I didn’t sketch a whole lot on the trip. I am editing a large project that is fighting back, and had some other deadlines, and still wasn’t really well yet. And the rest of the time I was catching up with people and/or looking at things with people, neither of which really suit sketching.
But I did draw a fair bit on my three days in London — there was a tube strike, so I only arranged two meetings, and I had my days largely to myself. So in spite of the heat, I got to the V&A and the Soane collection, among others, and walked along canals and met a fashion MA student (skyc.design) who suggested I go sketch at the Graduate Fashion Week, so I did that, too.
Here I am in 2011(!) drawing on the wall of a cafe in King’s Cross, Sydney (Coco Bar, I can’t find that it exists anymore). I’d been staying in a youth hostel across the road and sketching while having coffee each morning, and the cafe staff kept asking me to paint a mural. I kept saying no, I was leaving soon (and hadn’t done a mural). Then they came out one morning with a permanent marker and said, “Free coffee until you leave,” and I bargained them up to free daily coffee and pain au chocolat, and then freehand-drew the picture directly on the wall.
This, incidentally, is still the best way to get me to do most things: trap me in the location, feed me, and don’t let me out until I’ve done the thing.
Here’s the page of the sketchbook I am using as reference in the photo.
I spent last weekend at Oz Comic-Con. After a panel with the very excellent author Trent Jamieson (on “Pinning Magic to the Page” with Trent Jamieson, hosted by Angela who did a fabulous job interviewing us both), I spent most of the weekend at a table selling books and stickers and some little original pen and ink drawings. It was a really lovely, convivial weekend.
And of course, my table was prime real estate for being able to sketch passers-by (the only drawback was that the table blocked my view of feet when people were close by). It was further enhanced by being next to Thor of Oz, with whom people kept stopping to pose for pictures.
So here are my sketches of various cosplayers from Oz Comic-Con Homegrown Brisbane 2022, beginning with a close-up of the only sketch for which I interrupted a conversation: Kermit holding Mjolnir.
If you’re in these pictures and would like to repost the picture of you online for personal use, you’re very welcome to — just please credit it to me (Kathleen Jennings — I’m @tanaudel on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, tanaudel.wordpress.com or kathleenjennings.com otherwise). But if you’d like to buy me a virtual coffee (see below), that is very welcome, too!
If you’d like to follow me / support artists (me) / buy things with (my) art on them here are some options!
Here are all the pages from my sketchbook from last night at the wild, impressive, ribald and hilarious cabaret/performance Boy&Girl (from Oscar Production Company) at the Brisbane Powerhouse (it’s still on for two more nights).
The joy of this sort of sketching is in capturing the movements.
The physical personalities of the people on stage.
(And it was delightful meeting more of the cast afterwards, and watching them pick out people — even the ones without the super-obvious costumes.)
Lighting is tricky in this medium, at this speed, in a show with LED and fire components.
But occasionally — as with the audience members at the table below, and the crew on the first page, I can capture a hint of what the light was doing.
Boots and heels!
Lyrical dance and sequins and shadows and fire!
As posted yesterday, here is my little setup in the balcony — the crew let me borrow a stand and light, which was great. If I get to sneak in to sketch a show like this again, I’m going to experiment with some sort of low-powered booklight.
This evening I went to Boy&Girl (from Oscar Production Company) at the Brisbane Powerhouse — I’d been on Saturday to watch it with friends, but they (specifically Em and Bryce) let me back this evening to sketch from the balcony!
I’ll post more pictures later, but there are only two more nights of shows. so if you’re in Brisbane and want some ribald, lyrical, raunchy, acrobatic cabaret-style fun (and it certainly is having enormous fun, as well as being very skilful), head to the Powerhouse website to book.
I was working mostly in the dark, so had to limit my colour choices severely to be able to find anything. Usually, as posted about previously, I’d default to blue and gold. But given the colour and spangles (and fire, etc) of the show, I added in hot pink and a lighter pink, which actually gave a reasonable range.
More pictures soon. In the meantime, here is my setup in the balcony, on one of the lit music stands being used by the crew.
Support directly. E.g. ReLove is one of my favourite cafes, where I edited a lot of Flyaway (it’s in the acknowledgements) and where I get a lot of my odder art reference materials. I’ve been washing vintage plates and running bags of microfibre towels through the dryer. They have a GoFundMe to replace destroyed equipment (or their PayPal address is email@example.com).