Sketchbook: Boy&Girl — Brisbane Powerhouse

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).

Sketchbook page with tiny sketches of audience and crew and MC

As previously mentioned, I expanded my usual limited speed-sketching colour palette by adding pink for flamboyance.

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

The joy of this sort of sketching is in capturing the movements.

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

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.)

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

Lighting is tricky in this medium, at this speed, in a show with LED and fire components.

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

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.

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

Boots and heels!

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

Lyrical dance and sequins and shadows and fire!

Tiny sketches of people singing and dancing and doing acrobatics at a cabaret

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.

Photo of sketchbook and pens on music stand with light on balcony looking over stage performance

The show is on for two more nights, and check out Oscar Production Company to see what else they do!

Up late sketching Boy&Girl

Sketchbook page with tiny sketches of audience and crew and MC
Audience settling in, crew in position, MC takes the stage

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.

Photo of sketchbook and pens on music stand with light on balcony looking over stage performance

TV Sketching: Queens of Mystery

Some sketches (done in Procreate) of Queens of Mystery Season 2 Episodes 1 & 2, “Sparring with Death” (Acorn TV).

The usual rules apply: no pausing.

Never enough time to draw houses!
Never trust a sauna
There were some very complicated chairs
Group shots are a trick at speed
Tiny shoelace-tying moment! Also: dramatic lighting remains enjoyable to draw.

It’s a very stylised show, which makes it a lot of fun to sketch: strong clear colour cues and coding, distinctive silhouettes, slightly exaggerated movements. I wouldn’t mind going back and sketching the first season.

More TV sketching: Murder, She Wrote

A few more TV sketches! These are from Murder, She Wrote — Season 1 Episodes 3 (“Deadly Lady”), 4 (“Birds of a Feather”) and 5 (“Hooray for Murder”).

Drawn on the iPad using Procreate, and as usual the rule is I can’t pause the show.

Lessons:

  • Jessica Fletcher is tricky to draw at speed. It would be useful to draw her for a while from stills until I work out a visual shorthand.
  • Concentrating on one element (e.g., hair or mouths) is rewarding and simplifies choosing what to concentrate on.

TV Sketching — Murder, She Wrote

More TV sketching! As ever, the rule is I can’t pause the show while drawing.

These are for “The Murder of Sherlock Holmes”, the first two episodes of Murder, She Wrote, which is FINALLY available to watch online. The first season at least. (9Now, if you’re in Australia.)

It has a lot more fast closeups on faces — particularly Jessica Fletcher’s — than some of the other shows I’ve sketched, and I don’t have a shorthand for her yet. This is no speed at which to try likenesses!

Fancy-dress parties are THE BEST to sketch, in life or TV. Costumes are a brilliant stand-in for character likenesses or other physical accuracy (as for any sketches of Sebastian from Shakespeare & Hathaway).

Tricky perspective angles, e.g. looking at a walkway from below, are also a challenge at speed. It’s easy to rely on what I “know” (mostly eye-level) vs what I’m actually seeing.

So many trenchcoats. Also, every time I concentrate on strong lighting in a scene, I’m pleased with the result — torchlight here at lower right, or from previous Midsomer Murders the blue light from a phone and light through a chapel door.

TV sketching: Shakespeare & Hathaway

My housemate and I decided it was time for a rewatch of Shakespeare & Hathaway — Private Investigators, so I have been sketching.

As usual with tv sketching, the rule is that I can’t pause the show. These are done on the iPad, in Procreate (with a “ballpoint pen” brush, if that is relevant to your interests).

It’s a show that’s heavy on character actors, but it tends to lean more on faces than Midsomer Murders does (a lot of longer shots in Midsomer). This makes it trickier to catch at-speed.

S1E1: “O Brave New World”

Luella Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) has a lovely signature pink, which is such fun, especially since I don’t gravitate to it in drawings as a matter of course.

S1E1: “O Brave New World”

Sebastian “I was just tuning my lute” Brudenell (Patrick Walshe McBride) has a wonderful face and is almost always in disguise.

S1E1: “O Brave New World”

I do enjoy drawing crime scene investigators in full PPE on British shows.

S1E2: “The Chimes at Midnight”

This does not look like a sketch of Timothy West, but at least I can tell which sketch was meant to be him.

S1E2: “The Chimes at Midnight”

The buildings are so gorgeous and the camera rarely lingers!

S1E3: “This Promised End”

Trying to capture both the immense fun Elizabeth Berrington was apparently having AND the swoop in Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton)’s hair in the first seasons.

S1E3: “This Promised End”

Also quick-drawing a funeral cortege.

Cat sketches

Here are some sketches of a handsome and bitey cat, not mine, named Henry.

Some previous cat drawings: Cats; Twilight Cats.

Mystery 101 sketches

Here is some more TV sketching — the first episode of Mystery 101 this time. The usual TV sketching rule applied: no pausing the show while drawing.

I like the middle right (black jacket) pose, and the jaw on the guy with the satchel.

American hair, great coats.

I like the way the two bottom right poses turned out, and the light on the bottom right face. I’m not sure how much was intentional, but it looks effective.

I am hoping to get back to some Midsomer Murders, but my housemate and I have to work out which seasons we’ve seen least recently. I would sketch other shows, but we’ve but watching creepier ones and I need to keep my eyes on the screen.

Previous TV sketching:

School sketches — Concordia

My week as artist in residence at Concordia Lutheran College was wonderful (lively, inventive, intense), but without much time for drawing. So, since I finished just before lunch on the Friday, I sat out in the quadrangle and did some very quick sketches.

The uniforms have changed since I was there (ours were brown, white and yellow). (Also I hardly ever sat in the quadrangle when I was there — I mostly spent lunch hours in the library).

I don’t draw groups as often as I’d like to, but it’s always worthwhile — the different attitudes and interaction, the necessary speed.

The flocking which happens in any group of people with overlapping interests, but concentrated, like birds wheeling on the sound of a bell.

More Midsomer sketching

Here are a few more Midsomer Murders sketches (season 22 episode 4). As ever, the rule is that I can’t pause the show.

Previously on Midsomer Sketching: