Working the Streets

When I traveled to Prague, Vienna, Budapest and various cities in Poland the creative blood was flowing. I was greeted in Prague with the most unique medieval architecture. My pen and ink drawings were captivating. My style of illustrating with pen and ink is quite different from my watercolors. Just by looking at the drawn line the energy just consumes you. Line drawing you could achieve some very valuable value studies or just contour line. These studies are very helpful in creating finished pieces. This is what makes pen and ink a great medium to take abroad it is light and so compact it fits like a glove in your suitcase.

ink drawing 7 2013

Usually, I start a sketch with pencil first. Because my time is limited I start directly with ink. The mark is permanent and can’t be erased. You see through my drawing studies my line has so much energy. They carry a life of their own. The drawing at the Church of Our Lady Victorious captures the elegance of the detail work in the cathedral door.

ink drawing 10 20`13

An ink drawing is a classical art technique; which provides the outline and detail. The variety of size of technical pens can give your art work a great deal of detail. The lower number pen point will give you a crisp fine line; were as the higher number the thicker the line which gives a more dramatic touch. My work of the neo-Gothic famous 15th century astronomical clock in Old Town Square is a value study of rectangular shapes.

ink drawing 32013

The Prague Castle created a tall narrow pointed structure on the top of a roof, tower and steeple. Prague Medieval mystical atmosphere is one in a kind. Prague the capital of Czech Republic has many medieval castles, chateaux, cathedrals, churches, towers and bridges. The architecture has a great mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influence. My drawing of the gothic style St. Vitus Cathedral is a part of Prague Castle built in the 14th century. I capture the outline of the landscape showing the castle and Charles Bridge. This bridge is the oldest preserved connecting line between both Prague embankments. The cathedral houses mist prized relics of Czech history. Many painting of master Renaissance artist are hanging on the walls.

ink drawing 5 2013

Arriving in Vienna I drew the versatile city streets and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in concert. The greatest expression of Vienna elegance and tradition is in the Inner City. This city entices you with its lavish, Old World Charm. The Gothic style and overly rich ornamental Baroque buildings and copper-dome palaces are of passed days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

ink drawing 8 2013

In this romantic city on the Danube I drew a contour drawing of people sitting at a local café and walking on cobblestone streets.
The Philharmonic Orchestra piece was drawn while they were playing in concert. The pencil in my hand was moving just as fast as the musicians playing their instruments. As a matter of fact, my hand moved like the notes on the music sheet, taking a rest when the music stopped.
I departed Vienna en route to Budapest with a stop at the Pannnonhalma Arch Abbey, rich historical importance sitting atop St. Martin Hill. The abbey was constructed over a period of time and the styles were of many.

ink drawing trip2013

In Budapest is where I worked value studies into my line drawing, which gave my work another dimension. Just like watercolor with ink also produce layers of luminous washes. However, the very aspect that characterizes the beauty of the method can make it challenging to master. The relationship between line, value and composition unravels the mysteries of the medium to help your work evolve. My watercolor of the panoramic view of Budapest was rendered back in the states. The studies I brought back help me create this painting.

AB 1813

My next morning I departed Budapest for Krakow via Slovakia throughout my entire trip while riding I would be drawing the landscape from country to country; from city to city; and from town to town. I will write about this in another blog.
Before arriving in Krakow, I had visit the shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska known as the “Polish Jerusalem” my pen and ink drawing of the chapel on the hillside I capture the essence of the shrine.

I rendered a quick drawing of a Krakow street scene before climbing up the hill to the Krakow Cathedral and the Royal Castle. This drawing is all linear line. Through the lines you could see the structure come to life.
The rain was falling on the way to Warsaw so I was doing a few rain scenes.

Poland rain

When we reached Warsaw I was sketching scenes of the streets and the park. The park reminded me of Central Park in New York City.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie Gale-Vaillancourt
    Oct 08, 2014 @ 14:35:33

    What an amazing experience. The travelogue, paired with an artists impressions and explanation of technique, makes for interesting reading!



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