Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A week in Serbia

After finishing up my dyptych for the Graphics Biennale I packed my bags and caught the early morning train in the pouring rain down to Serbia, where I attended a traditional art and craft camp for a week as a guest tutor. The camp was in a part of Serbia that used to be Hungarian territory before the Trianon split the country up, so all the partakers were Hungarian, and I had no problem communicating fluently. Besides the occasional shower that halted work and had the participants fleeing to their tents in time to find their belongings soaked, the weather was nice, swimming in the river was a frequent activity, as were the late night shenanigans.

I was there to demonstrate certain watercolour techniques that I use in my work. None of my students had ever worked in watercolours before, so I kept the subject matter simple and limited it to Botanical Illustration. We wandered the fields and collected wild flowers as well as twigs and weeds to draw.

During the week when I held a portraiture demonstration, and my stand quickly altered from watercolour techniques to a long list of people wanting their portraits drawn. I didn't mind, as it meant good practice for me.

Attila held lessons in fire twirling. I attended one of the lessons and quickly learnt that I have terrible co-ordination, thank goodness we were practicing with socks filled with rice instead of real fire.....

I thought it was funny that I ended up drawing more boys than girls during my stay. This particular portrait was done from a tiny little photograph one of the ladies had of her son (just to clarify that one of the campers didn't actually rock up to my stand in a suit and tie.....)
Some close-ups of Lili....  As I gifted these portraits to the participants I tried to get some decent photographs of them as there was no chance at scanning them.

Lili's portrait probably worked the least as a "portrait" as I didn't manage to get a good likeness of her, but it was the "drawing" that I liked the most, as I think it was successful both in facial expressiveness and colour combinations.

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