One of the best investments I ever made was in a tiny A6 sized sketch pad, which I’ve spent the past few years filling about two thirds of it. It started off very Auckland centric but has come into it’s own when travelling. There is nothing like trying to draw something to really see it.
After a six month break I regained my sketching mojo in Iran, with ten sketches in my two weeks there. It was a great way to capture memories and meet a few of the locals. Someone sketching always attracts attention and generous complements.
The Jame Atiq Mosque and Mausoleum of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz inspired me to sketch again. To warm up I drew the mausoleum, onion shaped domes proving as tricky as expected to draw. As I concentrated I heard the snap of cameras. Looking up I found three ladies in chadors with sizeable cameras photographing me at close distance. They were ‘photo journalists’ employed by the mosque to capture an earlier event. After a brief chat they wanted me to pose a little with my sketch, quite a surreal experience.
The next night we stayed in a local’s home in Kahran, built by their father fifty years ago. Had a wonderful evening sat on the floor in their main room, learning about the life of a nomad, while I sketched the fireplace. About two thirds through the sketch I looked up to find that the fireplace had been lit!
Caravanserai Zein-o-din is Spice Road era accommodation, with the main building offering great views from it’s roof of a smaller neighbour, a new building for the staff, and the Zagros Mountains behind. Nice spot to sketch as the sun set though it did make consistency of shadows and lighting a little challenging…
I spent a spare afternoon in Yazd happily sketching, exploring the Old City being hard work in 37C temperatures. First up was one of the famous badgirs, ingenious wind catchers, an ancient and effective form of air conditioning.