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January 30th, 2015

Bali Ritual Dance

Artist: Cristina Urdiales, Spain
Artist Statement: I visited Bali in December, 2014. The island has some very distinctive dances, but the best known one is Kecak, a ritual depicting a battle between good and evil. Despite its religious origins, Kecak is so popular that it has been adapted for tourists. Kecak includes chanting and exotic music, mostly performed with drums and cymbals.

Drawing things in motion is a bit tricky but rewarding too. One of my favorite challenges is to draw local dancers when I’m traveling. I like to carry small equipment for these trips, so I can keep it at hand all times. Lately, I’ve been using a pocketsize Gamma Series sketchbook and the smallest Cotman Watercolor [Winsor & Newton] box that fit my handbag perfectly.

To draw people dancing, I need a few minutes to find the patterns that dancers tend to repeat, because I probably need them to be at the same pose two or three times to capture it correctly. When I’ve decided, I like to use a soft pencil first just to set the main flow lines. Then, I go for a very simple line sketch of the body using a waterproof marker (Faber-Castell Pitt Fine Tip, at the moment). I don’t worry about the clothing yet, I just try to get the pose correctly. It’s handy to have some hang on anatomy to complete the sketch, especially if dancers are fast. Finally, I can add some texture and cloth. No need to wait for any particular pose to do this, too. It’s difficult to find the time to add colors and such, so I usually finish by adding some simple shadowing in watercolor. I just check the light direction and place shadows where I think they should be after the dance is over. In this way I can manage to draw three or four performers during the same dance.

You can see my travel sketches at my blog: Been There, Drawn That http://beentheredrawnthat.blogspot.com/

MEDIA: Pencil, ink, watercolor
SURFACE: Gamma Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Ivory – Medium Grain Finish

kecak_retouched2

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