It took me a few days to adjust to being on holiday – and perhaps the flight and journey there – before I was ready to do some sketching again. With me this is very much a ‘when I feel like it’ exercise and not something that you do regardless. Occasionally you here of people that draw or paint every day and for example it is now October and in some circles that is “Inktober” – a ink drawing each day but I doubt whether I have the discipline for that.
I had been doing some quite detailed and complicated drawings in Oxford but in Alicante I found the best way to get back into it was to just do a few simpler ‘cafe’ sketches i.e. go to a cafe and do some simple sketches of your surrounding while you are there. This has the advantage that you can be comfortable, have a drink and the odd croissant / toastie / tapas while you sketch but also that expectations are lower – if your sketch is rubbish – so what?
After a couple of days I started to explore the old town again. This is an area of older houses and buildings on steeply sloping ground between the castle and the newer city. There are fewer roads here and they are narrower and more difficult to drive on or there are broader pavements with lots of steps. I guess the difficulty in redeveloping these areas has partly saved them and the old town proper is full of a colourful jumble of smaller houses crammed together – good for urban sketching.
I’ve also found that when the city is busy it is often quieter in the old town. When there is a festival or maybe a wedding at one of the churches then it is quite atmospheric, with the sounds of celebration drifting up the hill-side. There are often some smaller musical events in the old town itself.
There are also some good views over the city and surrounding areas. Behind the Chapel of Saint Roch ( La Ermita de Sant Roc) there is a walkway and it is here that I decided to try a sketch of the city, looking towards the Cathedral (La Cocatedral de Sant Nicolau de Bari). Here is the view – and my sketch in-situ.
This is my resulting drawing.
Later I added some watercolour…