Welcome back after a long break! You probably already know that I am in Indonesia until June 2018, hence I have a break from publishing and painting. Although, as you can see, not entirely, and this is because the desire to paint is stronger than me. I do not paint here normally, but I have contact with paints, which makes me very happy. In this post I would like to share my experiences with Indonesia with you, but only those related to painting.
My art supplies
I took my metal travel palette with paints and a few brushes to Indonesia. I knew I would buy the paper here, so I didn’t take it with me. On the spot it turned out that the papers I use (Arches or Fabriano) are very expensive here, as well as Winsor&Newton paints (three times more expensive than in Poland!), so it’s good that at least I took them with me. Later I thought well, maybe it’s even better, I would rest a little and instead I would only sketch a bit. And so I decided to buy a sketchbook. I bought one, two more I got from my Indonesian friend.
In the meantime I was looking for someone who likes to paint. I was sure that there are people interested in Urban Sketching here, in the end Bandung is a big city (almost 2.5 million people). I did a little research and it turned out that there is a thriving Bandung Sketchwalk group here. It brings together Urban Sketching enthusiasts. Everyone meets every first Sunday of the month in the planned place and they sketch about 3 hours together. After sketching, they gather in one place, comment on their work, choose the best one and the winner gets a gift.
Without thinking, I wrote to this group on Facebook. I immediately received a nice message with information about the next meeting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the first meeting because at that time I was moving from the hotel to the apartement, but I meet with them a month later.
Meeting with a group of like-minded people and sketching together in different places is a great experience. Double for me, because I can sketch and practice my Indonesian. We meet not only during official meetings once a month, but also on other days when we have free time.
One of the meetings took place in a beautiful place – Stone Garden. It is a mountainous area with beautiful view. There was a Polish accent. Someone took two Indonesian flags, which is almost the same as Polish one, but the colors are reversed. We spent about 3 hours at the top. Everyone has found a more or less cozy place to sketch.
Sitting 3 hours on the top of the mountain, in the full tropical sun led me to sunburn (which I noticed when I came back home). The sun here is very treacherous, it’s cloudy, you don’t see the sun, but then you come back home and it turns out you are red. But it was worth it, because the view from the top was beautiful and it was a pleasure to paint in the open air. Later all participants gathered in one place and we discussed our sketches. The meeting surprised me, because they decided that my sketch was the best, so I received congratulations and a gift (a book). Later of course dozens of photos and it started raining (it is still the rainy season), so we went home.
During several meetings it turned out that I still don’t like to paint architecture (it wasnothing new to me), but I also discovered that I like to sketch food (and this was something new). My sketchbook is now filled with sketches of Indonesian food.
Stages of sketching
Each of these sketches was created in the same way. The steps are as follows:
- Pencil sketch – I use a 2B pencil, I sketch out very general outlines of objects, only simple shapes, rectangles, circles. At this stage I arrange only individual items on a piece of paper, I set the composition. I don’t add any details.
- A thin outline – based on my pencil sketch, when I already know shere my objects should be, I draw a black outline. I use a waterproof Micron 03 fineliner. At this stage I try to recreate the shapes of individual elements. If the objects overlap, I start drawing from those that are closest.
- A thick contour – the same Micron (because I don’t have a thicker one), I add a thicker outline on the objects. I leave the lines that are inside the objects. In this way I have a variation of lines, there are thicker and thinner lines and the whole drawing looks more interesting.
- Colors – I apply colors in layers. First lighter washes, then darker. Before each next layer I wait until the previous one dries completely. I pay attention to the choice of colors and appropriate contrasts.
- Brush Pen – I use a brush pen to add thick lines here and there, mainly under the objects, to create an imitation of strong shadows.
- Notes – I add notes, mainly the name of the dish, sometimes the place where I bought it and painted it, and the date.
I was asked to record how I paint these sketches. It is difficult to record here, because I took the camera with me, but I didn’t take the tripod. But because there is demand, I decided to buy a small tripod and make a video. Enjoy!