Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Life Drawing - watercolours and pen sketch

After our charcoal warmups, we actually got to draw the two models together. Was it more difficult or less? I'm not sure. On the one hand, you have to capture two different people, bodies, personalities in the same amount of time you'd have for one. On the other hand, you can use the negative space between them to help you see the shapes better.
In my case, a further complication as I moved to watercolours at that stage, and the two models had very different skin tones.

This is the one I'm happiest with - We did a ten-minute drawing, then we had a break, and after the break we have the choice of continuing with the same pose for 15 minutes. I use that time to paint.

While my paint was drying, I sketched with a Sailor Fude in one of my sketchbooks. This was probably 10/15 minutes. Lots of mistakes and distortions. Plus it was hard to sketch while standing with my sketchbook on my arm.

I brought two watercolour blocks, so for the last pose (10 or 15 minutes?), I went straight to watercolour. That paper is rough watercolour paper, so the paint can skip, like it did on the left arm of the girl on the left. I think I should stick to cold pressed paper for this.
They look like they're sitting on the beach.

Life Drawing - Izabella and Claudia - charcoal

Quite rusty after a few weeks without Life Drawing.

To be expected.
But still, I was wondering.
Could I still do it?

The answer is 'not very well'. But I get so absorbed in it. Two hours of pure bliss (once the nervous anticipation and the initial frustration have dissipated!). And this week, we had two models, which made it double the challenge, as it takes me a while to "get" a model's body!

1-minute poses

5-minute poses (two very different models!)
10 minutes never went so quickly.

10-minute pose. Exploring a bit of shading

Monday, November 12, 2018

Last one, I promise

For my own sanity alone, this has to be the last one. As it turns out, the sketch I did in my Moleskine turned out to be the ultimate version for me. But I had already started this one, so I had to finish it.
I painted it in three stages, first a very loose watery wash, then I started to define the shapes, and then I added shading and detail.  Normally, I tend to prefer the 1st stage, all colour mixes and loose shapes. But in this case, my favourite stage was the one where I started to define the shapes. Maybe I should have left it at that?

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The side streets of Kyoto

We found Kyoto too full of tourists - and we didn't even go to Arashiyama, Higashiyama or the Golden temple! One thing I did love about the city though is its back streets. The city is very easy to navigate - it's built on a grid system, with mountains to the west, north and east, and the main river in the city centre to the east too. Once you have a fair idea where you are in relation to these, you can leave the main streets and criss-cross the little back alleys and minor roads - and leave the noise and the tourists behind. You will find a different world, full of little shops, workshops and residents' houses, all with plenty of overhead wires and vending machines at regular intervals!

Walking through the maze of side streets, I felt strangely free, but also felt like I belonged - no longer a tourist, but someone who knew the city well enough to take turns without having to check my map!

 This little shop was a lantern maker, and I actually saw the artist with a brush, hard at work.

 No tourists here, just businessmen, mothers on their way to the market, overhead wires (lots and lots of them) and a vending machine

Watch out for bicycles!

It wasn't the brightest of days, but I would have loved to go back on a better day at sunset, turn to the West and take photos of a beautiful urban sunset!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Seoul Elevated Greenway

One thing I found about Seoul is that it has a lot of green areas - a big park around Seoul Tower, quiet green areas near the canal that stretches through the city, and the wonderful elevated greenway near Seoul Station. It's called the Skygarden, and you can see why if you click on the link. We discovered it by pure chance really, on our way to somewhere else. It's a great location for sketching. I wasn't in touch with Urban Sketchers Seoul, as we only had two full days in Seoul. We had planned 4 nights/3 days, but our flight from Ōsaka was delayed by a day because of Typhoon Trami. It would have been nice to have an extra day, but we managed to pack in quite a bit and we certainly plan to go back at some stage!

Apparently, this used to be a big highway crossing over major roads and railway tracks, but it was found to be unsafe, and was converted to a greenway - plants and trees are sorted in alphabetical order, and there are lots of pianos dotted around - with local people and visitors, young and old, availing of the facility!!

"She's figure out.
All her doubts were someone else's point of view.
She. Green Day"
It's a song actually, I'd never heard it before. But I liked the quote.

Did you know what rice actually looks like before it reaches your supermarket shelf? Well, I didn't

Panorama view

There were even little ponds, and even turtles (I can't seem to find the picture of the turtles). I always loved turtles, and tortoises too. My tortoises, Caroline and Iphigénie, lived happy lives - I would spend days following them in the garden in the summer, feeding them plantain. One of them ran away and was found at the other end of the village - my grand-father had written our address on its shell in paint! My turtles, whose names I can't remember, sadly, didn't live such happy lives - we only had a little aquarium/vivarium, and when I changed the water, which wasn't often enough, I sometimes used cold water. They went blind in the end.

There are little turrets you can walk up to so you get an even higher view

I did sketch of course!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Autumn leaves

I haven't had much time to paint this week, but I did fit in a quick watercolour sketch of leaves we picked up on one of our dog walks. Aren't they pretty?

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Trees in the city

It seems that no matter where I went, I was interested in trees. 

Hong Kong

I liked how the roots were following the pavement and actually lifting some of the stones on the footpath

This one is particularly interesting. We couldn't see the whole tree. But I really liked the idea that this shrine was built around a tree.

Quite a few trees were uprooted or damaged by the typhoon that went through the region a few weeks before our visit



I liked this tree because it's on an elevated walkway close to Seoul station. 


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Matcha everything

Starbucks have made Matcha Latte popular around the world. But when you go to Japan, it's Matcha everything you can dream of! Here are the versions we had:

Matcha icecream

Traditional matcha with wagashi (or you can have coffee and cake if you prefer!)

Matcha kitkat - it was surprisingly delicious! I want more!