Saturday, April 28, 2012

Before the Weekend

Husband napping on the couch

It's getting kind of late here in ol' Haifa so it seems fitting to post this drawing. It's been a laid back sort of day. Earlier this morning I headed out towards the port, mainly in search of a particular art store but also as an excuse to get out and enjoy the weather. It was a nice change to walk around a different part of the city and to get away from the renovations that have been happening in the building all day. While I did find the store in question, I couldn't decide on much of anything to buy and wasn't too confident in my ability to convert prices from shekels to dollars so I more or less came away empty handed. Alternatively, I found a new location to stalk. Results of the day's sketchcapades to be posted later.

In other news I think I'm fairly satisfied with the current blog layout. What do you think?  Adding things as I think of them and trying not to go overboard in changing something if I don't need to.

Hope all you folks out there have a good weekend :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Illustration Friday - Heights

As you can see, this week's Illustration Friday theme is "heights". My participation is sporadic so I wanted to come up with something just to keep in the game. I had the aim to do a more abstract birds eye view kind of thing or have a more dramatic perspective drawing. That would require me to actually learn how to tackle perspective better. But, not a bad effort. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Amongst the trees

Another quick drawing in the gardens after work Friday. Things were quiet except for the birds who were active as ever. In the distance I heard a kingfisher, which at that point I hadn't seen since I'd been back. The ink in my brush pen seemed to be phasing out -- an unfortunate occurrence after it uncapped itself in my bag -- but it worked long enough for the exercise. The texture, of course, was added later.

The initial sketch reminded me a little of Van Gogh's olive tree paintings. I'm kind of a fan of Impressionism so maybe I'll explore more with those types of visible strokes. I have some other things in mind as well. It's a wonder the things that nature will inspire you to do!

Olive Grove by Van Gogh

Thursday, April 19, 2012

At it again

Springtime equals freshness and rejuvenation. Which means I'm in the process of seeing what's possible with the blog layout again--at least that's my excuse. Because I'm not that keen on learning the ins and outs of template design and customizable whatnots, I will probably not get much further than changing colors or contemplating fonts, but it's just a heads up for those repeat readers out there. For those who may not have come upon this before, hello :) 

It's been just over three months since I've started this little blog. Not very long I know, but it's been awhile since I've put consistent effort into a project. Thanks to those who have expressed their interest and appreciation. Knowing that someone may be checking in from time to time helps to keep the momentum going :) 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

birds of a feather

When I find myself having lunch on my own I often eat in a short period of time, leaving a good portion of my hour break left over to run errands or whatever else I'm inspired to do. Lately, I've been taking advantage of the warmer weather by using those moments to walk around the surrounding gardens. The other day I passed by one the coral trees and watched to see which birds stopped by. There were a couple of what I believe to be Rose-ringed Parakeets hanging out and being noisy as ever. They're not native to Israel but they've managed to make a fairly permenant home here. I was able to get in a quick sketch before lunch was over -- the bit of color was added later. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ein Hod

A few weeks ago myself, my husband and a mutual friend went to Ein Hod, an artist's village in northern Israel. It's a quaint place with little galleries, a couple of museums and some other establishments. The Haifa fire which burned quite a bit of the surrounding rural area late 2010 also affected parts of Ein Hod. You could see the lines of trees and other areas that were charred. A lot of it has grown back though. Spring is a yearly reminder of rejuvenation.

Before exploring much of anything we stopped to have Israeli breakfast at a little cafe. We were the only customers for the morning with the exception of a few people sitting outside enjoying the sun, waiting for nothing in particular. They played old jazz songs, a solid genre to chill out to with cups of cappuccinos. 

Ein Hod Cafe
Everything seemed fairly slow while we were there. The shopkeeper of a bookstore said that of course there aren't that many people, that's why they're called a village! He seemed to enjoy his middle of the week lull. More people showed up in the galleries and in the streets as the day drew on. We left early that afternoon content that, for a period of time, we were able to remove ourselves from the familiar reaches of Haifa.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Every Little Thing II

A couple of months ago I did a visual catalogue of everything in my purse to get an idea of how many individual things I really did have at a time and to have an excuse to draw the every day as encouraged in the book I was reading, The Creative License.  I started doing something similar for the things I had on my bedside dresser. I wasn't planning to post it but I figure I would put it up anyway. Dare I list all the items like last time? OK, well there's ...

  1. a jewelry box from the Ukraine
  2. paperclips / coins
  3. a bottle of purple Listerine
  4. an ipod shuffle
  5. various pens
  6. a travel alarm clock
  7. Swatch watch
  8. a pair of glasses
  9. an Ugly Doll
  10. hair pick
  11. spare batteries
  12. lip gloss
  13. deodorant
  14. various perfumes 
  15. The Girl Who Played With Fire
There's probably a couple of others that I didn't mention, but you get the drift. I'll be on the look out for other categories of things to document soon enough though!

Monday, April 9, 2012

On the way home

I had a break from the office this past Friday, so after doing a quick cleaning of the flat I walked through the Hadar, one the neighborhoods in Haifa, hoping to catch a particular art store while it was open. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. There was a sign posted on the door but considering my inability to read Hebrew, I was at a loss.

I wasn't quite committed to drawing on this trip but on my way back I stopped along Shifra stairs and sat for the next hour or so. I didn't quite finish but I was satisfied with the effort. There were various groups travelling through, mainly tourists, along with one of the inhabitants of the house I was sitting next to, and got a few comments and acknowledgements. These are the interactions you won't get when you're sketching at home.

a view from shifra stairs

Thursday, April 5, 2012

To pass the time

Last night Chad and I went to Agadir for some burgers after dropping off our dry cleaning. I take my notebook with me everywhere but I was kind of hesitant to pull it out and start sketching. Some minutes in I finally convinced myself to do something while we waited for our orders. I only got in my Coke bottle and glass but anything is better than nothing. The waitress gave a compliment in passing. Guess you never know what will people react to.

Tonight, not much going on. Got in a couple of quick drawings of one of the pots in our flat while waiting for the Internet to start acting properly. One of the up sides of having a big time consumer out of commission is to subsequently be forced to do other things.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A saturday sketch

I went on a little walk Saturday afternoon, looking for another location to draw. I thought it might be good practice to do one longer drawing per week. Nothing was particularly jumping out at me so I chose a location based off of whether or not there was a decent place to sit. I got a bit impatient with the process this time around. I prefer to start out in pen if that's what's intended but because of its permanence I have a tendency to go slower, particularly when it comes to drawing scenery, which I'm not as confident in as other things. After awhile I started to do the rest in pencil, to trick myself into going faster. After filling in a sufficient amount of details, I took a photo of what I was drawing and finished the rest at home.

Maybe next time I'll be a little more patient but I guess it's all part of practicing discipline.
"It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover to your surprise that you have rendered something in its true character." Camille Pissarro
obligatory cross legged "I-was-here" shot

Illustration Friday - Return

This week's Illustration Friday challenge is "return".  I've been doing a lot of reading on the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog, which was recommended to me by an illustrator I had an email exchange with recently. It mainly features commentary and interviews with authors/illustrators about children's books. I like looking at the different styles and hearing a bit about their techniques. One of these days I'll be a little more equipped to coloring things digitally but for the moment I'm continuing to do as I've always done!