Saturday, March 31, 2012

Random stuff

 Fredo, Pen & ink © Sue Pownall 2012

Here's a post of random things.

Last night, I was suffering from insomnia so I took the time to get this image (Fredo) out of my head and onto paper. It is inspired by a friend's novel, which is to be published soon.
© Sue Pownall 2012
Not having a tv, I am currently streaming programs through my laptop, here's a sketch I did whilst watching Dr Who. I drew everything then discovered it was a two-parter, so I could add the titles into the screen. It's a brown Staedtler fineline in A5 sketchbook. Oh I think this is the first sketch inside my new flat.
© Sue Pownall 2012
Finally, being involved with a new institute, I have spent some time waiting around ministry offices. Here's a sketch from my A6 sketchbook.


It's EarthHour here in Muscat in 45 minutes. 

Along with my lights I'm switching off the computer. What will you do?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Festival Faces: The Woodman

The Woodman, Pen & ink 230x330mm ©Sue Pownall 2012
Here is the third in my Festival Faces series of drawings inspired by the Muscat Festival.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Waiting to dance. Pen & watercolour in A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall
I hate going to pubs on my own and very, very rarely do it. In fact, I can honestly not remember the last time it happened. Friday was an exception. The new Irish bar, O'Malley's at the Radisson Blu, was having Irish dancers perform in the bar so I gathered sketchbooks, pens and watercolours, took a deep breath and went in.
Just one more, Pen & watercolour in A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall
I bought a drink (not Guinness as I don't drink beer in any form), found out where the dancers would perform, then sat down at a table.  First up was a sketch of two guys sat at the bar. They ordered "just one more" when I arrived and had 2 or 3 "one mores" before they left, which I think accounts for the slump of the guy on the right.
Irish dancers, Watercolour
Next, I sketched one of the dancers with amazing black, long, wavy hair and long legs sat on a bar stool waiting to dance. She was dressed in black shorts, tights, and under Tshirt with a green top, and I chose to add green to that. (Top sketch)

Dinner for the band. Pen & watercolour in A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall
Using a paintbrush I then tried to capture the dancers, but it was a bit dark and I soon gave up to watch. However, after they finished I then sketched the band whilst they ate their dinner (the green was added at home from memory). That completed my A5 sketchbook, which was started on November 24th.
Boxty Band. Pen & watercolour in A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall

I moved seats to the bar, feeling very conspicuous, in order to watch the band play. Luckily, my mum posted me out a new A5 Daler Ebony sketchbook that arrived a couple of weeks ago and after a little hesitation, I sketched the band members. They were not stood in this order and there were only 4 of them, but one guy played 2 instruments to I sketched him twice. I should have had 6 figures, but had put my sketchbook away when the accordion player played a short piece on a flute.

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone.


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Friday, March 16, 2012

Dancers in blue.

Dancers in blue. Acrylic 60x40cm © Sue Pownall 2012

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Susan written by © Anwa of OFAS
I have wanted to learn Arabic calligraphy for a long time now. I think it is beautiful as an art form in both traditional and modern art. One of the best exhibitions I've been to in the last few years was a Sotherby's pre-sale exhibition featuring Early Islamic, Ottoman and Contemporary calligraphic art in Doha December 2010. My first attempt was in February, and was posted on my facebook page, trying to copy a whole phrase Knowledge is Enlightenment.
First attempts by ©Sue Pownall Feb 2012
Whilst my membership application for the Oman Fine Art Society has only just been submitted (fingers & toes crossed for acceptance), twice I've been able to sit with their calligraphic group when they meet to practise and get guidance from more experienced members. The first time I was there, Anwa wrote my name as a gift (above) and it is now on my inspiration board.
Talk at calligraphy group OFAS ©Sue Pownall
Impatient to run before I can walk I am finding repetition of my A, B, Cs (actually alaf, baa', taa') a struggle especially last night, my 2nd evening, when 2 men gave talks to the group in Arabic. Due to the talks there was not the interaction between the group members as they listened and I was left to keep repeating my letters. Consequently I started sketching, including sketching the letters on the chalk board.

Sketching takes over my pratice ©Sue Pownall
Before I left, Anwa took my notebook, I thought to check my letters, and showed my sketches to the other girls and there was a lot of giggling as they recognised the people. She then told me to practise everyday.  hmm that's as likely as my studying 3 times a week.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day 2012

Meskina - Quiet Wisdom. Pen & ink 350x230mm ©Sue Pownall 2012

Observed since the early 1900s, International Women's Day is annually held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. You can read more about it here.  
"Every year the United Nations choose a different worldwide theme for Women’s Day and many events take place... marking the economic, political and social achievements of women. Their theme for March 8th 2012 “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”." Source LindyLou at News From Italy

Whilst this year I am not involved with an event, I am posting my latest Festival Face portrait, which is of a woman who has had a very hard life and matches the UN theme. The title has been elusive, despite lots of good suggestions in response to my competition - thank you - apart from Meskina (Arabic for poor woman) which has remained in my head.

As in the tradition of all competitions, I picked a winner.
& the winner is...

Esther Hardman with Quiet Wisdom.

Esther please use the contact form above to send me your snail mail (postal) address, 
so I can get your prize in the post.

Photo reference supplied and used with the permission of Ahmed S. Al-Harthy.
Please check out his fabulous photos at Ahmed S. Al-Harthy Photography

Friday, March 2, 2012

A splash of colour & a competition

Study festival clothingFirst, a splash of colour. At my last night of Muscat Festival, I took a photo of some women clapping and dancing and capturing the movement and as I took it I told a friend I’m going to paint that. Not having brought any acrylics to Oman, they are at my flat in Italy, I did this small study in watercolour and gold leaf. I’ve got some acrylics now thanks to the generousity of artist Yousuf Al Nahwi, who gave me some of his supplies and will be tackling a canvas soon.WIP Blind Omani woman
My 2nd Festival Face is this half-blind Omani woman. At an earlier stage it looked like Voldemort meets Mother Teresa as I’d only draw the scarf, necessary as it defines the face, and her eyes, my starting point. The title is a problem: as JK Rowlings has copyright on the name Voldemort I can’t use that in the title, and I feel “Blind Omani Woman” is on par with “Untitled”. I received the proposal of calling it “Meskina” which is Arabic for poor woman, but that doesn’t feel right.

Any suggestions? 
Leave your title in the comment box below, then like my facebook page, and you could win a prize. If I like your suggestion the best, you will receive 5 of my Secret Garden greeting cards, but you must like my facebook page as well as comment here. I look forward to receiving the titles. I will post the finished portrait, it's new title and the winner on March 8th, International Women's Day. btw Secret Garden is on the top right of the banner.

Strome Castle Feb 12
This second WIP has been hanging around for a while. It’s part of the Decay Series: Scottish Ruins series, which you can see here. I did the pencil placement in UK back in November. I inked the outline when I moved into this flat mid-Jan and started the initial shading. Then this week, I started on the details of the castle as a counter to the precision of the portrait. Not sure, when I’ll next work on it, so you will have to check back again.

Don't forget to enter the competition:
Leave your title suggestions here, 
then pop over to my facebook page and click like.