Its always great to draw Aya Sofya! I finished this small commission for a friend of mine today. The weather has finally cleared up and I am taking advantage of the warm October sun. This afternoon, I sat in front of the incredible building trying to draw around the hordes tourists, buses and street vendors. Despite all of the distractions I felt very happy and satisfied as the sun heated my back and I chatted with the boy selling corn in between listening to my audio book. I thought I would finish up listening to The Fall of Constantinople 1453 by Steven Runciman, as it seemed so fitting for the subject of my drawing. Some teenage boys flocked around me and begged me to do portraits of them and I was tempted. But, I knew that this would have been a chain reaction I and would have ended up sitting there all night doing portraits of smiling faces, I I politely said I would another time. One of the boys, who looked about 13, offered me cigarettes in exchange for a drawing. I told him that he shouldn’t be smoking and that I needed to work on the Hagia Sofia drawing for a very nice woman in Chicago. I finished around 3:00, had a Nar Suyu and sat in the sun in Gulhane park until the I felt chilly. It was a lovely day, and in 24 hours my family will be able to share the sights and experiences of Istanbul with me!
I have finished the sketch that I started working on with Trici. I was spending time with her drawing at the Boukoleon, a ruined Byzantine Palace. Trici has been working on a stunning drawing of this ruin for weeks. She has been blogging about her experiences and progress on the drawing from the very beginning. You can see her work and read her incredible posts on the project here.
The Boukoleon Palace was a wonderful challenge to tackle. As you can see I only attempted one of the portals. Trici’s drawing on the other hand incorporates the 4 remaining portals that face the Marmara Sea. An incredibly complicated and difficult problem to solve, but her work and concentration on the piece is marvelous. Drawing with Trici daily, seeing her working process and sharing her experience of exploring the details of this ancient building was invaluable for me. When I look at this ink wash drawing I can feel the hot sun that beat down on us while we were working, I can hear the busy highway and I can remember all the details of our conversations. I will miss those hours that I spent with Trici at the Bokoleon, in the early fall. The thick coffee we had in the tea garden where we looked at our fortunes, and the dinner we ate at the Marmara on the evening when there was that stunning sunset. It was so unbelievably beautiful that we had to walk backwards towards Eminonu in order to catch every changing color. I will miss these few days, but the memories of them are frozen in the drawing. And I know there are many more drawings and memories and flickering Istanbul moments to come.
A ten minute sketch from the roof of Büyük Valide Han. Watercolor and Pen
Topkapı Saray. Ink and Guache
A sketch from the Archeological Museum, Ink, Guache, Pen and WatercolorDolmabahce Palace. Ink, Guache and Watercolor
Tophane Park. WatercolorA sketchbook page, Piere Lotti and Chora Church. Kapadokya. Ink and GuacheSerince. Ink and Guache