I’m starting posting my sketches from a few weeks in India with the littlest sketches. Normally these end up being my last post from my travels: the stragglers, like this post from Italy last summer. But I’ve come to realize that these are often my favorites. They capture singular little observations, moments that go by too quickly for a bigger sketch. Like this spread below, one bull, one cow, one unfinished little figure and a sketch of a woman bending over to choose vegetables in the market. Nothing special, but stuff I’m glad I recorded.
Here are the books I used on this trip: My biggest black book, a 9×12 inch Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook (at the bottom of the heap). I’ve tried going smaller for portability. But I miss this book, so it’s staying. But for these quick captures I used one of two books: In the middle of the pile, in grey-green, the 8×10 inch Stillman & Birn Softcover Delta Series sketchbook. And the smallest blue book, a Handbook Journal in the 5.5×8.25 size, with a thin paper. Not a watercolor book, but I kinda like what it does with washes. And being a thin paper, one journal carries a LOT of paper.
Traveling to India from the US is a very long trip. Made even longer when the very last leg of your journey is postponed by 8 hours. For such a long journey, though, I don’t sketch a lot. I just zone out, watch movies I’d never watch otherwise, and read a bit. Below are a few airport-sketch pages. No airplane sketches this time.
The three sketches below were made in front of Caranzalem Church in Goa. I thought I’d go sketch the church, but found that I’d caught the tail end of the Feast at the church. I missed the procession, but caught one last piece by the small band. And an old lady praying at this little cross. And balloon vendor.
The little sketches below are of people on the streets of Bijapur. On the left, men wearing that distinctive cap and dhoti I associate with the Deccan. On the right, two Muslim men walking past an auto that delivers gas cylinders.
On the left, a minaret at the Ibrahim Roza monument. And on the right, a quick little capture of a scene at the Sunday market. Cows will eat anything.
This is what you see any place with a lawn or a public park. Lots of people sprawled on the grass. They might look like they’re doing nothing. Wrong. They’re deeply engaged in a very enjoyable activity called timepass, which is exactly what it sounds like.
One last little spread. On the left, an unsuccessful attempt at drawing pigs. The pigs of Bijapur roam around eating any garbage they find. They look nothing like Babe the pig. They are black, bristly-haired and thin. Still, they don’t look as rat-like as my sketch makes them out to be. On the right, a quick calligraphic capture of the incredible Gol Gumbaz. More about that building in another post, though.