good ol' time. They were just having fun and not noticing that what they were doing was actually the whole point of the event.

12 Mar 2017

Sketch New Plymouth

Sketch New Plymouth weekend - Seaside Market at Ngamotu Beach , New Plymouth. Great time for families with a wide variety of stalls and bean bags for anyone to enjoy.
The weekend coincided with New Plymouth's  annual Multi Ethnic Extravaganza with a parade in the morning and a gala fair for the rest of the day.

4 Mar 2017

Let’s Sketch New Plymouth’ Informal Aotearoa Urban Sketching weekend 4/5 March

Today was the first day of the 'Informal' Aotearoa Urban Sketching weekend. What a full  on day it was too. Last night we had a dinner and a few of us sketched each other across the table:

Faye Sketching at Dinner.

Today the early birds started by sketching in the area of the Len Lye Centre. I met up with everyone at Ozone Coffee Roasters. It decided to rain, so we stayed put and sketched. I started sketching a cool leather bag that was hanging up on one of the coat hooks. Trouble was, the owner came and took it before I had finished!

We then went and had a look around the Len Lye Centre and the Govett Brewster Art Gallery. After that? Lunch.

Next stop Pukekura Park. I decided to try the Band rotunda. I've looked at this many times, but I've never tried to sketch it as it is quite intricate. I thought I would be brave today.

And here's a few photos:

Eileen, Paul and Maurice:

Dave and Andrew:

Eric, Paul and Maurice:

A gaggle of sketchers at the band rotunda:

Liliana from Lyttelton:

Coreen and Brian:

Eric from Auckland:

Coreen, Brian and Liliana:

The Wellington Group:

Dave and Andrew:

2 Mar 2017

Americarna 2017

The 10th year of the popular Americarna festival was still popular. After a very rainy Taranaki summer, the weather in New Plymouth was perfect for the multi-day event. I just sat in the shade and sketched the people looking at the classic cars.
Below is an Impala and a Belair from two years ago, and I've coloured last year's sketch too.

1 Mar 2017

We found a miniature bird's nest and egg.

So I haven't been to sketching much lately, what with one thing and another, so I thought I had better get my eye back in before the weekend.

On Sunday my Dad was trimming a tree and by luck really as it was so small we found a bird's nest with the remains of a very small egg in it. He thought it was a Fantail's nest as it had very little dark feathers in it as part of the construction.

So after a bit of research, I've decided it's not a Fantail's nest, but a Goldfinch's nest. A fantail lays a speckled creamy brown egg and has a much more elaborate nest. A sparrow also lays a speckled egg, so I have deduced this must be a Goldfinch nest. Mum and Dad have heaps of them at their place, so that would fit. It is very cleverly constructed using strands of blue baling twine, horse hair, little dark feathers, moss, grass, twigs and much more. When I looked it up the Goldfinch's nests I found online looked very similar and had blue or blue speckled eggs in them.

Here is my painting:

I took it outside to photograph it. I quite like the effect.

As you can see by the biro for scale, it was tiny.

22 Feb 2017

Shade at Gentlemen's Quarters

Intriguing to see Mt Taranaki appear on the back of a boy's head, and various korus along the side of his 'shade'. Jetcharm Barbers shop and Gentlemen's Quarters is where you can buy a coffee and sit in their outside seats or view their tiny boutique gallery.

16 Feb 2017

Bus Station Primping

On the left here is the New Plymouth Bus Station. While I was sketching, saw a bunch of people arrive on a bus. The last guy out seemed to be sorting out something in his bags for some time. After the bus and other passengers had gone, he stood up and adjusted his backwards-worn cap in a slightly reflective glass door. Front. Side. Tilt head up. No way. All wrong. Cap off. Get the knitted winter hat out. (It's summer.) Front. Side. Smiley head shake. Still no. Back to the cap. Still backwards. Maybe push it a bit forward though. Side. Point at yourself in the reflection. Yeah. Now it's doing it. Awesome. Where's that hostel?

14 Feb 2017

2 Feb 2017


I was at the Stratford Aero Club's Open Day in central Taranaki on the weekend. Just after we got there, a Spitfire arrived from just off the horizon. The pilot did some close fly-bys and tilted the wings for the cameras. I've heard fighter planes before and this one didn't have a usual deep rumble that a grunty aircraft engine would make. It sounded like there was still a lot of power there but not as loud as I expected. I've read about the Spitfires and they were quite renowned for their performance in the skies. It seemed very classy (and stealthy?) to be 'that kind of fighter plane' and yet have this nice purring engine. These are great planes!
After it landed, and parked on the airfield I started to sketch. I overheard someone say to another enthusiast that this particular Spitfire was a seven-eighth size replica with a V8 engine. 
I just kept drawing...