Sketching in Goa: Part 4

Fisherwomen are fun to draw, with their brightly printed saris and dresses, hair decorated with flowers, gold jewelry and often-colorful language. I spent a morning sketching in Panjim market, with the Sunday morning crowds often blocking my view.
goa_market_fish1 goa_market_fish3

This lineup of women sold shellfish, clams and shrimp, cleaned and sorted out into measures.

A little section of the fish market is set aside for meat and poultry stalls. The mutton shop is where you buy goat meat. You select a piece from the meat hanging overhead from large hooks, and the butcher chops it up to your specifications on a large wooden log.

The sketches below are from a fish auction, held twice a day- when the fishing boats come in- in Devgad, Maharashtra.
See the guy walking away with the huge swordfish to the right of the frame? He just won that in an auction.

These wicker baskets are filled with silvery ribbon fish. Two men hold up a bamboo that suspends a weighing scale from which a basket is hung and weighed before it is auctioned.

Ribbon fish are dried and made into poultry meal or fertilizer. Baskets of fish that have been weighed line the shore and the sea is filled with boats waving saffron flags and the Indian tricolor.

Me? I sketch and then I go home with some fresh crab and pomfret fish.

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Sketching in Goa: Part 3

Back to mangoes. My all-time favorite mango? The Alphonso mango. Lucky me, my parents own a mango farm and I visited during mango season.

This is what a fully grow Alphonso mango looks like. Green, with just the barest touch of yellow. Picked by hand, these fruits are ripened in hay and smell heavenly when they are orange-yellow and ready to eat. I sketched while I sat under a tree in the orchard in Deogad, Maharashtra.

Once the mangoes are ripe enough to pack, they are graded by size and shape and those with spots and blemishes are set aside. That’s my dad standing and watching the sorting and grading operation.
The mangoes then go into green cardboard boxes that hold 12 mangoes each.
Every box has a bright pink colored tissue paper that covers the mangoes when they are all packed.

Mango season is short: it starts with the hottest days of the summer and ends as soon as the monsoons hit India. During this short season, it is mango madness. The markets are overflowing with mango. And every little street vendor sits around with a basket of them. You can never have too many mangoes.


Because everyone loves mangoes!

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Sketching in Goa: Part 2

Panjim market is a huge indoor area divided into many sections. This is the flower section of the market. These stalls sell garlands used either in worship or to adorn just about anything: a woman’s hair, the doorway of a home, a vehicle… The guy on the left pulls thread from a long spool and deftly puts together loose flowers from the baskets into garlands. I love the brilliant orange of marigold. It can vary from a deep egg-yolk-like color to the orange of a California Poppy. The flower sellers got me a little seat to perch on while I sketched. And magically, a cutting chai appeared by my side. I love sketching in India.

More flower sellers. See the empty spools hanging at the top? That’s what garlands are suspended from. The market has a strange light. It is a huge, dark indoor space ( to keep it cool) but bright light filters through windows set high in the building and then down through tarps,some made of white cloth, and others of a bright blue plastic.


The fruit section of the market always looks extra special when it is mango season. The seller at the top left specializes in mangoes but the woman on the right sells much more: bananas, jackfruit and papaya. And mango, of course.

These women sell just mangoes. The market is set on high platforms with wide walkways to stroll through as you pick your fruit and haggle over prices.
goa_market_mango_2Every region in India has dozens of varieties of mangoes, and there’s always an argument about local favorites. My favorite Goan mango is the mankurad. But my all-time favoritest-mango-in-the-world? Coming up in my next post.

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Sketching in Goa: Part 1

1o short days in India. Too short for much more than a visit to my parents in Goa. And for sketching in and around the city of Panjim, where they live. So these next few posts are just that: Sketches from the streets and markets of Goa.

This is just a normal day at Bombay airport, where I wait to catch my flight to Goa. Sketched in pen and blue pencil.

