I only made it 4/5 days this week, but they were all very useful! I definitely understand lemur hands and feet more than this time last week.
I spent a fair bit of time chatting with the keepers, who taught me fun lemur facts (they hate water, including rain) and explained how to tell the lemurs apart. There are two with shorter tails, two with longer teeth, one who’s always a bit dishevelled, and another with a lopsided smirk. They’ve also got varied markings, particularly in their faces. I can only pick one or two at the moment, but maybe I’ll learn more in the next few weeks.
Some of the keepers asked whether I was learning to draw lemurs for a particular project. Beyond ‘learning to sketch more’ the answer was no, but now of course I’ve started to come up with one. So that’s fun too, because in trying to sketch lemurs from imagination I learn what it is that I still don’t understand about their shape. At this point the only reference I’m allowing myself is my own sketchbook, which is really showing me what I still need to learn. Mostly it’s to do with movement, and those really quick gestures, but I still have a few anatomical confusions too.
I had Big Plans for sketching in Singapore. I wanted it to be like my Europe sketchbook (1, 2) but with a way higher pictures to days ratio, and in colour. I had visions of making a beautiful stop-motion video of sketches appearing on a desk, taking you all on a journey through my trip.
As it is I came back with a lot of sketchy scribbles and colour notes and photos and ideas, and things that mean a lot to me. There were a lot of lessons about materials (crayons melt in the heat) and sketching methods (as above: using memories instead of actual material can help me narrow down a picture to its key elements instead of overworking). And I learned some more about the sorts of things I want to make.
But I didn’t end up with a lot that I really want to share. So I’ll just leave you with this, and a link to my instagram for the two sketches I posted while away.
I went sketching at the Royal Show yesterday and even took my paints. The School Paraders gave me an opportunity to sit down in a peaceful place and sketch some fairly still subjects.
I’m still enjoying not immediately posting my sketchbooks online, but I gave this painting away to the mum of the competitor so I wanted to record it now. Especially because I was proud of my milestone of painting outdoors without a table.