Sketchbook: Collecting, collecting …

24 February 2017. Here come some of my everyday sketches (Fig. 1-11 below) collected over the final months of POP1. This is the last post in this category for this course. A new one will be opened for UPM.

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Figure 1. Building site
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Figure 2. Hazelnut tree and leaves
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Figure 3. Parked cars
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Figure 4. Wood near school
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Figure 5. Block of flats in the process of being demolished
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Figure 6. Digging up the street near school
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Figure 7. Watching twilight shadows
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Figure 8. Parked moped
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Figure 9. Quick studies of pedestrians
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Figure 10. Ivy on the side of a tree
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Fig. 11 Flattened can of coke at roadside
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A diversion: Something Like Mona Lisa

Updated on 25 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

9 January 2017. “Listen” I said to little son a few days ago, “Why don’t you draw something for Anni to say thank you for being the wonderful aunt she is?” “Help” he replied, “I cannot think of anything. Tell me.” I had lots of ideas, none of them good enough for him. So I stopped. A day later he said: “I want to paint Mona Lisa for her. How do we start?”
He wanted to use the UV glow paint he had been given for Christmas, so it was to be a special Mona Lisa. With both our hands on one pencil we made a drawing first and coloured it in later, with UV light switched on all the time to see whether the effect would be there. My scanner was unable to reproduce some of the colours we used and it occurs to me now that I should have photographed it with the UV light on, so it looks pale in reproduction, but it was great fun to do and the mystery is all there ;o), so here it is (Fig. 1):

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Figure 1. A Christoph and Andrea Joint Venture: UV glow Mona Lisa

Sketchbook: Autumn update

Updated on 20 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

7 November 2016. Time to update on my everyday inkpen sketches. I keep thinking that I find too little opportunity to use my sketchbook, but looking at this series maybe it is not as bad as it feels.

First some riverside impressions, trying very quickly (30 seconds per person at most) to express posture and mood of the people I happened to see there (Fig. 1):

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Figure 1. Sketchbook – riverside impressions (1)

The following man, sitting on one of the benches, was incredibly difficult to catch. He was fidgety to a high degree, kept talking to a woman sitting next to him and looking around all the time, so despite my sunglasses I never had more than one tenth of a second before he spotted me looking at him. I held out, nevertheless (Fig. 2):

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Figure 2. Sketchbook – riverside impressions (2)

Next some ladies watching their respective kids play with the gravel (Fig. 3):

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Figure 3. Sketchbook – riverside impressions (3)

Then some more people “on the move” along the river, including a 20 minute sketch from my series recording “mass movement”, this time catching mostly cyclists (Fig. 4-5):

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Figure 4. Sketchbook – people on the move (1)
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Figure 5. Sketchbook – people on the move (2)

Next a series of very quick portrait sketches, which I made in preparation for an exciting evening in one of Salzburg’s art museums (“Rupertinum”), where I spent 6 hours speed portraying the visitors of the “Long Night of Museums” in October. The preparatory sketches were made while watching TV shows/discussions on the internet (Fig. 6-11):

  1. A boy stting for an artist who explained speed portraiture to an audience of future artists:
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Figure 6

2. One of the Austrian TV news presenters (Tarek Leitner):

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Figure 7

3. The mayor of Salzburg (Heinz Schaden):

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Figure 8

4. Another TV news presenter (Armin Wolf):

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Figure 9

5. The leader of the green party in Salzburg (Astrid Rössler):

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Figure 10

6. Austria’s federal chancellor (Christian Kern):

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Figure 11

Then something difficult, catching people visiting the “Rupertikirtag” fun fair in the city of Salzburg, amidst a great crowd, some of them definitely quite drunk and very suspicious of my actions (Fig. 12-13):

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Figure 12. Sketchbook – Rupertikirtag (1)
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Figure 13. Sketchbook – Rupertikirtag (2)

And finally, moving on to Part 4 of the course, some views on, through and out of objects and buildings (Fig. 14-18).
First, looking through the gap between the planks of a bench on the gravel, leaves, cigarette ends, bits of plastic and metal, which happen to accumulate under well-used public seats:

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Figure 14

Then a very quick impression of an old mill (“Rauchmühle”), which at the moment is in the process of being torn down to make way for affordable flats. The rubble in the foreground are the remains of a house, which used to stand attached to the tall building on the right. The view was quite exciting and I keep it at the back of my mind for Part 4.

