I went to see the studio of my friend TIHO. He prefers to call it a “manufacture”. With BRADA, another artist friend of ours, we discussed the secrets of drawing and storytelling, and I grabbed his “environmental” portrait somewhere inbetween.
On my way to pharmacy I remembered that JEVREMOVAC, the arboretum of Belgrade, is just near by. Perfect for sketching, I thought. But once there, I quickly found out that in order to get the interesting composition I would have to stand in mud. Snow was melting and everything soaked. Finally I found something that resembled a hand-made stone bench, but it was not so “strategically” placed and very cold to sit on. So I made it quick and left with an undecided and lacking composition.
Today it was warm and dry enough for a session on a park bench. I strolled a bit along the banks of the Danube until a found this trio of “dry” boats, still resting in hibernation. I tried to implement some hatching, to render the beautiful light and the shadows of trees on the boats. But in the end I feel I might have tortured this drawing to death with the excessive details.
Had a coffee at a bar that has few of their chairs facing a window, giving me twenty calm minutes with my vista across the street. Somewhere in the middle of my session a van stopped to unload some crates for the near-by shop, blocking the view on the left. A couple of sips and a few details on the right later, it was gone, leaving me to finish.
Now this was quick. Trying to capture my daughter and her friends at the kindergarten forced me to work really fast, as noone would sit still for a minute. I had to work in “bursts”, drawing my daughter to the waist before she climbed up on the stool. Then passed onto her friend on the left, until she was sitting again, and so on. In the end, considering how swift it all went, I was glad it eventually turned to something coherent.
The site of Kalemegdan, the fortress of Belgrade, dates back to Roman times. A castrum by the name of Singidunum started the fortification of the spot that dominates the junction of two rivers. But Sahat kula has it’s origins around the 17th century, I believe (but will have to check in the museum of the fortress the next time I go for a sketching session there). The name, given by the Turks that ruled over Belgrade in that period, literally means The clock tower.
Up is the photoshoped collage of two sketchbook spreads. Inspired by wonderful two-parters by Will Freeborn, I tried to emulate his great idea. Not really successful as I didn’t pay enough attention to join the parts as precisely as he does. That’s because I was standing for the whole session, holding the sketchbook in my hand. It was unusually warm after a very cold week and a pleasure to be outside. But I could not sit anywhere, all the walls and benches were soaked by melting snow. Here are the original spreads:
Although it’s pretty much in the center, I’ve never been to Supermarket. It’s just a five minutes walk down the streets I never use. But as I decided to stroll “meaninglessly” this time, somehow I ended in front of it. An old concrete hall turned to mixture of restaurant, cafe and a vine/garment/designer shop. I had my coffee across the part with many niches in the wall, holding the crates of fresh vegetables and fruits. You can pick your flavor and have them turned into juice right in front of you.
Turning my chair to the right and placing the sketchbook in my lap, I captured a bit of the shop side, with hand-made wooden crates used as shelves for all the colorful stuff they sell. Unusual place worth exploring from different angles.