Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who needs a tv? aka Sketching Muscat Festival III

Into the arena, A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
I'm having the BEST time at Muscat Festival. Apart from the cultural things, what can beat a nighttime performance of fountains dancing to classical music complete with lasers and pyrotechnics? Or what about an Arabic drama complete with a two-headed bad guy, who every time he entered the stage is accompanied by red lighting and fog?
Sword men, A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012

I dashed straight to the Festival from work yesterday afternoon and went to the Heritage Village. Gasping for a cup of tea I bought one, sat on the bench and looked around to see what I could draw. Due the beginning of a long weekend, I think, the crowds were large and my view kept getting blocked, but I quite like the final result of the sword men. A young boy who was watching me snapped a shot on his iphone before wandering off.

As I had arrived straight from work the next stop was outside the village area to get a falafal sandwich. Food is an important part of the festival, so I sketched the food stand, despite the fact it was almost dark and I could hardly see my sketchbook. I'd have loved to add some colour, but my eyes hurt, so I'll add food stands to my have-to-sketch-at-festival list.
Burgers, shwarmas & falafal ,A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
After watching the fountains and snapping with my phone (chose not to take DSLR but found I'd also left compact camera at home) as I tried to capture some of it, I headed back to the Heritage Village and sketched the men with their swords and guns as they waited to parade past the tv cameras resplendent with their swords shaking, guns held aloft, chanting, and drumming accompaniment. (top drawing)
Snapped with my smart phone after I wasn't so smart by forgetting my camera.
I then took a walk around the park enjoying the atmosphere. I discovered that there is a whole section sponsored by embassies based in Oman, so tomorrow I plan to head back there to draw. The Palestinian dancers were great fun, but I think moving too fast for me to capture. Check back here later to see if I sketched them or not.
Just before the two-headed baddie appeared engulfed in smoke.
 Then finally, I went to see some of the Arabic play, which was staged in the auditorium. It was good fun and, please note I do not speak or understand Arabic, so this is purely guesswork, seemed to be set in old Turkey and was sort of a pantomime style play. There was dramatic lighting, smoke, a song - not sure why, and as I mentioned above a two-headed bad guy. The kid in front of me was terrified the first time the baddie came on the stage and clambered over his mum to the protective arms of his dad. Where I was sat, under the stars, it was virtually without light, but I tried to capture the lines anyway. Wished I'd had some fat coloured crayons as I couldn't see the marks I was making with my 0.1 pen. Any way I have posted the result below.
An example of blind sketching.A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
NB: All sketches are completed 100% at the Muscat Festival and are drawn from life.

I am using black ink but as usual scanning and photo correction is an issue.