Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life drawing class

For the first time in a very long time, on Monday morning I attended a drop-in life drawing class. I was quite pleased with the results, especially on the quick poses, but reverted to drawing "as-you-are-supposed-to" rather than like me for the final long pose :(    It was the first time I had drawn in pencil for a while too, and loved using the 5B for the strong bold strokes, at least until the end when I got all tight and precious about my drawing. Oh well, it was a learning experience.
Above are 2 of the drawings from the morning, the first a 20 minute pose and the bottom one a 35 minute pose, which I moved around to get the three viewpoints.

On the Friday before, after writing in Pompeii that it was to cold to draw outside here in Europe, it was a beautiful morning when I got to Napoli airport, so I stood outside sketching the smokers and phone users.  Then, whilst waiting to board, I drew the man with his laptop (Bottom right).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too cold to sketch outside...

for longer than 5 mins. Today I took out my sketchbook for the first time this week; last time was in transit in Dubai International airport. Here is one of the three drawings; it's not my trolley.

This afternoon, I was in the archaeological site of Pompeii. Being December, Europe, and late afternoon, after 5 minutes sketching I had to stop and start walking as I felt my hands were going numb, consequently I only did two quick sketches. I think this photo captures the essence of the afternoon.

After walking around Pompeii for an hour and half I had to find a cafe for a warming hot chocolate. Here are my 2 five minute sketches, unfinished.

Here is one of my favourite photos - stepping stones over wheel ruts.

Finally, photos of the Christmas lights in Pompeii's main square.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eid holiday - a week of sketching...

Saturday 28th November.
I went to put my rubbish in the bin on the way to the car, and spotted this stray dog trying to find food in the bins. I whipped out my sketchbook, which since Sept is always in my bag, and drew these couple of sketches before a car scared him off.

Later that evening, I just had to finish up the delicious lemon liquor I'd bought in South Africa. The bottle was hand decorated, as I'd bought it in a little delicatessen, so worthy of drawing. The glass was added as an after-thought for scale, and I think the drink made me put the lines in the wrong place. 

Sunday 29th November.
After I got home from drawing the fort (posted earlier this week here), I went to an expats' haunt, Darcys, for lunch. Preferring the prawn sandwich, which is only served in MQ branch, I went there. The sandwich was unavailable, no prawns, but as I sat outside I drew the plant and lamp in front of me, so prawns or not it was a good lunch.

Monday 30th November.
I was not feeling 100%, but noticing my Aloe plant, which I have nursed since a young plant for 3.5 years, had produced a flower, I did this 5 minute colour sketch.

Tuesday December 1st.
This morning I don't feel well, a cold, headache, sickness BAH. What shall I draw??? Nothing, going back to bed.

After procrastinating for several hours, feeling sorry for myself, I finally drew the view from the lounge, as I liked the colours on the washing line. 

Wednesday December 2nd.
Spent the day sightseeing with a friend, who decided to come for a last-chance visit to Oman. I started sketching this in the Al Bustan Palace Hotel over a cup of tea. I do not remember seeing this instrument played before. Unfortunately, he took a break before I had finished drawing.

Thursday December 3rd.
I had a very difficult day with a mile long to-do list, so I did a quick sketch sitting outside at the Lazy Lizard bar, whilst my friend was away from the table.

Friday December 4th.
I made it, a week of sketching! What a long way I have come since starting this blog in September (3 months ago) and writing that I hoped to draw or sketch at least once or twice a month. 

Today, noticing how much the flower on the aloe has grown this week, and with the IF theme Entangled about to expire, I thought I would draw the whole plant. The plant has both got entangled in itself and within the gazebo. The complete drawing is here. I intend to either continue in pen later, or to colour it. I have not decided yet.

In the afternoon, my visiting friend and I went to Al Bustan Palace Hotel again, this time to have their afternoon tea, which was fabulous. My friend was nearing the end of her book, so whilst she read I did some sketches. First, various bits and pieces from the tea.

Then I drew the violinist, which I found difficult as she kept changing the angle of the violin, moving her arms and hands.
Finally, some orchids in a vase near our table.

I miss my scanner, which is in transit, so I've had to take photos of all these sketches. Hopefully, we will be reunited late Dec or beginning of the new year. Until then, I'm sorry for the quality of reproductions on this blog.

Friday, December 4, 2009

IF - Entangled

It is Friday morning and I am very late to submit this, but luckily I'm on a different time zone to Illustration Friday. I think, my aloe plant, which is both entangled in itself and entangled in the gazebo, perfectly matches the theme. Working in situ, I drew the outline with the intention of  either colouring the illustration or continuing in pen. I will post the final illustration when it is finished.  In the meantime...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A disappearing old place.

Urban Sketchers on Flickr set this week's sketch theme as Disappearing Old Places. So this morning I went out and drew Al Fetah Fort, which is near Muscat Private Hospital, but behind the Bousher sand dunes.

Al Fetah Fort, Muscat by you.

