View Full Version : Sketches from the road to Saqqara

05-11-2010, 10:42 AM
Last November, I drove out to Saqqara (about 30km south of Cairo). It is where the first pyramid was ever built, and they keep discovering new tombs there.
However, it is the scenery on the road there that I particularly like, such a welcome contrast to the grey dustiness of Cairo's vast metropolis. It's not a road that you can really stop on as the traffic is a bit, well, unpredictable. ;)
So I took lots of photos instead and made a little book of sketches. I just wanted to try out colours and compositions, play a little.
The sketchbook is actually a little Canson trial watercolour block
I stuck a cover on it
And here are the little paintings
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2010/76030-IMG_1087.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2010/76030-IMG_1088.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2010/76030-IMG_1089.JPG

05-11-2010, 10:51 AM
Still a few more to go!
The fields were full of egrets picking in the mud. I had fun scratching the paper here!
This is a quick pastel sketch stuck in... I love the shape of the cows!
I printed this one out and made it into a Christmas card, although I'm not too sure if Mary would have been made to walk!:D
I did a larger pastel of this one which I gave to my brother. Pastels suit these scenes I think.
And finally, on the back cover, a sketch of the Step Pyramid. There are quite a few in the area. This was once completely buried in sand!

There you go! A quick taste of Egypt!

Thanks for looking,

05-11-2010, 11:01 AM
OMG ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

This is beautiful! I like everything, the colors, the expression on the people's face, the softness that comes from all your sketches... :)

I also liked the sketch of Aziza, and your little caption - so cute

I have only3 words: please post more! :thumbsup:

05-11-2010, 11:15 AM
Very well done! I particularly like the way you've done the figures in the images - and, yes, the cows also! :)

AZ Traveler
05-11-2010, 11:19 AM
Wow, well done :thumbsup:
Inspiring compositions and WC palette.

Thank you. I look forward to your continued posts ...

Best wishes,

05-11-2010, 11:35 AM
Delightful sketches Cairo, good to see scenes of Egyptian life.


05-11-2010, 12:31 PM
Oh, Cairo, these are wonderful! I love them all, and the water buffalo who likes to accessorize cracked me up! You have such a beautiful style to your work---always a pleasure to see. Thanks so much for sharing.


05-11-2010, 12:44 PM
Wow, what a great response! I'm delighted that I posted these here!
It was a fun experiment, although I am an avid sketchbook keeper, this is the first that I have done a sketchbook with a theme, and from photos.
My favourite was Aziza...the caption came to mind as soon as I saw the photograph!
Thanks everyone! I'll post again soon!

05-11-2010, 12:57 PM
Ooo, there's more here!?! Awesome sketches Cairo, love them all. That one with the donkey and the family is amazing...looks like you painted around the whites. Incredible faces at that size. Fantastic (and funny caption) water buffalo. Thanks for sharing.

05-11-2010, 01:17 PM
Cairo, these sketches are amazing. I love the family and the buffalo. You inspire me to have Thailand sketchbook. I normally sketch Thai surrounding but they are in several books not a dedicated one like yours. I'll try to do it.

05-11-2010, 01:27 PM
Cairo, thanks for the trip to Egypt. Aziza made me laugh. Lovely sketches all of them.

05-11-2010, 01:29 PM
Cairo, these are fantastic! The watercolors are every bit as wonderful as any I ever dreamed of, perfect travel paintings. Your pastels are soft and expressive too. I can't even pick favorites though I love Aziza with her accessories and the family with the donkey... the egrets in the field... these are all so perfect. Thank you for posting them!

Vivien Maloney
05-11-2010, 02:45 PM
Wonderfull sketches!!!! Can't wait to see more. I've never been to Egypt but your sketches bring it to life!

05-11-2010, 03:18 PM
Thanks Julie, Ai, Debby, Robert and Vivien! It's great to have a opportunity to share these.

I'm hoping to add a few more paintings to my Nile cruise sketchbook (from photos as I am no longer sailing down the Nile) and so when I do, I will post that sketchbook on this forum too.

Ai- you must do a Thai scenery sketchbook! Or a Lily and Iris one!
Julie- I used masking fluid for the egrets, but for the rest of the paintings I just painted around the white areas. I got more confident as the book progressed. Working in a sketchbook like this is very liberating.

05-11-2010, 05:35 PM
Cairo, fabulous sketchbook! I loved all of the paintings in it. And yes, Aziza is my favorite too. I am about to take a trip and begin my first real travel sketchbook. Your is so inspiring. Hope mine will be half as good! thanks so much for sharing it with us.

05-11-2010, 05:58 PM
Wonderful sketching / painting journal! I love the warm light in your watercolors! :clap:

05-11-2010, 06:28 PM
Cairo - So happy to see your sketchbook. Gives us a glimpse into rural Egyptian life.

05-11-2010, 08:16 PM
Wow! This is great, I love it! What a great way to document a trip. Too bad you weren't able to do any of those sketches on site, I can certainly understand why you didn't though.


05-12-2010, 01:39 AM
These are so cool, Cairo. How did you manage to get all the legs on the water buffalo sorted out so that each animal had four and not three or five legs?

05-12-2010, 02:06 AM
LOL, EP! I had to go back and count the legs just to make sure!:lol: Actually I had problems with the donkey's legs in that first one, but had my magic wand (white gouache) to fix them!

David- If I had stopped on that road, I might have been run over. It's supposed a one way street (there is a canal running down the middle), but we came across donkeys and cattle, tractors, bicycles and even large lorries going up the wrong way. I went on a Friday morning when it was relatively quiet, but still...

Thanks Hydie and ArtsyPatrice!

Dena, go for it! I did a travel journal for the Nile cruise and it's such a wonderful momento!


05-12-2010, 08:25 AM
Wonderful paintings! It's like reading a story book! Thanks for sharing!

Jo Castillo
05-12-2010, 10:43 AM
Cairo, Sigh...... you do such beautiful work. Thank you for sharing your part of the world. We get to see something so different and interesting. Hugs.

05-13-2010, 03:34 AM
These are such beautiful paintings, Cairo.
I like your choice of colors and your painting style, line and wash.
Aziza the water buffalo is particularly charming, I guess that's because of that terrific caption ;)

05-13-2010, 09:52 PM
Cairo, you're paintings take my breath away. I would buy a little travel book with work of this style in it. I can only hope that you keep traveling and sharing your travel memories with us here!

05-14-2010, 01:16 AM
These are just so BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL, LOVE them all!!!!!!

05-15-2010, 01:03 PM
What a wonderful journal! I have always wanted to visit Egypt! looking forward to more entries!

05-16-2010, 01:21 AM
Great job. Always a treat to see your work.

05-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Beautiful, beautiful work. Your soft strokes and wonderful color palette are impressive. I would love to learn from you and hope to one day get my work to your level. This is my favorite journal in the forum right now, and I look forward to future work you post. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: