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.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IF - Blur

This morning we had a small sand storm and the mountains opposite my flat could barely be seen. Everything had a nasty murky quality, instead of the sharp mountains and crisp white buildings. I have attempted to represent the lack of clarity, the blur of the vista in my watercolour.

Monday, November 9, 2009

USk weekly theme - Poles

Possum set the theme this week for Urban Sketchers of poles. 
"Telephone poles, utility poles, poles, posts and all things pointy pointed to the sky. That's right, this week is your opportunity to draw those ever-urban vertical creations that keep wires plugged into homes and apartments and businesses humming with electricity."

It's very strange but it's not until you get in the back streets that you see power lines here in Muscat, or at least I had never noticed them until the challenge.

This was so NOT something I would normally try to draw and here are the notes I made while drawing- So far out of my comfort zone!!! Hate drawing cars! Don't draw street scenes. Like people and details. 08/11/09 Why did I choose a scene with a mosque and palm trees?

Despite all these complaints I am actually quite pleased with the results and I am glad I pushed myself to take up this challenge. On top of that, I finished my larger sketchbook!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photohunt: Military

I like the military precision of these flags flying as part of Bahrain's National Day celebrations. Taken December 2007.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sketches at the camel races this morning.

In-between the camel races, Omani men danced and chanted to entertain the spectators (first picture). Whilst the race was on the men sat around a speaker watching the race on the big screen (second picture). I couldn't take my sketchbook to the races without trying to draw a camel or two, but as they were constantly moving I did try for long.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Couple from this week

           Last Thursday, I started this watercolour on Al Bustan Village beach whilst waiting to see a friend. I finished it by adding the colour to the rocks earlier this week. It seems a bit murky, but that's how it has scanned, the original, I think, is quite bright and clean. The sketch of the port, posted earlier, was drawn a couple of hours later and is 20 minutes drive from the village.

The pen & ink sketch was done in the Turkish House restaurant. As the friend I was having dinner with was stuck in traffic, and I have always loved their cute tissue box, I took the opportunity to draw it. On Urban Sketchers the drawings are often of the buildings, but unless there are people who catch my eye the interiors of restaurants and cafes do nothing for me. Each to their own I guess.