I returned to Castara, Tobago last week and had a lovely time in the warm sunshine. The people were friendly, the scenery was mind-blowing, and my traveling companions were amazingly tolerant of my incessant drawing.
The houses on Castara are built on steep hillsides, usually with the downhill side of the house standing on tall stilts. Our cottage was halfway up a hill with a couple of houses looming above us uphill, and looking down on several below. I drew this with ink pencils on claybord, looking down on a tin shack in the yard below ours, sitting under the leaves of a banana tree and in the shade of a large mango tree. The black barrels are for water storage.
This was the view from the front porch looking down the road toward town, also drawn with ink pencil on claybord. The morning sun lit up the field on the steep hill opposite us while the full moon was still in the sky. I called it Cemetery Hill because of the cemetery located at the base of the hill. There were goats grazing in the tilted field each day. The orange gash is a well-worn path up the hill. The white house on the right sits at least 30 feet up in the air on tall stilts.
Pirate’s Bay is near the eastern tip of the island just beyond the lovely town of Charlottesville. It has an outstanding beach that is reached by climbing down one of the longest, steepest stairways I have ever seen. This is a watercolor of the view from the beach on Pirate’s Bay looking back toward Charlottesville.
On Saturday morning I went down to Castara beach just after sunrise and caught some locals enjoying the quiet outside a restaurant with a sign, "Welcome to Paradise." This was done with pastel on pastelbord.
On my last morning I did this pastel of a lone palm tree against the morning sky, as the moon, now half, slides by.
We spent our last afternoon on the beach at Englishman’s Bay. I did this drawing of the restaurant on the beach with ink pencils on pastelbord. I had to sit on the beach in the full sun just above the advancing tide to get this view, so the picture was a bit hurried. The restaurant was a bright neon green, which I couldn’t quite capture, and the beach I drew too dark. I’d love to have another shot at this scene, so I guess I’ll have to go back to Tobago again.
Some of the best work I've done isn't hanging on a wall; it's sitting in a box in my closet that's full of my old sketch books. I fill up one or two books each year. Some of the sketches end up as a basis of a more formal work, but most don't. They’re more important to me as a pictorial diary and also as on-going training; learning to really see and to understand shape, light and color.
This blog is to share my sketches as well as my sketching experiences.