Monday, December 31, 2012

A review & resolutions.

My illustrations published for the novel True Vines

  Review of 2012

For 2012, I had 3 words to guide me: Focus, Vision, Produce. From those words I had 3 resolutions of which some were more successful than others.

1. To produce a minimum of one finished piece per month.
Yes. Looking in the folder on FB there are 15 drawings for 2012. I have also produced 6 published illustrations and two commissioned portraits. Yea me - my most productive year to date. Whilst I still prefer to draw buildings and landscapes I have enjoyed working on my portrait series: Festival Faces, of which the first one sold and is now hung in its Australian home.

2. To exhibit at least twice in the year.
hmmm... This didn't exactly work out as I thought as I didn't have any work in exhibitions. However, I did end up with work hung in 2 galleries.
Through the OSFA, I submitted a piece to an exhibition in September, however the exhibition has been delayed and so will be hung sometime in the new year.
3. Continue marketing myself.
Yes. Throughout the year I continued to blog, both on my site and blogger, tweet and keep my facebook page up to date. I distributed over 100 business cards throughout the year and I had a stall at a winter fair in order to get publicity here in Oman. Also, I was interviewed on the local radio and had newspaper articles on the of the sketching events I arranged.

 Surprises from 2012.
A lovely surprise was following an email from the author Diana Baur, I produced both the cover illustration and section illustrations for her novel True Vines.

Something else I didn't anticipate was to start illustrating for the online short story site The Story Shack. To date I have had 3 illustrations published with more due in 2013.

With some of the artists of the Ghalya's Museum's Wall Painting project
Finally, a lovely surprise was getting to participate in a 100 artist wall art collaboration, which tested my little used painting skills, and led me to work alongside both Omani and international artists.

Resolutions for 2013

2013 will see my art taking second place throughout the year. Following my month in Barcelona, my love for that city was renewed and my long-term goal is to move there. However, I'm not sure if financially I can do it within 2013. Like many artists I have to work to pay the bills and I also have a flat in Italy which as a partial renovation project needs work and money, so I have just secured a new job here in Oman with a better package. With the higher salary comes longer working hours, a necessary trade in order to reach my goal. The flat is for sale, if anyone is interested in a holiday home in the beautiful Pollino National Park, Calabria. Therefore, throughout 2013 my resolution and goal will be on getting my finances in order, so I can move to Barcelona as soon as possible.
Of course, my sketchbook will remain with me throughout 2013, I already have 2 commissions for drawings and further illustrations to do for The Story Shack. Also, I plan to go to the Urban Sketchers' 4th Symposium in July and... well who knows what other arty things will happen, but obviously my art passion will not be totally neglected. 

On a personal level, I resolve to eliminate but from my vocabulary and only focus on positive aspects. I also need to make sure I exercise throughout the year.


May you fill lots of sketchbooks, produce lots of art, and have many laughs, health & happiness in the forthcoming year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tennis time.

Relaxing on beanbags prior to the 5pm start
On Thursday I was in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. My mum got me the ticket as a birthday present. Nadal was scheduled to play, but pulled out the day before due to illness on top of his on-going knee injury, which was a little disappointing. However the tennis I saw was good.

Queueing for Djokovic's autograph
I arrived at the ground early and armed with my sketchbook drew the people around me. The first sketch was from the bar of people watching the kids activities out on a field. Followed by the massive queue of people waiting for Novak Djokovic's autograph. Finally, I drew people chillin out on beanbags from my own beanbag.
In the bar watching the kids events

My A5 sketchbook
Inside the stadium I watched Andy Murray lose his match against Janko Tipsarevic, then an exciting match between David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, which Ferrer won. Surprisingly, play got delayed due to rain, although unlike Wimbledon it was all over in a few moments, the lines were dried and play restarted.
The raincloud.
Ferrer V Berdych at Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi
Please forgive the quality of the scans, I am busy working on my end of year post and do not have time to fiddle with colour correction etc.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayan Prophecy

Capturing shadows A4 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
In case the Mayan prophercy was true, I arranged SketchMuscat 4 for yesterday morning. What better way to spend the last day on earth than sketching if you can't be with your family? A small group of us sketched at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat. The weather is perfect now to sketch outside and we all enjoyed wandering around the beautiful complex.
Changing bulbs in the mesjid. A4 sketchbook

I'd planned to draw the gardens and complex buildings to enjoy the weather to its fullest. However, my first potential subject seemed tooooo huge for a first sketch, so I headed into the main mesjid (mosque). Inside men where on a huge crane changing lightbulbs and I knew I had to record this unusual event. Then I went back outside and did my second sketch of the morning, which was the watercolour of the shadows. I hadn't planned a tonal work, but that's what  happened.
I wouldn't like their job!

My latest newletter just went out.
You can read it here - and maybe you would like to subscribe for the next edition?

Thursday, December 13, 2012


12.12.12 Qantab, A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
 On 12.12.12 at 12:12 I was sat on a beach sketching. It's not quiet an urban sketch as I was in the small fishing village of Qantab, which is a short drive south-east of Muscat. The finished sketch is above, whilst below is the snap I took at 12.12.12 12:12 
By sketching on 12.12.12 I hope the auspicious date will bring my art luck in the forthcoming year.

12.12.12 12:12 (GMT+4)
I was very inspired by the village and there are lots of things I want to draw. As I have friends living there, I'm sure you'll see lots more sketches and drawings from this lovely village.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

True Vines

True Vines with illustrations by Sue Pownall.
Today, I received my copy of True Vines by Diana Strinati Baur and published by Gemelli Press. I love how my illustrations have been used. I originally posted the cover illustration for this novel on my blog here back in October, just before publication.

This novel by Diana is beautifully written and hard to put down. I recommend you get a copy now.

True Vines is available in soft copy, kindle & nook from Amazon (uk, com, de...) and direct from

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Asifa Ramliyya - Festival Face #6

Asifa Ramliyya. Pen & ink. 32x26 cm. © Sue Pownall 2012
This is the sixth portrait of my Festival Face series, which was finished yesterday.
The title is an Arabic transliteration for sandstorm عاصفة رملية

What do you think?
Please leave me a comment. Thank you.

Photograph used with permission of the photographer: Aziz (AbdulAziz) Al Jahdhami.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sketches - a catchup

I have a commission to draw a house; these were in the garden.
As an artist I’ve never been so busy as this year and specifically over these last few months. This has ranged from producing illustrations for the short story site The Story Shack to the artists’ collaborative wall painting project. I have continued sketching throughout this time, but due to these other projects I haven’t posted any sketches, so today is a long catch up.
A prep sketch prior to a commission. November

A night sketch whilst waiting for a friend. October.
The last sketches shown on my blog were from the pink party. For that I bought Intense pencils and since then I have been experimenting using them with the water brush I bought in Barcelona. I think I prefer my watercolours and last weekend reverted to using them, but the pencils will be useful when wet medium is not easily used or for touches of colour as I did at the pink party.
A beach day with mum. October 2012
On a tour of Oman Flour Mills 10 Nov.
On a tour of Oman Flour Mills 10 Nov.
 I’ve also finished my A6 handbag sketchbook. It’s been lurking in the bottom of my bag for nearly 2 years. I prefer larger sketchbooks, but carry it for those in-between times, waiting for friends, sitting on buses, in waiting rooms etc.
Al Raffah Hospital September
Muscat Private Hospital, Radiology dept. Sept.

Waiting for mum at MCT international airport arrivals. Oct.
I love receiving comments so please feel free to tell me what you think.