Sunday, December 26, 2010

Killer Heels

Killer Heels. Pencil A5 ©Sue Pownall 2010
Who's idea was it that women should stagger around in ridiculously high heels???? 

Those who know me well will testify that I rarely wear heels, let alone anything as preposterously high as these. However, these are just one of two pairs of killer heels, which I bought and have worn this month. So far I have succeeded in staying upright and not spread-eagled in a heap with a broken ankle or two; I'm not sure how I would manage back in icy Europe though.

This quick pencil sketch above was done on Christmas eve. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Bethlehem Star 130x130mm
Prompted by the Illustration Friday theme of Phenomenon (9th December), I thought it appropriate for the time of year to draw the celestial phenomenon of the Bethlehem star. Like the Magi, who arrived on 12th night (Epiphany), I thought I would finish this about then, after all, who draws a night sky with a 0.1 pen?? I was attempting a woodcut effect when I started, but it seems to have morphed, and yes I did end up using a 0.3 and 0.5 pen as well. This is the first time ever that I have drawn a Christmas illustration, so all I have to do is get it scanned properly and I have next year's cards! The reference photo was from a brilliant photo by Gary, which you can see here.

Merry Christmas everyone.
May God bless you and your family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sketching on National Day

National Day flags at Souq Waqif.
Saturday was Qatar's National Day and the city had a buzz, a vibrancy, that was contagious. After walking along the Corniche where the military parade had taken place ( I missed the soldiers on camels unfortunately), I headed into Souq Waqif. Whilst wandering around the cool lanes I stopped at a locals' café. I bought a couple of cups of Karak, a tea made with boiled up with canned milk, sugar and cardamom, and drew the stall opposite with its National day flags and the large flag in the next alley.
Proof I painted in situ.
Wandering into a new (for me) area of town, I came across the fascinating building below, which I had to paint. Whilst I had paintbrush in hand, paints beside me, and sketchbook in hand, a security guard asked me in a mix of English and Arabic "This inte?" (Short for - Was this painted by you?). Had to bite my tongue not to give a sarcastic response.
Initial drawing.
Building in Al Najada area.
Finally, here are some of my favourite sights of the day...
Nearly all cars had flags etc... but how does the driver see?
Qatari flag coloured clothes.
Flag waving.
Yes this is moving traffic & kids sitting on cars!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Camel watching

Yesterday afternoon, I returned to Darb Al Sai's National day celebrations and drew these whilst watching the camel dressage - they had to negotiate around a course against the clock. A selection of photos are below.
Mimi, I didn't get the opportunity to draw the beautiful Arabian horses (from the Al Shaqab stud), but took some photos.
Please remember all images are © copyright of me, Sue Pownall. 
If you want to use any, please contact me first.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fidgetting camels...

Breakfast time.
 ... are a nightmare to try and sketch.
Breakfast II
However these are this mornings attempts done with pencil and watercolour in A5 Daler sketchbook.
Being ridden & faces.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2nd Doha SketchCrawl - 11th December

Pen & ink in A5 Daler sketchbook.
I found the 2nd Doha SketchCrawl a little disappointing. Despite calling for sketchers on several different forums, including the SketchCrawl official site, there were only 3 of us again last Saturday. On top of that, the others seemed more interested in chatting and relaxing, which is what a Saturday is about I guess. We drew the giant oyster on Doha's Corniche, which was our meeting point and is every tourist's first photo point. However, after that there didn't seem any good places to sit and draw the nearby dhows. This is my second failed attempt to sketch them, the first back in October was abandoned due to the high humidity, third time lucky perhaps?
1st Oct.  Being a tourist.

Then we headed into the souq for coffee. Whilst the others chatted I sketched a couple of people nearby, attempting to talk too, unfortunately the others' lethargy rubbed off and that was all I did.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Virtual Paintout - County Clare, Éire.

Shannon Estuary. Pen & ink 245x160mm
After drawings for the Muscat exhibition I want to do more pen and ink work. However, I want to experiment and try a looser style ~ a mix between the controlled finished pieces and my sketching style. This is the result from yesterday's attempt for Virtual Paintout.

The main purpose of Virtual Paintout is "to gather in one area of the world, virtually, once a month with other artists. To paint or draw a scene and composition of your choosing, within a predetermined area."  My previous VP entry was in April, you can see it here.

While the main rule is that "the artist must use a view found through Google Street View as the reference for the painting or drawing". Here is the map where I found my view, to the west of Limerick, in the Shannon Estuary.

© Google Maps
Check out the other County Clare pictures over at Virtual Paintout.

Friday, December 10, 2010

EDM 301 - Draw something cute

Isabelle's cat
Originally uploaded by travelingsuep
Sketched whilst staying with Isabelle in Muscat last weekend, Tom is certainly something cute.

Pen & watercolour in A5 Daler sketchbook.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Muscat exhibition

As I wrote in my last post, I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the Oman-Africa event to celebrate 40 years' rule by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. In the end I had 3 pieces hung of which you can see two in the picture above.

I think I'm not in a good place at the moment as even when I saw my pictures hung, I had negative thoughts...
  • The framing is wrong. The framers reduced the area of the pictures, not a problem on the 1st two, but I took the last one to my edges and had to trim it to get it in the mount. I was non-specific about sizes, and they cut a narrower mount than I envisaged, which I also didn't specify. Live and learn! 
  • They look so small. Everyone had huge paintings.
  • I shouldn't have brought the third piece as it's not as good as the other two. 
  • I should have worked harder and done more pieces.
  • The exhibition space is not good.
Maybe the reason I felt/feel like this is because I do have drawings hung in various peoples houses (not just my parents'), and I have done since I was at college, so to see my pictures hung was not really a new experience? Maybe if the event had only been an exhibition it would have seemed different?

15th Street Mosque, Khartoum
I know I need to change my thinking. I need to focus on the positive.
  • I took part in an exhibition.
  • I got some finished pieces done, instead of just sketching.
  • I do not know what interest may have been generated.
  • Everyone has to start somewhere.
  • The event was a success for the organisers. (I must stop being so egotistical in my positive thinking.)
Am I alone in this experience? Am I the only one who hasn't bounced for joy at their first exhibition? I would love to hear your experiences.