Saturday, October 12, 2013

SKETCHBOOK: "Ren Fest 2013"

HUZZAH! I spent all day sketching at the RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL in Bonner Springs, KS!

This was the last weekend for this year's fest, so it was crazy crowded.  But the weather was perfect, and there was so much to draw.  I got there an hour before it opened, just so I could sketch the entrance, shown above.

The sketch below took me at least an hour to draw...maybe tired rear-end lost track...and feeling...after sitting on my little tripod stool.  This was one of the concession stands there.  It's so nice to have all these permanent buildings on the grounds year round.

The next sketch is of the Jousting Arena.  I was sitting in the grandstands opposite the stage where the King and Queen sit during the tournaments.

Next up...a camel taking a rest from giving rides.  He went back on duty before I could add color.

Below are some bits of armor and spears from the Royal Guard's Armory.

Below are just a few random sketches of various characters out there.  I really didn't spend as much time as I wanted drawing people in costumes.  It was SO very crowded and hard to find a spot where folks weren't walking in front of me all the time.  Plus most of the people with the best costumes kept walking around.  I chose not to take my camera, because there are so many pics posted online.  But now I'm kicking myself for not taking a few shots of the really cool looking outfits.

Last of all...a REALLY cool metal Dragon Fountain.  This thing was very tall, and there were a lot more amazing sculptures in this area...all welded metal pieces.  I forgot to get the name of the vendor.  This sketch was at the end of the day, and the lighting kept shifting as I was drawing. There was just a hint of sunlight left hitting the dragon by the time I added color.
All in all...a perfect day to be outside!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

SKETCHBOOK: "Japan Festival"

Yesterday I spent some time at the annual "Japan Festival" held at the Johnson County Community College.  I'm finding JCCC to be a wonderful place for sketching and a variety of interesting activities.  Of course I took my sketchbook!  Above is the entrance to the festival.

Below are the other sketches I did that day...a view from above the Bonzai trees exhibit...a Taiko Drum workshop...and an amazing candy sculptor.  The sculptor had a video camera that projected her work on a giant screen in a lecture hall.

As is often the case when I am out and about, there are too many interesting things to sketch fast enough.  So here are a few photos from the day.  This scene below cracked me up...a samurai still has to buy a ticket to get in!  I saw the guy later, patroling the hallways.  Besides traditional costumes, many of the teenagers were wearing outfits depicting their favorite "Anime" characters (Japanese animation, for those who don't has a specific style and look).

Below is a view of the Carlsen can see the red archway that I sketched.  There was a gorgeous flower arrangement in a cart in the center of the room.  I forgot about the garden workshops that were outside...didn't get any pics of that, unfortunately.

One of the rooms had a wonderful display of traditional Japanese dolls...amazing attention to detail!

Here are some Samurai armor...the one on the right was "child sized".  I cropped out the little guy who, I suspect, had to wear that...he was none too happy looking.

Here is the Bonzai Society's display...some wonderful miniature trees and gardens.

Below is MIYUKI making "candy art".  She was SO fast...about one sculpture every 10 minutes or less.  I don't see how she did this all day long!  Really fun to watch.

And this last photo was of the "Taiko Drums" workshop.  The participants were doing stretching exercises in this pic.  I was really impressed with how fast the beginners learned some of the basic rhythm patterns...a lot of memory-work in short order.  The woman in purple (on the far right with the microphone) would call out specific commands, and the group had to hit the drums with the correct technique and sounds (oh...and shout, too...very cool).  I don't think I could have done that without a LOT of practice!

However, I did get to play drums "my way" with "Hard@Play" band at another gig at "Murray's Tables and Tap" last night.  A really good day of fun!  (Today...I'm resting!!!)