Sunday, August 21, 2016

Illustration Friday: Gold

This is a European Goldfinch I painted back in June as part of my 50 watercolor birds series.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Travel Drawings

Last month (end of June to mid July) I went on a trip to Israel and Estonia. Immediately when I got back, I started school and had to catch up on the first two weeks I missed due to my trip. It was SO hard! The regular workload for this school, especially in the first quarter, I hear, is immense, so just imagine trying to complete 3 weeks worth of work in a single week. I will show some of the products of this work in a following post, but my point here is to explain why it's taken me so long to start writing this post.

I went to Israel only about 8 months following a previous visit there, which is very unusual. I normally visit every two years. But I had an extra special reason to go this time - my cousin's daughter's wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding! And I had a chance to see people I haven't seen in ages.

While on the trip I decided that I would try my hand at drawing from life. So my first drawings were at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul of people waiting for their flight to Israel.

When I got to my cousin's house, where I was staying while in Israel, I tried drawing Gina, my cousin's dog. 
 Gina is a very sweet barky dog
I also tried drawing her cat, Yulia, but she was less cooperative, preferring to nudge her head against my pencil-holding hand. So my drawings of her do not do her justice. She's really pretty.
While waiting on my sister and brother-in-law outside of their winery,
 I decided to draw this tree. The smudge at the top is a by-product of tightly attaching a pencil to the sketchbook

And these are some unaware(?) train passengers on my way to Tel Aviv. 
It did feel weird drawing people, as one must keep watching them, and worry if they'd get annoyed by you. I did not have any problem, however.

No, the weird insect was not one of the passengers 
On one of my days there I went to visit my friend in Jerusalem, and the bus was seriously late. I did not have a phone to call her and let her know that I'd be late, but a really nice person, Hofit, let me use her phone. I'm so thankful!
But not only that, when she heard I am an illustrator, she wanted me to draw her! So this is what she ended up looking, and you can see that my drawing did not do her justice. 
I do have a few excuses, though. For one, she was sitting right next to me, and I realized that one needs a bit of distance to get a good view of a drawing subject. Another excuse is that I really was not that trained in drawing people (as you can see from other entries in my blog, I tend to gravitate toward animals). But she was kind enough to like it, nonetheless. Thanks, Hofit!

After my short visit to Israel, I traveled to Estonia via Helsinki. In Estonia I had the pleasure of finally seeing a talented illustrator I met in the blogosphere. It was so nice to find out how alike we think about so many things, despite our age gap and coming from different parts of the world. Hanna was such a great host, taking me to all the interesting places in her beautiful city, Tallinn. This blog post is mostly about my drawings, but I feel like I must insert at least one photo of Tallinn.

Hanna was delighted when I mentioned I wanted to visit the zoo. We took our sketch books with us, of course.
Northern ground hornbill 
 American Black Bear
 A sleeping Polar Bear

We did a lot of other things, like visiting the botanical garden, the TV tower, a few museums on a rainy day, and this really neat outdoor museum where you can see how people lived in different parts of rural Estonia throughout the years. Not only can you see it, you can also taste it! They have a little inn there, where you can get authentic village dishes. It was so much fun!

I also went to Tartu and was terrified at the KGB cells museum:
A scary-looking Soviet guard. 
The scariness was enhanced with sound effects. 
 After 5 days in Estonia, I took a ferry back to Helsinki. I sketched a few people during the 2-hour ride, but I think this one (at the bottom) came out best. She reminds me of the Japanese animation characters, like from 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (Halev, in Hebrew).

I had fun in Helsinki, as well. The first day was nice and sunny, but the second day was rainy, so I again spent it at a museum. I enjoyed the works of this Estonian guy:
A kid with a crow by Akseli Gallen-Kallela