Saturday, 5 June 2010

"Eric the Red"?
I sketched this today whilst taking shelter from the the gardening and the sun (the heat and the light were a bit of a shock after the poor year we've had so far here in Orkney). Couldn't just hide in the chair so undertook this after all I've been planning it for quite some while, its always easier to plan and execute in your head than actually commit to paper. It was done with a Bic Biro in a small Moleskine sketch book (approx 6"x4") and the scanner has darkened the bright red to nearly burgundy, but I like it even if the end effect is not as planned (best laid plans of mice and men...). It's taken from a photo that I took in Shetland in January at "Up Helly Aa", a cultural festival on Shetland where they celebrate their Norse/Viking roots. Pictured is the Jarl Squad lighting their torches for the procession and the red colour comes from using a flare to ignite the torches (I think?). It was a cold dark snowy night that contrasted wonderfully with the "viking's" outfits, the torches, and the bonfire of the "longship"! But by then much of the snow descending into the light was ash and hot sparks (decent moden waterproofs were not "the order of the day"). The snow became so heavy that we nearly didn't get off the island two days later.
I'd been trying to see Up Helly Aa for nearly 20 years, finally made it and it was great fun! Though now I know that many independent communities or islands have their own Up Helly Aa's through Jan and Feb, so it's not just Lerwick (the capital of the Shetland Isles).
The original photo, probably IMO one of the best I've ever taken, titled "Hot Torches, Cold Snow" can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/25889317@N06/4316876368/

9 comments:

  1. I like how you've got the atmosphere using just a biro.

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  2. nicely captured - and welcome back to EDM!

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  3. Love the technique and appreciate the story. You have helped to broaden my world.

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  4. Welcome to EDM and wonderful sketches. You should have been doing more all along, from what I see!

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  5. Wonderful hatching! And I do agree that you've done a great job of capturing the atmosphere!

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  6. Really cool sketch - unique subject. The crosshatching in the knights add so much interest. I look forward to more. And the photo, btw, is amazing.

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  7. Beautiful drawing, the red and the work of lines are great. I had a look at your flick pictures,you have great sketches and pictures.

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  8. Thanks everyone for your very kind comments, now ALL I have to do is keep working!!!

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  9. Oooh, I love this one! Lovely.

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