Category Archives: Istanbul

Cafe life

People watching in cafes, mostly this year in Bath, but the last one’s from Istanbul a couple of years ago when I was using a marker pen. If you can get a good table a cafe’s a great winter sketching location; strong light sources, sheltered, … Continue reading

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Topkapi #2

Water-brush, dilute Lexington grey ink, watercolour, gouache, A5 – 30 minutes  Back in the Harem section of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, this time looking through to the Black Eunuch’s Courtyard, with direct sun on the columns beyond. One of … Continue reading

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Topkapi #1

Two sketches done a year apart in the ‘twin kiosk’ rooms in the Harem section of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The first was done in 2012 focussing on the decorative tiles and trying to get the perspective right. The second … Continue reading

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Grey paper

A quiet street near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul on a hot summer Sunday morning, a pool of dappled shade slowly moving across the tarmac. I love the strong contrast produced by gouache on coloured paper, very useful for (relatively) … Continue reading

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Distant urban texture

Two sketches looking West towards the Suleymaniye Mosque from the terrace of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Once I’d drawn the key buildings I added an approximation of the city’s texture all around them (roofs, domes, chimneys, walls etc) not having … Continue reading

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A little night music

I was in Istanbul during Ramadan and every night the old city became a family friendly festival with food stalls, craft markets, groups of picnickers, and free open-air concerts, mostly showcasing traditional music. I started this sketch before the band … Continue reading

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Archeology Museum #1

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 … Continue reading

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Enough thumbnails, already…

A last example, for now, of travel thumbnails. This time in a taxi from Istanbul airport to a city centre hotel, where we arrived before I could finish the last frame. The driver was puzzled when I showed him the … Continue reading

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People watching

Istanbullus sitting, walking, fishing, watching, on the phone, and waiting. Slowly learning to construct figure drawings out of lots and lots of curves. Fountain pen with carbon ink, Pigma 1mm black pen, water-brush with Lexington Grey ink, A5

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Tea please

Some of the many cups of black tea that I enjoyed in Istanbul, in a variety of media. Good practise for drawing ellipses; it’s very obvious when they’re right or wrong…

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