A stroke of colour

In my last few posts, I’ve been trying to draw back some memories from different travels through recent years.

Basically by going through my photo albums, and picking out some favourites to try and recreate in my own style (or in my best abilities, that is..).

One of the photos I decided to having a go at, was a colourful restaurant in Cozumel, Mexico. It looked like this:

The whole building was so packed with colours that I simply had to try and paint it as well. I’m fairly new to using watercolours, so I rarely feel that I’m getting the full effect out of the medium. But I guess practise makes (closer to) perfect.

Anyway, when I decided to add some colour to the pen drawing, I wanted to make the colours as close to the real thing as possible. So I started with the pavement, made it over to the skyline (which ended up more blue than cloudy, simply becuse I anticipated that it was blue instead of actually looking at the picture), and ended with the bulding itself.

I have to admit I could have put some more time into blending the colours just right. But I got so excited I just went into a hasty flow.

So, this is how it ended up:

A Mexican fiesta

A comparison:

The second drawing I wanted to get some colour on, was my take on an chaotic looking (but really cool) treehouse from a travel in Vietnam.

I thought the whole look of it was quite fascinating, but as I did’nt have a lot of time to draw it, I decided to go with a quite simplified version of it. It looked like this:

Most of the time went into making all the lines on the tree and the details on the treehouse itself. Just to get some life into it. But as you can see, the drawing does not make the photo much justice.

Anyway, picking out the brushes, I decided that I wanted to add some natural colour to this one. I simply wanted to get the whole “tree-vibe” out of it.

So I just went with some different shades and mixes of brown and sienna, really, and just let the colours flow.

This is how it ended up:

A treehouse in Vietnam

A comparison:

All in all a very fun session. But there is still a long way to go regarding my abilities to capture a scene.

A treehouse in Vietnam

Traveling in South East Asia a few years ago, we came over a real chaotic looking treehouse in Vietnam.

It may have been as stable and solid as any other treehouse you’ll find, but I did’nt really get the urge to try and climb up to it (and I don’t know if it was allowed either).

The look of it were really fascinating though. There were branches going in all directions, and it was quite hard to see where the tree ended and the house startet at some points.

You can look for yourself, as I took a photo of it:


Looking back on the photo, I got a real urge to try and draw it.

But, as I don’t have the skills to draw an actual replica of the photo, I decided to make my own version of it. Something more straightforward and easier to grasp.

So I picked up my felt pen, and had a go at it. The result came out like this:


As you can see, it’s a lot less complicated. But I kind of got the same vibe from this one as from the actuall tree house we photographed.

I added some details on the stem of the tree to get it to look more lively. I also tried to add some details to the wood on the treehouse, to make it look a little more worn down than the way it came out to start with.

The bottom of the house should have a lot darker colour though, as it kind of seems that the floor is missing on this one…

Anyway, I guess I’ll add a stroke or two of watercolour later on, but, as time was up for this sessions, I ended it feeling quite pleased with the result.

A Mexican Fiesta!

I’ve been really into drawing sketches from real life lately. It’s so much fun to restore old memories with your own pen, and extremely challenging to get it all looking right.

Just the simple process of making the perspectives right, or to put the right things into the correct layer, can be a real struggle if you loose your concentration for a minute. I guess that means it’s real good training, though.

Well, I decided to have a go at another Mexican scene. In form of a lively restaurant in Cozumel we visited about one and a half year ago.

So lively indeed that the waiter brought us our nachos with a siren on his head, screaming out the words “mucho caliente!”.

Well, in retrospect, it may not have been an authentic Mexican restaurant, as I don’t see all the waiters in Mexico do this to the locals serving food. Tourist trap might be a more suitable word for it, as there also came five guitarists to our table playing to us as we ate.

It still was a really fun experience though, as the place were so full of energy. Everybody were smiling, and the food was really good. There also were colours everywhere, both on the restaurant itself and the adjoining buildings.

I tried to recreate all this in a sketch I did some days ago, but I see now that my next step probably would be to add a stroke of watercolour to it.

Anyway, the place looked like this:


And my sketch ended up like this:


Not exactly a replica. But I had a lot of fun drawing it, getting all the colours, smells and music back in my mind as I did. I think it turned out alright!

An abandoned discoteca in Mexico

As you may, or may not, have noticed, I tried painting a roofless house from Cozumel, Mexico a few posts ago.

As I wrote in the post, Cozumel is one of the most colourful places I’ve ever visited. There were things to photograph at every street corner, which means that there were a lot to try painting when I came home.

One of the coolest buildings we passed, was this abandoned discoteca. It looked like this:


I think the facade, with the walls tore down in the background, was remarkably cool. So it was quite easy finding time to sit down with a pen and brush afterwards, and try to recreate it.

I used a 0,1mm felt pen to draw the outlines of the buildings, pavement and power lines, adding some details at the end. It ended up like this:

Discoteca, Mexico

The perspective is a little off, I think. Basically because I decided to wing it rather than actually following the rules of perspectives. I don’t know if it ruins it for people or not, but I should have put more thought in it than I did.

On the other hand, I’m quite happy with the view through the left window. I decided to add an old washing machine, to make it even more deserted than it already was. I also put some grass and weed coming up among the pavement.

With the sketch done, it was time to put in some colour. In my last painting from Mexico I got so excited I forgot to use the right colours on the buildings, so I decided to at least try and make a better job at it this time.

I wanted a clear blue sky, popping green grass and a nice pink/orange building. So I picked up the brushes, and had a go at it. After about two hours work, sketch and painting included, this was the final result:

Discoteca, Mexico

It’s not excactly a replica, but at least I had a lot of fun making it! 🙂

Drawing hands is hard…

So I’ve recently been reading a tutorial book, with tasks and guidance to become a better painter and drawer.

In the section about drawing people, you get challenged to try drawing hands. Not just the same hand over and over again, but small hands, big hands, coarse hands, delicate hands, old hands and young hands.

It looks fearly manageable, but man it’s hard to get it to look right!

I’ve been doing the trick about making the hand into smaller basic shapes, and go on from there. But it’s still hard to hit all the angles in the right way, and to get the hand gestures your trying to convey.

There is some progress though, so I guess it’s all about keeping up the practicing. Anyway, this is some of the outcomes from my first session of drawing hands: