Friday, October 2, 2009

the drawings

How it was possible that I had forgotten all about my A3 Moleskine sketchbook, is beyond me. It's an A3-sized Moleskine! Well I remembered it for my trip to Büyükada the other day, and soon discovered that sketching large is an entirely different kettle of fish— there's all this paper to fill. I brought along an Ebony pencil to work with, and while it was fun, I found it challenging. Of course I didn't make things any easier on myself by attempting to draw Kız Kulesi, the Maiden's Tower, from out the window of a moving ferry.

After that sumptuous feast at Çiya I more than mentioned in the previous post, I pulled out the A3 and worked on drawing an old man fiddling with something I never saw. I'm not too happy with the way it came out; the table's perspective is off, his elbow is weird-looking, and I neglected the background. I need to carry this book and some Ebony pencils with me more often so I can get some practice in.

The previous two sketches were drawn in my old familiar little Moleskine with some Faber-Castell PITT pens. I don't know how obvious it is to an objective eye, but I believe the comfort I feel with a pen and a smaller sketchbook is apparent. The first sketch is of a man eating a simit on one of the day's three ferries, and the last one is of a man who was nodding off on the 25E bus from Kabataş. An old lady had spied me sketching, and began to say all sorts of things to me in Turkish that I didn't understand. She asked if I knew German, since she didn't know any English.

"Ich habe nicht Deutsch gesprochen für über fünfzehn Jahren." I slowly explained, trying to remember exactly when the last time I had spoken German was. She got very excited and started scolding me in German about how I should be learning Turkish if I wanted to live here. I tried to explain in a bad blend of Turkish and German that I was really trying to learn, and that I am hoping to start classes again soon.

"Sehr gut."

This seemed to satisfy her. She then took my sketchbook out of my hands, with a grin from ear to ear. She flipped through the pages with a stern look of approval.

"Oh, sehr schön— çok güzel, canım. Maşallah!"

Much to my horror, she suddenly jabbed the sleeping man, my unaware subject, in the elbow with my book. I could feel my face starting to flood with red. The whole front of the bus was watching with chuckles and smiles, and this poor man was being woken up to see a drawing of him sleeping. What on earth would he think? I sometimes fear that the people I draw will be offended by how I have drawn them— after all, it has happened, but only a couple of times. He blinked in confusion, took my book in his hands, rubbed his eyes, and smiled.


Thomas Taylor said...

I found you via Urban Sketchers.

A blog about drawing and food and sunny days! And great photos recently too.

How on earth did you find an A3 Moleskine? I'm going to have to look into that. I can imagine covering all that paper would be a challenge after the pocket version.

szaza said...

Thanks for stopping by, Thomas. I got my A3 in a Borders in San Francisco. You can also order them online at a variety of places. Just google A3 Moleskine.

Isabel said...

love your portraits szaza and the good thing most people love being drawn!

szaza said...

Thank you so much, Isabel. Yes, I am so glad most people aren't offended!