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Figure 15

Next two views of the flats typical for the built-up area around my son’s school:

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Figure 16
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Figure 17

And last a quick evening twilight impression of our tiny front garden/vegetable plot as seen through the dining room window:

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Figure 18

I am extremely glad how my sketching abilities have become reliable over the years, most importantly those regarding portraiture. Only on rare occasions now I fail to catch a true likeness of a person and I notice how I have developed a keen sense of the most descriptive characteristics of a person’s face and posture. Hopefully this is here to stay :o).

 

Sketchbook: People on the move

Updated on 12 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

17 September 2016. Since my son is back at school now, the everyday waiting routine gives me a few spare minutes to observe and draw people doing the same – move around and wait for something else to happen.

Here are a few of the latest drawings (and one or two I forgot to post before the summer):

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Figure 1. Sketchbook – ink pen density drawing

The above (Fig. 1) is another of my little density series, which I started in Innsbruck last year. I choose a setting (here people walking in the hospital grounds in Salzburg – yes, I do spend a horrible amount of time in hospitals) and try to document every movement occurring during a certain time, say 10 to 15 minutes. The result appears quite dynamic to me, it is a record of “mass movement”.

In the next sketch I tried to capture the absolute essence of the scene, girls standing at or sitting on a table tennis table in the playground (Fig. 2).

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Figure 2

Again the same playground, in the next two sketches obviously bored parents are waiting for their children to finish playing (Fig. 3-4):

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Figure 3
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Figure 4

Two more sketches I made while waiting at the train station. These were extremely difficult to draw, because waiting people have nothing else to do and immediately sense my presence. So what I do now is draw the very first impression I gain to check a few more times through half-closed eyes. Still I am happy with the result and I can see how my ability to observe and reproduce correctly has improved over the years (Fig. 5-6).

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Figure 5
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Figure 6

The last sketch is not about people on the move, but the gate to a garden and house long abandoned by their last inhabitants. I put it in this post, because to me the gate looks alive somehow, as if it were a store of memories of people walking in and out for a very long time (Fig. 7):

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Figure 7

 

Sketchbook: Quick portraits from the hospital

Updated on 12 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

8 September 2016. While staying in the hospital I had one or two opportunities to sit down outside the main entrance and see whether I would be able to produce something I would call “lightning portraits”. A hospital is not the best of places to go and stare at peoples’ faces in order to draw them, so I decided that I would look at a person for a second at most – after which their sixth sense makes them, invariably, turn their heads to find out why they feel uncomfortable – and then draw the imprint on my mind. Since this method does not carry a lot of detail, I filled a page in my sketchbook with a number of quite small portraits. This is the evil result (Fig. 1):

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Figure 1. People waiting near the hospital entrance, quick ink pen portraits

In our room I took an opportunity to catch my husband lying on my bed, reading a magazine, and my son staring at our laptop while checking the weather (Fig.2 ).

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Figure 2

And finally some people I found in magazines, two famous and two from adverts, in another test to see whether I would be able to capture a likeness and something of a person’s personality in very quick sketches taking between 20 seconds and 2 to 3 minutes (Fig. 3-6):

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Figure 3. Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancellor, 2 minute sketch, pencil
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Figure 4. Hillary Clinton, holding newborn grandchild for campaigning purposes, 3 minute sketch, three different ink pens
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Figure 5. Person miming well-off private jet passenger, from glossy Lufthansa magazine, 20 second sketch, pencil
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Figure 6. Fisherman from Oman, posing on boat, from Lufthansa magazine, 30 second sketch

Sketchbook: some more 10 minute sketches

Updated on 3 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

10 June 2016. Time to make an update on my while-I-wait 10 minute sketches (Fig. 1-8):

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Figure 1. The “skyline” of Lehen, ink pen and watercolour (30 mins)
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Figure 2. Old elder bush at the playground (20 mins)

Sketching makes me quietly happy, it has become rare now for drawings to go completely wrong and I think that I am finally making some progress regarding my choice of subject and rudimentary composition. It has also increasingly turned into a precious refuge, where time stands still and there is no room for worries.