Lockdown Sketches – Week Five

Looking through my daily lockdown drawings so far, I’m pleased to find there a few I’m rather happy with, along with several which strongly invoke the internal critic. Then there’s the odd drawing I’m almost embarrassed to post but as I’ve committed to sharing a daily drawing during lockdown, post it I will – warts and all. It’s odd how one day a drawing will come together relatively easily, and produce a satisfying result and the next day every stroke of the pen induces anguish and self recrimination. Ultimately I think the benefit of daily/regular drawing practice is a very good thing… it’s just sometimes a bit painful.

Day 29: The Rear Window! Part of the view from the window on the back side of our house. It looks out over my neighbour’s garden and surrounding rooftops towards Ag Georgeos church in the centre of Harakopio. We’re normally within easy earshot of the church bells ringing out on Sundays and Saints days but it’s been eerily quiet during lockdown, apart from the clock and the funeral bell on Good Friday.

Day 30: This is my first taverna chair drawing for ages. I quite enjoyed it but they are rather challenging subjects – all these angles and proportions to eyeball give plenty of scope for mistakes. Focusing on the negative space helps a bit. I enjoy the painting part – making it look aged and a bit rusty and rickety… which they usually are as my chairs are mostly picked up from the side of the road or the public bins. These discarded chairs are almost always in fairly good condition and clean up nicely with fresh paint and a new bamboo seat courtesy of the visiting chair ‘mastoras’.

Day 31: Inspired by one of my photos of a lovely, shady avli (courtyard) taken a while back in Vasilitsi village. A little creative licence was used in this painting… I think the actual chair may have been dark brown varnish but I preferred this green colour to go with the overhanging foliage and the turquoise door. Vasilitsi is a really pretty village with a bit of an island feel – its one of my favourite sketching haunts in the area.

Day 32: This is the street at the end of our lane. It’s the main back street which runs from Fouli’s taverna and the church, up to the turning for the graveyard. It’s the road of last journeys and of daily walks to tend graves of loved ones. It’s also a well used village road by farmers and people tending their allotments. I’ve christened it ‘the back beach road’ as it continues down to the sea, turning into a dirt road on the way and is a lovely walk. I had fun with the perspective on this drawing!

Day 33: Looking down to our courtyard garden (avli) from our house. I was squished into the corner of the window whilst drawing this view and made several perspective mistakes as a result of rushing into it with the waterproof pen! It reminds me of a Carl Larson comic drawing… I actually went back and tried to improve this page by adding more lights and darks and just made it worse… it ended in tears! Still…another day, another page in the sketchbook…

Day 34: Looking down on Eleni’s garden. Eleni is around ninety and hasn’t been able to tend her sizeable garden for a few years now, so it’s great to see being used again. The ground was cleared a few weeks ago, when they flattened the old chicken house in the corner and soon after these little plants appeared. The other day these bamboo poles were erected and a black, snaking watering system magically appeared. We have seen so many incarnations of this garden in the thirteen years we’ve lived here. I believe there are plans to build some sort of storage unit in the garden but I imagine there will always be space for a few veggies.

Day 35: We bought this pot when we moved here, in the days before we had the walled garden opposite. The pot sits right outside our front door and started out with a dwarf, decorative olive tree in it. Well that tree is no longer a dwarf, so it resides in the garden along with three fruit trees. The pot is now given a fresh coat of white paint every year and is a home for geraniums. When painting this sketch, I enjoyed playing around with textures on the wall and the ground. I used a combo of white church candle, a white waxy pencil (Staedtler Lumocolor permanent) with watercolours and chalky white gouache.

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