i got so excited updating the blog, i forgot to post about my trip to spain! bleh.
sadly, i was only able to make a few sketches, but i have the best excuse – i was too busy having fun with a friend from america who i had not seen in years!
most of these were done during my downtime. still learning urban sketching. the most difficult part was mentally psyching myself to actually whip out my sketchbook. hopefully, there will be another chance to visit this amazing country and not be afraid anymore.
guernica at reina sofia. madrid
random stuff, guernica details. madrid
having churros con chocolate at famous san gines; view from our bedroom window. madrid
tickets, leaves and flowers and view from our hostel bedroom. sevilla
view from cafe. madrid
sketching while waiting for one of many processions. sevilla
rosemary sprig from gypsy “fortuneteller”; jesus christ; sketch while waiting for procession. sevilla
seems that arts and crafts are the trend nowadays, with countless pop up stores and workshops all over the city. i was more than happy to jump the bandwagon, and took 2 classes in my neighbourhood:
first, i joined a tangle workshop. tangling is just starting to pick up in my side of the world. it’s a fun process, which surprisingly is easy yet requires full concentration. this really tested my patience but i pulled through and managed to complete some works. i’d use this as a warm up for drawing or painting as i feel it gets me “in the zone” faster.
the next weekend, i joined a “travel doodling” workshop, which is really just teaching you the basics of doodling. it’s not as easy as it sounds, because doodling means to draw in a carefree manner, like a child, different from representational drawing that i am used to. i felt this is what i needed to learn to “let go” when drawing. it’s been a while since i did some serious doodling and going back to it was just pure fun.
apart from these workshops, i joined the local urban sketching group for a night sketching session. it wasn’t really a class or workshop but seeing other people’s works is a learning experience in itself. it was very challenging, but being with fellow (struggling in the dark) sketchers put me at ease with chit chat, food and positive vibes. there was even a 7 or 8-year old in our group who always reminded us that there is nothing we cannot draw. her very wise words inspired us to draw each other’s portraits.
not sure if my drawing skills improved, but definitely revived some skills i long forgot.
in any case, learning never ends.
a few weeks ago, i spent a week-long vacation in indonesia. i had three stops:
a) gili trawangan, lombok. the island reminded me a lot of boracay, especially the rows of restaurants, cafes and diving/tourist centers at the beachfront. but here, you can walk to one side of the island to watch the sunset while listening to the rhythmic sound of banjoes then walk to the other side and have fresh grilled seafood for dinner, watch a movie underneath the stars with the sounds of crashing waves, and get lost with your bike in the middle of a coconut plantation at night with no lights trying to find your way back home.
b) bali. lots of temples, lots of waves, lots of rice fields, lots of interesting people. what don’t you know about this place from all the travel guidebooks and that movie with julia roberts? it does, however, live up to its good reputation and even exceeds it, if you decide to partake of the activities which truly interest you.
c) yogyakarta. a well-worth one-day visit to the two famous temples – prambanan and borobudur – ending the day with a beautiful sunset from the ancient ruins of ratu boko.
you can see from the gallery that i was able to sneak in a little sketching. i am still very much uncomfortable taking out my sketchbook in public. i only felt compelled to do some on-the-spot sketching when i saw my photos of these amazing places included tourists with cheesy poses and umbrellas blocking the view. in this trip, too, i resolved not to be so fussy about getting every single detail correct, and just draw quickly and purposefully, getting the idea or the feeling of what i wanted to draw. i think i did accomplish what i set out to do, and commit to practice more until my next trip.
la cocoteraie, front porch of our fancy tent in the middle of the island of gili trawangan. sketched from bean bag, water-colour added later.
first stop at gili air during a 2.45-hour fast boat ride from gili trawangan to bali. an hour into the literally fast and choppy ride, all passengers felt as sick as a dog, but thankfully, none threw up. note to people taking the fast boats around indonesia: don’t.
lily, ketut liyer’s house in ubud, bali. was sketching while waiting for my turn, but was interrupted by one of the house staff who wanted to show me around the compound. i happily obliged.
after my session with ketut, i hung out for a little longer and sketched the garden area. i had initially wanted to draw ketut’s portrait, but his son, for reasons unknown, did not allow me. oh well.
monkey forest, ubud, bali. i must learn to sketch faster. water-colour added later.
monkey forest, ubud, bali. ink wash added later.
studying the waves at echo beach, canggu, bali. for surfers, not waders like me. ink wash added later.
tanah lot, cave under temple. some people hanging out. water-colour added later.
tanah lot, temple on the left side from the main entrance. water-colour added later.
tanah lot, quick sketch.
tanah lot, temple on the right side from main entrance. wanted to get sillhoute-y kind of feel from backlit mid-day light. water-colour added later.
borobudur temple. i had decided to sketch because all my photos had tourists with really big umbrellas obstructing the beautiful structures. i was grateful i brought my sketchbook at this point, even if i was still uncomfortable sketching in public. ink wash added later.
prambanan temple. did a quick sketch late in the afternoon, instead of taking photos with unwanted tourists doing their touristy poses.