Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Big Red One

Early last summer I found this thick, A4 size sketchbook in a local papeterie & figured it would be perfect for café drawings. It has about 200 pages of rough, low quality paper that actually has a nice bite & adds texture to pen lines. I wasn't worried about spoiling a nice Moleskine or leather bound sketchbook & started bashing out gesture drawings to loosen up for the day.

I started it last July & just finished it in March. 200 pages with an average of around 20 figures per page makes that approximately 4000 people (& dogs) observed & sketched!

It would take forever to scan every page but I'll post up some of the better pages. It's interesting for me to see how I changed over the 9 months trying out different techniques, looking for different things;conversations, expressions, faces somedays, other days street scenes. It became a good discipline that helped me grow as an artist but I dread to consider how much money I spent on cappucinos!

Here are some of the cafés & brasseries where I would sit outside & sketch. The winter in Nice was just mild enough to sustain 'terrace sketching'. Some days the fingers did get a bit numb.

Apart from the odd street scene I concentrated mainly on les passants-passers by. I tried to capture different walks, body shapes, ages, attitudes etc. Sometimes my attention would be drawn by particular outfits people wear. The Riviera set can sport some pretty outrageous clobber, especially in the summer!













More to come soon . . .

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Aurora y Balaban

Raja & I watched 'The Orpahange' recently & we were gripped. We were clutching each other tightly in the cinema, watching it between our fingers! It reclaims every 'haunted house' genre convention with feature debut director Juan Antonio Bayona pulling all the right strings. There are a couple of moments that are real heart stoppers!
I made this drawing inspired by two great characters who show up half way through. Aurora & Balaban are 'paranormal investigators' played by Geraldine Chaplin & Edgar Vivar. They reminded me of the scenes in Poltergeist with the parapsychologists & the medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein). Let's hope Senor Del Toro sanctions a spin-off movie featuring these two.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sketchcrawl 18

March 29th was the 18th World Wide Sketch Crawl & once again our small ensemble headed back in time to sketch another medieval hill town. This time we hopped across the border into Italy. I'd found this picture of Cerriana in a book of old photos by Jean Giletta & thought it looked really great to draw & it's only an hours drive from Nice, in the mountains above San Remo.

We rolled into town to find it deserted & populated entirely by 3-wheel Piaggio mini-vans. The streets of the old town are too narrow for cars so the residents use these to get around & transport heavy goods.

This month's sketch-crawlers were Carlos, Emma, Francois-Xavier & myself.

We found a great spot over-looking the town & set to work.
I warmed up with a sketch of F.X. drawing the old Roman church.

The architecture of the town is stunning with the ancient buildings somehow fused with the rock. There's an entire absence of town planning where houses have been built on top of each other at every angle!

I wanted to loosen up a little & went straight at the next one with diluted ink & a fat brush.

The locals were inquisitive & asked me why I was drawing the town-my Italian only extends to 'Bella, bellisima!' but they got the point.

An old lady with a hairy chin gave me a tour of the old Roman church, of which she was the guardian.

I ended the day with a drawing made from the same angle as the Giletta photograph.

Another fine sketchcrawl in glorious surroundings fine weather. Can't wait for the next one . . .

Everyones sketches from the day can be viwed here.