Monday, March 29, 2010

OZone Cafe, Khartoum

OZone is a green oasis in the city. Based on a roundabout, tables and chairs are set out under the trees, besides the grass & plants. Frequently the whole area is misted with water through an ingenious system of pipes & sprays, keeping the patrons cool as the eat ice creams or sip tea. 
I sketched the edge of the cafe on Saturday in ink, but added the mist later with watercolour.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hamed El Nil tomb, Omdurman, Sudan

I have come to the conclusion that my tolerance to observers depends on how tired and/or fragile I feel. In Abu Dhabi airport last Friday, I abandoned my drawing due to the comments of the man sat next to me... mind, he was commentating after every stroke. However, it was a different situation this Friday afternoon.

I went to a big Sufi ceremony in the north of the city. Having arrived early, I wanted to draw the  tomb, which was to be the backdrop for the  ceremony. When I sat, on a crate kindly provided by my driver Mohammed (hired for the afternoon), I already had a little girl who had been following me around, and Mohammed stood next to me. Within minutes I was surrounded by curious people, and Mohammed  made them give me some space. Like the previous week, I stopped at the outline, but this time it was because I had decided beforehand to colour it at home, and unlike the previous week I only stopped when I thought I had drawn enough.

Right is how I left the sketch, whereas above is with the colour added yesterday. The photo was taken towards the end of the ceremony with a glimpse of the tomb.

Please excuse the quality of copies, my scanner is in UK and the colours look fine on my laptop, but not on the computer I am using to upload things on (for some reason my laptop will not connect).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First sketches from Sudan

Why is a new sketchbook so daunting? I had to contend with this fear and the fact that I was about to use my first-ever moleskin. Gulp Why do we have this fear? Do we think the first page will set the standard for the whole book, or believe that everyone will judge us by that page? 

Today I was invigilating an exam and so spent some of the time invigilating drawing Fatma & Nadia. My first marks where very wobbly, and the likenesses are not too good but I am quite pleased with how the thobes came out.

Last night, stood on my hotel balcony, I observed this man working 10 storeys up. He is stood straddling a single plank and a window, with a gap in between them. Using my old, larger sketchbook, I thought I would draw him. Quite soon after I started sketching he withdrew off the scaffolding. This is the second time I've observed very dangerous practices on the site next door, so tonight I have opened the door, but I haven't looked out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Abu Dhabi airport

In Abu Dhabi airport Friday morning, this woman was sleeping soundly on the chair in front of me. An ideal opportunity spoilt by the man next to me commenting after every pen stroke I made, so being tired and unable to face such scrutiny, I finished the outline and packed up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tiptree fire engine

Tiptree fire engine
Originally uploaded by travelingsuep
It was a lovely spring day as I waited for a bus yesterday. Wanting to complete my sketchbook before my next adventure, I stood leaning against the church wall to sketch the local fire engine, which was outside due to maintenance on the fire station.

I still have 3 pages to go in my sketchbook and only tonight to finish it, so I shall probably abandon it and start my brand-new, first ever, moleskin.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life drawing class - Alice

Monday I attended anther life drawing class in my endeavour to be more accurate in my observation and subsequent drawings. I find long lying down poses quite boring to draw, but I think I did okay. The seated pose was a 10 minute pose and would make a lovely sculpture... oh right Rodin did it already.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Admiring Van Gogh

I had half an hour to kill this afternoon, so I popped into the National Gallery. The milling crowds around the Van Gogh caught my eye, and after asking permission from the security guard, I just had to draw them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life drawing class - Michael

At class the other day, I was not expecting a male model. It took me a little while to settle, hence the very bad, unpublished,warm up drawings and the seated pose from the side, but after tea I drew the two reclining poses. I am very pleased with how I captured the foreshortening in the last picture of the day (top) and the strength of his legs. I measured and remeasured Michaels raised arm in the lower picture, and concluded it was a the way the pillow covered part of the arm which made it look wrong, I'm still not happy with it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chiesa di san Vittore, Pollenza

Heading south of Piemonte for the town of Acqui Terme, the tower of this church in Pollenza caught my eye from the road. Turning off I snapped some photos then couldn't resist trying to capture this arch.
It's still cold in the region, so I sketched in the car. Left is the initial ink sketch, then right is me painting on my lap.
I was on my way to visit my friend Diana of Baur B&B. She runs a beautiful boutique B&B with her husband, near Acqui Terme. The views are stunning as are the fabulous rooms. Check out their website, and I would thoroughly recommend staying with them to explore the area. 
What's more, Diana creates fabulous ceramics, so check out her online shop here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Initial drawing for EDM #21

EDM #21 - Draw something old, antique or vintage

 As I am leaving my rented accommodation soon, and I have been looking at this beautiful antique stove for a month, but haven't got around to drawing it, so I thought today is the day... but I now have to go to work and I've barely started. I am posting the initial drawing, in order to motivate me to finish it later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sketches in offices III

Arrived for a meeting this afternoon and found a locked office. Nearby was a huge, touching the ceiling, office plant. I have had my eye on drawing this for awhile, so I took advantage of the situation, leaning on the office wall to sketch. After 10 minutes, with the majority sketched, I called my office to find out what was going on. Sketched a couple more minutes before I was called back with the news that the meeting was cancelled. 
Result - no meeting, one sketch, and the chance to pop home for a cuppa, which is what I'm doing now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

SketchCrawl #26

 Journey down south: (top left)waiting for the coach to leave Turin; (bottom left) early Milan breakfast; (top right) gate signs; and (bottom right) waiting to board. Below is the sunrise witnessed after doing the 3rd sketch.
I'm not very happy with my lack of results this crawl. My problem was travelling most of the morning, then arriving in Orsomarso to cold & grey (there were patches of sun, whilst I was doing other things). It was to cold for me to sketch outside and the local churches would not have been any better. Still my first sketch I think is the earliest I have ever drawn. Hopefully, in May I will have someone else to sketch with, which I found to be a great motivator on #25,  and it should be warmer too.
Orsomarso clock tower from lounge window.