I spent a very hot afternoon sketching in the cool shade of the Istanbul Archeology Museum. It houses a wonderfully rich collection created during the Ottoman Empire, when Turkey ruled Egypt and the ancient lands of Mesopotamia, Assyria, etc.
A large brick relief panel from the Ishtar Gate processional avenue, Babylonian, about 600 BCE. It felt strange to be standing within the walls of ancient Byzantium, as Istanbul once was, drawing part of the walls of ancient Babylon.
White Uni Posca marker, gouache, pencil, water-brush with Lexington grey ink, A5
Small clay figures from Mesopotamia, about four thousand years old. They’re described as ‘Old Babylonian Period’ but looked completely timeless to me; contemporary and ancient, alien and familiar at the same time. Top right looks like a character from The Far Side, and bottom right’s wearing a monocle?
Red Pigma pen, water-brush with dilute Lexington grey ink, gouache, A5
More Mesopotamian objects and a few other randoms. (Spot Gandalf indulging in some nude hand-puppetry.) The second attempt at the figure top left, was much improved by concentrating on the individual curves that made up the whole.
Black 1mm Pigma pen, water-brush with dilute Lexington grey ink, gouache, A5
(Last year when I sketched in the museum the guards didn’t want me to draw the objects. I was using pencils, and all around me people were busy taking photos, but in the end I had to speak to the Museum Director to get special permission to continue. The prohibition was never explained. It happened again this year, but I insisted that I already had permission from the Director…)