I have been meaning to draw this fort for a long time, especially as I used to live around the corner from it, and was inspired to do so by the theme. It is built of adobe brinks & sand, on sand. I guess that's why it is disappearing. I sat in my car on this warm, sticky day (around 28c with 70% humidity) giving myself the odd blast of AC, which I don't like to do as I try to be as environmental friendly as possible. The village is to the left of the fort, as can just be seen in the photo below, whereas in-front of, and to the right is waste ground and a date plantation. As normal in Muscat, it stands against a background of mountains.

Please excuse the quality of the pic, my scanner has been shipped prior to my move. The photo below was taken to the right of where I sat, and before I had finished as I needed to stretch my legs after nearly an hour sitting still.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanks to Flickr users

I am so flattered by flickr users, my drawing of the view from my flat has had so many hits... 31 hits on there alone, without blog and facebook. Thank you all.

My pics & drawings on flickr are here.

Photohunt: Technology

I do not think any technology can be as great as nature itself.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Night sketching for USk's theme

This was really difficult to draw. not because I was drawing a building from my 5th floor terrace, but because I couldn't see. I had to keep stepping away from my viewpoint, and get under the light, in order to see what I had drawn.
The candle light I was mainly using, when not moving to terrace light.
 My first night sketch was done on Monday. I started drawing this palm decorated with lights, whilst waiting for a friend. I had walked around for ages trying to find an interesting view, and to be invisible. I was okay once drawing, but very self conscious at first. It is unfinished, as my friend arrived early.

Please excuse the quality of the pics, my scanner has been shipped prior to my move.

Gratitude Friday - the view

Gratitude Friday is a concept conceived by Diana over at Creative Structures and encourages people to stock of what is good in their lives on a weekly basis. I normally post gratitude Friday to my other blog, but after comments from friends on Wednesday, I realised not only did I have to draw my view before I leave this apartment in a week's time, but also how blessed I've been to be able to look out at this daily.

It started out as a lot bigger scene, but after drawing the house in front of me I decided to chop off all the left side. (As seen in the photo) Luckily I had outlined in pencil, and apart from a few telegraph wires, was able to do so easily.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

IF - Music

Inspired by Jenni Eden's art spa last week, I thought I would attempt to represent the music in my head in an abstract way. Not sure how successful it is, as I've only just finished it, a few hours before the theme finishes. I may work on it some more when I see it in daylight tomorrow. or I may abandon it. It seems quite troubled, maybe because I am tired.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

25th SketchCrawl - Muscat

For this special 25th SketchCrawl, a friend and I went out sketching here in Oman . We had to crawl on Friday as we work on Saturdays (the official SketchCrawl day) and we wanted the opportunity to sketch as much as possible. We started at 9.30am and finished during lunch around 2.30. Very tired, but very satisfied.

Here are my results for the day, I am especially pleased with the first drawing.
I thought I'd do some details:

I was using a different sketchbook to normal and discovered it doesn't take watercolour, so this was my only colour sketch of the day.
We both drew this gate

Then we moved on to Harmel a little fishing village. Distracted, I took lots of photos of the kids playing in the sea and on the beach, and did a couple of quick drawings. 
  Here we are, the Muscat SketchCrawlers:
We haven't had a fight... I was sketching a building, whilst Mark sketched a boat and the sea. FYI I don't normally dress like this, but it is a conservative Omani village, and we were there at the time of Friday prayers, so I covered up. This is the building, and following USk's recent theme, I sketched some more power lines..

Finally,I drew these over lunch at the marina. (I'd recommend the Hammour). A man talking at the next table
and the British Ambassador's residence.

It was a fabulous day drawing, although I was very tired afterwards, I am very happy with the results. I don't know which country I will be in for the next sketchcrawl, but I am already looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Art Spa - Freedom to make a mess

To do something special for my leaving Muscat, Jenni Eden, a fabulous artist check out her website here, ran an art spa for me and a couple of friends. It was very liberating, although by the end I still wasn't keen on getting squirted with paint.

We started off working as a group practising with the acrylic paints, inks, and other media on long sheet of paper (see pics right, incl. detail). It was fun squirting the paints and seeing what happened, how they mixed, or not, and what colour combinations worked, or didn't. We ended up with paint on the paper, as expected, the wall, clothes, hands, feet, and everything in-between, and, in Jenni's case, on the face.
Then, it was time to paint on canvas. Considering we all had the same size canvases, access to the same paints, glitter etc, we ended up with totally different pictures. Mine is above and our afternoon results are below.

If you live in Oman, whether you are an artist or not, why not contact Jenni and arrange an art spa for yourself? She has a contact form on her site:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another morning invigilating

I don't like the drawing pen I have in my handbag as it makes too dark lines, even though it's supposedly a fine nib. It is very unforgiving as initial guide lines end up too prominent. Oh well, at least sketching some of the students helped pass the two, very long, hours I was invigilating their exam.