Thursday, September 20, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Twelve

On this trip, I did one thing in my sketchbook which I really never do:  I drew from photographs.

I did this because I wanted to include memories of the animals I had seen which were most impressive to me.  But I couldn't draw on a moving safari jeep!

I'm glad I included them in the sketchbook, because this is what I show to people when I talk about my trip, not my photographs!  And so these few drawings from photos give me a prompt to share about the cool animals we saw.

My favorite was the pack of wild dogs.  The guides were beside themselves.  Evidently, these are few and rarely seen and we got to see a large group of them.  And they moved slowly enough that we got some decent photos.

One of our other great experiences learning about this amazing nation was a trip to a hippo reserve... I had hoped to sketch on the slow-moving boat, but it was pouring rain!  So I sketched these impressions from photos later in the dry hotel room.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Eleven

As we traveled, I made a few different kinds of sketches of animals.

This first is from the bus.  A quick scribble, really, to capture shapes of these amazing birds, many of which were sitting stop gravestones in this vast cemetary.

I have no idea what kinds of birds these were or why they chose this spot to congregate.  But the image struck me as one to be used in a book or story in the future!

In this next page, I drew basic shapes of animals from memory, in an attempt to illustrate what I had seen and learned while on safari during that day.   There was NO way to draw on a moving safari jeep!!

One place we stopped for lunch had a large yard (as big as many people's back yards at home in the U.S.) filled with guinea pigs and rabbits.  After I finished eating, I dashed out there to draw them from life.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Ten

Here's an example of a page with a little bit of narrative.

What I like about this page is how the three pictures move inward in closeness.  A large landscape, a medium "shot" of the trio of singers, and some close-ups of masks for sale at the nearby open air market.

While the page doesn't identify all the pieces super clearly, I know exactly what they are.  And together, these three different images take me right back to the sights and sounds and human connections of that experience.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Nine

During my travels to South Africa with the Hope College Chapel Choir in May 2018, we had the enormous privilege of visiting an AME church in Soweto.  The welcome we received there was so gracious and loving!

While the choir sang, I had the fun of drawing some of the congregation enjoying the experience.

The women were dressed beautifully.

People were so happy to have us visit; many recorded the songs on their phones.

This lady was terrific fun to watch.  It was clear she was "The Church Lady."  Unofficially, she ran the place.  You could tell.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Eight

We visited Constitution Hill, the site of a former dreadful prison and of the current constitutional court.

The tour was grim and humbling.  I didn't sketch the cell blocks, the wires, the places of suffering and death.  I think I would sketch them if I had more time to be present with them.  But the tour moved pretty fast.

Then we ended by spending time in the court area, where justice is working much more effectively now.  It gives me hope for the world.

I'm including this next page as an example of something I did a few times in this sketchbook.  Because we were on a tour and I couldn't control the time I needed or wanted to sketch things, I would occasionally stick in an image from a guidebook of something I wanted to remember, and perhaps redraw later.  That's what I did here with the symbol of the constitutional court.

In this next page, I captured some of the amazing designs and colors used in the court room to create the sense of the room itself being a space under a tree.

I can't express how much this notion of justice, this honoring of traditional native practices, captivated me.   What would America be like if we did this?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Seven

One thing I learned to do while sketching from a moving bus caught in  city traffic:  draw the people!

If the bus is moving very fast and the pedestrians aren't moving very fast, you can nab enough to capture shapes and expressions!

This ended up being one of my favorite things to do when we got caught in traffic.  And that's one of my favorite things about keeping a sketchbook:  I am never bored!

This first sketch might be my favorite sketch of the entire trip:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Six

We visited an amazing open street market of restaurants--sort of like "Taste of Chicago" but smaller and permanent.  It featured food from all over the world.

I could have spent several days there drawing people and the beautiful food creations.

But I had to eat!  So I only got a few sketches in...

I didn't eat this Pad Thai, but I loved the bowl it came in!