And the perfect contrast to the busy milling crowds anywhere are the stray dogs who sleep peacefully through any amount of noise and chaos. They make such great models. Nothing can wake them up, and they don’t even notice when I stand right over them and sketch them.
stray_dogs_2_padel_fort stray_dogs_kala_academy

Another common sight everywhere: the water tanker that fills up your water tank. Much of urban India suffers from water shortages, and if you’re lucky you can afford to buy water from a private company.

This three-wheeler, the autorickshaw can make it’s way through almost any traffic jam.

Here’s a lineup of them at the auto stand outside Panjim Market.

This is the tempo, a cousin of the auto that’s used for carrying all sorts of stuff.
And while I’m posting vehicles, here is a Royal Enfield, a beautiful Indian motorcycle.
And another Indian classic, a Hero bicycle parked in a side street.

Lots more sketches from India coming soon.

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Two-ink sketching in Yosemite National Park

I’m enjoying playing with a two-toned approach to my linework: For the most part, I do a very loose line drawing with brown ink first, just enough to let me see where my big shapes are. Then it’s watercolor time. Last of all, I’m back in with a darker ink to define shapes and draw attention to parts of the image. I’m finding it to be a good way to keep my line from being flat and monotonous. And, knowing I will come back in for a second time and define what I need to keeps me from drawing too much in line on my first pass: It allows for less defined edges, like the clouds at the top of El Capitan in Yosemite (below) breaking the edge of the rock formation.yosemite_elcapitan

Here’s another rock formation I sketched, this time from the top of Vernal Falls, halfway through a beautiful hike.
yosemite_topofvernalfallsThis one is Sentinel Rock (yes, they all start to merge after a while), but you can see I was having fun with this two-ink thing…yosemite_sentinel

I used pencil and black pen here. This is Yosemite Falls.

And for variety, here’s a branch of pine using brown and black ink, blue colored pencil, and a white gel pen.

These are the Giant Sequoias in the southern part of the park.

And my favorite rock (and sketch) comes last: Half Dome. In watercolor, graphite pencil and a wee bit of blue colored pencil.

Here’s what I’m using: Two Sailor bent nib pens, one with black carbon ink the other with De Atramentis Brown Document ink. Graphite pencil, blue colored pencil, white gel pen, and watercolor.

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Back in New York, Part 6: It’s fun being a tourist

It doesn’t get more touristy than Times Square. Can’t say I understand why tens of thousands of tourists parade through it everyday. But it is super-fun to sketch.
times_square2 times_square1

Next stop? Grand Central. I wish I’d sketched the beautiful turquoise ceiling to this huge space, it’s is really beautiful.grand_central

My favorite part of the Natural History Museum is the dioramas. They have beautifully painted backdrops… such depth and and atmosphere in those paintings! But my kids spent the most time in the dino section. So that’s where I sketched.
museum_of_natural_historyThat’s it from New York. I think I’m ready to go back already.

If you missed my earlier New York posts, they’re here:  post #1, post #2 , post #3, post#4 and post#5.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city,here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 5: Looking Up

Looking up. Buildings everywhere. The everyday, the famous.
This one has one of those faded advertisements on the top of it, from the days of the elevated line in Manhattan. A water tower and fire escapes complete the scene.

Synagogue by a police station. Only the NYPD parks in front of this building.
The skyline from the East River. Waiting on a boat to take the Circle Line Tour, one of my favorite touristy things to do in the city.

And some more famous buildings, ones I draw every time I’m back in New York.
The Flatiron. With yellow cabs. And daffodils blooming in giant pots.

And from almost the same viewpoint, looking north, the Empire State Building. The guy on the bench was so sweet. I didn’t think he’d noticed I was drawing, but then he politely asked if he could leave before getting up and walking away.
And my favorite building in New York, the beautiful Chrysler Building.

You can read post #1, post #2 , post #3 or post#4.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city, as I post them, here on flickr.

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