Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sketch Muscat for Charity & WWSketchCrawl #43

Nonwaterproof ink & watercolour

Saturday was my fourth annual charity event. It started with an idea from Enrico Casarosa, creator of Worldwide SketchCrawl, who suggested that the 2011 April SketchCrawl should be a benefit drawing marathon for Japan's Tsunami relief. I arranged an event in Doha and on a rainy day, a small group of us gathered to sketch. With sponsorship and donations from participants, we raised US$470.
1 cityscape, 3 versions
After the success of that event, I decided to do something annually choosing a different charity each time. 
In 2012, I organised Sketch Muscat to raise funds for the Omani Cancer Association. I chose a cancer charity partially as a local charity (I'd moved countries) but mainly as I had a friend who was going through treatment for breast cancer and it is partially due to her awareness and quick action (& good medical treatment) that she received an all-clear. That time US$430 was raised.
The crane drove off before I could finish!
Last year, I chose a small local charity, Awladna, to raise funds for their children's road safety campaign. We raised a massive US$530 with which the charity bought children's bicycle helmets. Which leads me to this year and helping more children, but this year the funds are in aid of UNICEF's #ChildrenofSyria appeal. Living in the Middle East this is something that is regional, but I feel we should help to stop children's suffering wherever we live. 
With Alexandra Höpfner of MuscArt at Sketch Muscat for Charity
As this year seems hotter than the last two, I approached the gallery manager of MuscArt to see if I could use their gallery as the venue, which the owner quickly agreed too. It is a great space with duel aspect windows on to the cityscape and we set up still-lifes inside too. I love that my Sketch Muscat events attract children. This was by Khalid, aged 12
and this by 5 year old Dareen.
As well as collecting at the event, I set up a donation site, which remains open until July.
 So far I've raised $276 (£164.50) there, but would appreciate more donations. Please click the link:

Here are the event totals:
 The donation site funds go direct to: UNICEF UK 
The money raised at the event will be presented by cheque to UNICEF Middle East and North Africa 's Oman office. 

 WWSketchCrawl #43: 

As people here are reluctant to visit different locations to sketch, I did a quick sketch at home before I nervously went to see if anyone would turn up for the event. On my return, I got out my sketchbook but Degas demanded attention after being left all day, so I ended up with a 2 point SketchCrawl. I used Van Gogh watercolours (from #uskbcn2013) as my W&N were already packed in my bag. The actual painting is a lot brighter than it seems in this photo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garden pARTy

 I issued an invitation to some of my friends to a little art event at my home. Although it was a garden party, as this year is incredibly hot already, we were inside.
   My lovely friend Elena is a choreographer and former ballerina and I asked her if she would model for us. Over the afternoon we sketched a series of short poses 1, 5 and 10 minutes, which really made us focus.
 My assistant was very keen to help and checked drawings, equipment, stopped Elena getting bored, (photos on facebook page) and even did some modeling. Unfortunately she couldn't hold a pose for more than 5 seconds.
Quick pose from Elena & Degas (5 seconds)
Quick pose 2 (2 seconds)
I used Inktense pencils in an A4 Daler Ebony sketchbook and Elena is so flexible that some poses she struck seemed impossible, and looked very strange in the drawings, even when accurate.
Elena with disconnected arm.
My fundraiser in aid of UNICEF's #childrenofsyria appeal is this Saturday!
Full details are here: SketchMuscatforCharity

See you there or you can donate here on my UNICEF Fundraiser page:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A week's sketches

Pencil & watercolour in A5 Stillman & Birn
Some of my friends not only sketch daily, but produce numerous sketches at a sitting. I'm not like that. I find a hundred things to keep me and my sketchbook apart, from the numerous daily walks with Degas, to social media, checking blogs, tv, reading... blah blah blah.  If I do sketch, then scanning is another issue. However, like this morning, when I do scan I don't always like the results and so snap a photo, as I have with the two watercolours. I have found that when my laptop is already in my studio then scanning is easier - so there's my excuse to buy a tablet and leave it there. Now, how to schedule more sketching time??? I've signed up for the Urban Sketchers' Symposium in August, so there's a start.
A5 sketchbook. ink & watercolour
First up in my sketchbook was last Saturday's sketch. Whilst waiting for my friend to arrive, so we could visit the Royal Academy's Sensing Spaces exhibition, I sketched the people enjoying the spring sunshine.

Next, having not seen daffodils for many years (I don't count those in florists) and inspired by Jean Haines' watercolours, I decide to paint some I picked from mum & dad's garden.
Watercolour with no predrawing
Lastly, I sketched the fluffy bone I gave Degas as her present for being good whilst I was away. I gave it to her yesterday, so she unstuffed and desqueeked one end, then I drew it.
How often do you sketch? Why not tell me here.