Thursday, February 26, 2009

South American art

"La Mujer de Gaucho" watercolor sketch
Ushuaia, Argentina

Las Mujeres de Gaucho photo

My charcoal sketch
I managed to do a bit of sketching in graphite, charcoal, and watercolor, while traveling almost 5000 miles by cruise ship around the lower latitudes of South America. Ushuai, Argentina, on the Grande Isla de Tierra del Fuego, is the southernmost city in the world and a frequent staging area for expeditions to Antartica some 800 miles away. We took a shore tour that included a trainride at the end of the world, a gaucho show, and a visit to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

We were surprised at the quality of the gaucho show which was in a rustic barn with a visibly amateur stage setting. However, the young folks were anything but amateur in their ability to perform. I took the snapshot of the women, which is not very clear, but good enough for reference materials. A few days later I used the viewer on my camera to do a charcoal sketch, selecting the woman in red as my subject. I then created a grid, which is straight in person I might add (pardon the camera skew), and redrew my composition on a watercolor pad. I did this painting as a sketch for further development in my studio. Interestingly, you might agree with me that the charcoal sketch is a better rendition. Note the positioning of the body and head. In fact, I want to improve upon the charcoal sketch to nail the dancer's body mechanics. That's why I like to do multiple sketches and paintings.

Now that I am home, I plan to do a series based on the sketch where I vary elements of design as taught by Mike Bailey and Myrna Wacknov. (Check out Myrna's blog for her latest workshop slide show to see the results of her instruction this week. Fascinating!) I also have several wonderful source pictures for gaucho men for future reference.

Tomorrow I will share a few little sketches I did in Buenos Aires.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

How wonderful to have all this new material for inspiration. I think you need to go on more cruises!

I am waiting anxiously to see those gauchos.