Peace and tranquility on Armona Island. – Tombow Pen and watercolour
After breakfast we walk to one of the Olhao docks where we meet another NUNO who will ferry us to Armona Island, where his family have lived for generations. Nuno is a marine biologist and so well placed to tell us a great deal about the ‘lagoon’, the local fishing industry history and the Ria Formosa National Park. If the tide is low on the way out, we see the local fishermen farming the delicious clams from the area.
Armona Island is one of those places where I would love to stay for a period of time to quietly paint and write. THERE ARE NO CARS, beautiful beaches and the lovely sounds and smells of boats, birds and salt water.
NUNO on his boat with his beautiful dog to the left of the picture….On the way to the Island we always learn a great deal from NUNO The restaurant where we will eat overlooks the beach where we dock. The fish will be freshly caught today and straight off the grill.
Before lunch feel free to explore – it’s virtually impossible to get lost.:) We will. re-group at the restaurant after a mornings sketching.
Remember quick sketches with notes that you can work from either back at the studio or when you return home…. DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN WITH TOO MUCH DETAIL…..Tessa and Bobby from Oz sketching. – This is all about OBSERVATIONPlein air painting/sketching can be challenging. Wind, sand, sun etc….which is why its important to work very quickly to capture the essence of what’s in front of you. If you want more detail and are lacking in time. you can do very fast sketches like this one, along with photographs for future reference in the studio.
Trees and cottage at the back of the beach….Sketching with Dora, an artist on my last course…..note my small box of paints and one brush. No kitchen sink here……
After lunch we are allowed to stay under cover of heat and sun in the restaurant…and continue to paint. With open sides it’s as good as being outside only inside.
As the group sketches, I take this opportunity to do some quick portrait sketches using my Tomboy sepia pen working on a previously grounded paper in my sketch book.
Working from a previously prepared orange ground in my sketchbook, I use my Tombow sepia water soluble pen. I then use a wet brush to soften and pull out certain areas…..leaving some of the dry ground showing through.
The key is to work very quickly. We are not looking for perfection…
A quiet moment of sketching for one of the group. When I look at a scene like this I see a jigsaw puzzle of lights, darks, and wonderful shapes…very much like the world we live in. Remember don’t get bogged down with too much detail. This is from a tiny little pocket sketch book – perfect for travel and every day life. There is a quietness and stillness on Armona Island, much like the feeling that this boat evokes. Working off white paper, I am using a water soluble Tomboy pen, pulling out some areas with a wet brush.
I begin to add soft washes to the NEGATIVE SPACE surrounding the boat. There was a lavender hue on the water and sand the day I sketched this. Strengthening the tones and adding some texture. (Tombow pen)
After a lovely day…we return to the School for showers and to get ready for our evening meal.
David Clark, the wonderful and visionary founder of the School sadly died three years ago. Along with the School, he owned this building which houses an excellent bar and restaurant just across the road from the famous Olhao fish market. We call it ‘David’s Bar’. This is where we will be eating tapas tonight.
This is just one of many wonderful old buildings in Olhao.
Remember to carry your little sketch books with you at all times, including to restaurants….you never know when you might be inspired:)
As noted yesterday, I am receiving comments from two WhatsApp groups, plus the blog, FB and Twitter.
It would really help the process if participants put their comments on the this blog so we can all benefit from one another’s thoughts and ideas. All you. need to do is ‘follow’ the blog. Don’t be shy…….
Admission. I am NOT very technically savvy. After this course my friend and computer fixer Richie is going to give me some tutorials via Skype. (I hope you are reading this Richie:)
Also, I am already receiving some excellent examples of work that’s being done by the participants from this virtual course.- very exciting for me to see. I will show this work on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 23rd.
Tomorrow we enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Olhao Saturday Market. Make sure to have sketchbooks and cameras at the ready.