Friday, September 9, 2011

Havana in sketches

Beltran hotel
Hotel Beltran © Sue Pownall 2011
I’m going to start with an apology, as my scanner is dying and I cannot get good reproductions of my drawings from Cuba, at least you can get an idea of the sketches I did.

When I arrived in Havana I stayed in an old building with a courtyard. So naturally, my first painting of the holiday was the view from my room with the magnificent blue paint work.

The next day I went to the cathedral square and found some shade in a cafe, but was feeling very self-conscious and was not pleased with the results.

Havana (17)Havana cathedral
These were the only 2 sketches I did at that time as I spent the rest of the 2 days wandering around taking photos or sleeping. It was also very hot, humid, and with intermitant rain. I was far more productive on my return to Havana for the last 2 days of my stay, but yet again I also spent a lot of time taking photos. I'll post some of those next.
From the steps
Nextdoor to Fabrica de Tabacos © Sue Pownall 2011

Rising early in the morning, my first stop was in the park next to the Capitolio Nacional, where I did a loose watercolour painting. So loose I’m not posting it. Then I walked around the back of the building and spotted some buildings crying out to be painted. Unfortunately, a security/police man told me I was not allowed to sit there, but when I explained I was an artist and just wanted half an hour to draw the buildings, he let me stay. Unfortunately, I’d have loved to stay a whole hour, but didn’t want to push my luck. btw I was working on A4 the majority of the trip and most drawings took me about an hour/hour & quarter. Whilst I was sat there one of the other guards presented me with a pink rose bud.
On Prado © Sue Pownall 2011

Next I walked down the Prado and painted two beautiful buildings both with different styles of decoration and had been adapted differently by the inhabitants. Again, I got talking to some police, who were friendly and curious, and I think probably happy to find some relief of their boredom. Unfortunately, I cannot get the colours on the scan to come out anywhere near the original and may take a photo to add here tomorrow.

Havana 3
In Plaza del Cristo © Sue Pownall 2011

My final drawing of the day was a boarded up building, but still with inhabitants on the first floor judging by the washing draped about, in Plaza del Cristo. No police this time, but a lovely old man sat on the same bench and chatted to everyone who walked past and me when there wasn’t anyone else.
 Havana (146)

Left is a photo of the building and the completed sketch in the early evening sunlight. I was very pleased with the day’s sketches, but it had been easy to sketch a lot as it had been less humid and slightly cooler than most days I spent in Cuba.