Lindos 2015 Day 2

Lindos is particularly famous for the Acropolis dating back to Ancient times. When tourism developed locals introduced the donkey taxi to get visitors up the hill. The donkey taxi station is one of my favourite spots to go first thing in the morning for some warm up sketches. So day 2 and down I went.

These three sketches collectively occupy most of an A4 landscape. It's all about working quickly as the donkeys are likely to move at any moment. This is all 4B work. I enjoy drawing the saddles. In the strong sunlight identifying the main shadows is a good way of building a basic structure on the sketch between which exist the lighter tones. Probably three to four minutes per sketch here.

I really was very lucky with this donkey. It was tied to a railing and didn't move for a good 15 minutes. The saddle and straps give the image a strong structure and act as a frame within which to develop the contours of the donkey itself. This occupies an A4 in portrait. All completed using a 4B. The 4B with pressure is used to infer shadows underneath straps and the saddle. A series of rapid strokes creates the texture of hair. A line of these strokes close to the underside of the donkey infers a transition from hair to skin. A quick diagonal hatch underneath the donkey acts to confirm that this area as a whole is in shadow.

A this stage I felt I was on a bit of a roll so more donkeys please.

These quick sketches occupy about a quarter of an A4. The donkeys kept moving so no time to take the images any further. The 4B continues as the tool of choice.

So back to saddles again. I used a vertical hatch to mimic a shadow cast by and adjacent rail. Everything here eyeballed again, no time for measurement. This is about half an A4.

So last attempt at the Donkey faces. These two guys were peeping out from the donkey station. Unfortunately for me they kept moving. We are so clued into what a head should look like that I think the incorrect positioning of eyes and mouths really shows up. Still, trips to the donkey station are about warm ups. The process of quickly observing and making marks is far more important than the results which are effectively just a by product.

Okay, just around the corner to the main square and the classic view across to the village falling down the hill towards the bay. Lindos is known for these little 'sugar cube' houses. Again not really much point in measuring here, that would cause me to become too bogged down in detail. Closing my eyelids to leave just a slit view resolved the view into the main darks and lights so that was what I focussed on to get the vegetation placed. What was left was the buildings which could be further filled in and then the black marks as the openings. Finally diagonal hatching was used to resolve the buildings into the side facing the sun and that in shade. Most of an A4 all in 4B.

What next, oh just try another donkey! (they keep moving).

Okay then, down to Skala Beach to look for some inspiration.

There are these little caves all close to the beach that had been used for boat storage. I'd been meaning to sketch them for a while. The image is supplemented by a couple of favourite subjects of mine, a TV aerial which help to date the image, and the stacked loungers, I really the like the effect of stacked objects. This picture is most of an A4 and executed in a 4B.

The starting point was the shape of the arched cave which in a way is negative shape. The vegetation behind the cave was used to give form and shape to the man made structure built around the cave opening. The heavier broken line around the rock face to the right helps to bring this into the foreground. Sketching the loungers can really only be achieved by blotting out in the mind what they are and marking in the main tonal areas including the shadows underneath. Having achieved that a few lines separates the mass into in the individual loungers. The image is a bit soft because of the use of the 4B. It worked out the wall I had chosen as my seat for sketching was actually a donkey stop. A couple of donkeys and their owner set up camp right beside me. The donkeys really were interested in the picture, so much so there were a few near misses between a donkey tongue and the page. Another thing I learned was not to give a donkey a full apple as they could choke, best to whack the apple a few times to break it up.

So a final attempt at the caves.

This is about half an A4. I wanted sharp shadows between the boards so I introduced a sharp 2B to this sketch. The heavy darks between the boards and the cave edge were marked in first. Individual lines then for the boards. The heavy line on the right defines an edge to the rock face but also an edge to the image and acts to give depth to the sketch. The 4B and nearly horizontal marks added some texture to the ground.

Days work done. Cup of coffee awaits.