Virtual Santo Domingo (3)

August 1, 2012

A5, Artliner pen and Prismacolour coloured pencils.

I’d vaguely heard of the Dominican Republic at the time of the Haiti earthquake but the 3rd USK International Symposium has got me looking more closely at the country, albeit virtually. In searching around for photos of ‘Santo Domingo’, I now realise there are several around the Americas, but I’m getting more familiar with the layout of the capital of the country and its landmarks. One interesting photo came up online of an historic map showing Drake’s invasion of the town.

While USK symposium participants have returned home and are settling into the business of writing, scanning and posting their experiences, I’m sitting at home in front of a heater in mid-Winter.

Today’s is the ?side entrance to the grounds of the Alcazar di Colon. I’m not sure how this fits with the grand façade of the Alcazar proper, facing a large open area. More on that later.

While yesterday’s mark-making style derived from Matthew Brehm, today I’ve drawn inspiration from James Richards, especially his step-by-step contruction of his 2008 sketch of the Palais Garnier in Paris. (see It’s never occurred to me to take into the field the drawings of others, as Brehm advised participants at last year’s Lisbon conference; I’m referring to Richards’ Palais Garnier drawings dirctly as I draw my own Alcazar and I can see I’ll be taking them out on location with me.


Here’s my first step, done in pencil, with initial statement in light pencil retained.


Here’s my second step, Artliner pen replacing pencil and darks added, in a trailing downward pattern (in part imitating the stepping down of Magdalena Kozoena’s sobbing voice in the Bach aria, Leibster Gott erbarme dich, Cantata 179 which I’m playing constantly – I’m achieving a lifetime ambition of listening to all the Cantatas…).

 The final step is up top, with as much detail added as I want, with the addition of coloured pencil (and colour fading towards the edges). Of course this is James Richards’ style before the workshop experience at the Santo Domingo USK International Symposium; while there, he did two versions of Plaza Colon, a “before” and “after”, the latter with considerable jazziness (looks not dissimilar to drawing with the non-dominant hand), as posted on his weblog.

The attractiveness of the scene lies in not just the patina on the masonry, but its innate geometry: lots of triangles everywhere.

All my Santo Domingo drawings are being done on cheap A4 photocopy paper, imitating the practical exercise process of the USK Symposium. If I make enough of them, I can stab-bind them into a book.


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