Thursday, February 08, 2007

Belated Dubai


Spring term Week 5 at Art School

After the last two days of open days, I collapsed in bed yesterday feeling quite exhausted and having succumbed to a nasty cold. When I woke up this morning I was feeling even worse, AND it was snowing! - I was in no way going to make it into college (it didn't matter in the end as I rung one of my course friends up to say that I couldn't make it and she said only four of them had come in!).

Looking at the student portfolios in Kingston yesterday also made me realise that I needed to increase the amount of illustrative work in my own portfolio if I wanted to get into an illustration degree course. So that's what I ended up doing today. I started working on this Dubai grid while were were on holiday over there during Christmas. Somehow I lost inspiration and never finished it. Today I sat down and filled in all the leftover grid squares (more than half of them were still empty), and then inked the lot. This has taken me all day so you get this as my post. Eventually I might colour my drawing in, or I might even attempt to digitally colour in the scan.

EDIT - I thought I might get a comment about how lovely Dubai looks ... there is a reason I lost inspiration when I was drawing Dubai the first time - I found it really really quite an uninspiring place, a building site in the dessert with no soul and very little history. It was all about commercialism and everyone was out there to make money. That sounds mean and I'm sure there will be people out there who disagree with me, but Dubai is not a place I'd want to live in, or even ever go back to. It was very hard finding positive images to put in the grid (and I'm the sort who just would prefer not to draw anything if they couldn't find anything nice to draw). But this also served as a challenge to me to find the best bits of something I really didn't like.

My advice, don't go to Dubai. And if you HAVE to go, go visit the
flamingos at the bottom of the creek (and try to ignore the building site that surrounds them) - these beautiful pink creatures must be Dubai's most redeeming feature.

8 comments:

ksklein said...

This Dubai grid is wonderful. Reminds me that I really want to visit Dubai. It is said to be such an great city!

shirley said...

I love you sketches - so clean and varied in subjects. Don't forget to upload it again if you decide to color it. SNOW! We're returning next week and would have loved to see your beautiful city in the snow.

Casey said...

Your grid is really successful - I'm hoping to see it in color though (when you feel better). Your comments confirm what I thought I'd feel about Dubai and somehow I fnd that reassuring. I wouldn't want to like a place that is so based on commercialism.

aPugsLife said...

Dubai fascinates me. I watch all the documentary channels and it fascinates me how they are building island out of water and then putting buildings on these islands. I give them credit for what they are accomplishing, BUT I can imagine I'd feel the way you do if I visited. It sounds very disney-esque (fake) (commercial) and I love to learn about the history of a place, which doens't seem to be present. Even when I drive around Florida I get exasperated that every town is the same: wal mart, target, etc. And then I go to Canada and it's all the same big box chain stores there, too. I like finding the history of a place.

*CLARE* said...

mithi love this - think it's awesome.

Mark said...

I'm interested by your process, Mithi, you said you worked on it and then inked it. This makes me think of Chasing Amy (you *have* seen it haven't you?) and how the inker adds life and texture to the artwork. What did you draw it with? Pencil I guess. What did you ink it with? What sort of pen? Did you ink over the pencil lines or trace (you mention that the paper is very thin). Let me know if you reply to this as blogspot wont tell me.

littlemithi said...

Not much of a process really - I drew with pencil a random loose selection of boxes (the grid) in my sketch book. I say loose because sometimes if I feel a particular picture needs more space, I might make that box bigger, and the adjacent one smaller. Anyways, I sat down with some pictures of Dubai that I had taken on my camera, and started drawing them with a pencil. I find its easier to fill up small boxes like this rather than attempt a big piece. Got bored, gave up after about three boxes filled, and started up again last week. I also made a list of things iconic of Dubai, and if I didn't have a photo of it (like the hookah), I looked up a picture on the web. Once all sketches done, I drew over cleanly with a very fine 0.25 gel pen, and outlined the boxes with a slightly heavier pen. The paper is thin in that you can see the heavier pen marks on the other side of the paper, and in no way would it be able to hold watercolour. That was it really. Erase the pencil marks so the picture looks tidy. Although my tutor today said that I need to do more "loose" drawings, so thats my aim for the rest of the term.

ksklein said...

i would still like to see dubai, but i guess i wouldn´t be able to. i´ve got a israelimark in my passport and that means "no access".
i could get another passport, but usually i prefer to have my holidays at the same places like you described, culture, etc.