Friday, January 8, 2010

Night sketching

We've both been laid up with a bad virus / chest cold this week, so it's been quiet chez Tacc.

So this drawing is one that happened before Christmas -- on the evening of the 21st to be exact -- after we went out at 10:30 to have a cold drink on a hot, hot night.

It had been 38 degrees all day, and late after dark even though it was still well over 30, everyone was out, moving slowly, strolling or sitting in front yards. As we sat at the end table at the cafe, I drew this group of very merry Greek neighbours having a drink and a loud, enthusiastic gossip session. Like an early Christmas party, all back-slapping, out-out-OUT-doing, and all in very happy Greek.

First the pen sketch.

Then, after a couple of days to look and think a bit, washes of India ink added. I washed in the darkest areas several times, and chose the light areas to make the wall recede and the people the centre of the picture, but not too close. Shadows, several layers of grey, and speckles of ink for the cement sidewalk.

It looks really different, doesn't it? I wanted the sense of how dark it was, and the ambient light from the wall-lamps in the cafe, but all the shadows truly black.

I enjoyed drawing the hanging heat lamps (obviously not in use that night!) and the structure of the porch. I can do better people studies, so I would do that again, but it's a nice start for the first attempt at a night scene. I have some others in mind, so it will be fun to apply what I learned.

Is it finished? Not sure. I'm wondering about a few loose lines of charcoal over top. We'll see.


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