To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My South African Safari ends, alas!

The ibis skull is about 9" long.
I was having a great deal of fun at Panzi Bush Camp.  The folks there have made a collection of skulls and interesting seedpods which I took the opportunity to photograph and sketch.  The Hadeda Ibis was particularly fascinating, and it earned a page in my sketch journal, along with two views of a baboon skull.
Hadeda Ibis and baboon skulls

The African Porcupine has dug a den in this hillock
Bev took me out back and showed me the earthen  bank where the porcupine lives, tunneling into a hillock just behind the kitchen. It sometimes wanders in the back door and into the office to say hi to Glynn, but it didn't happen while I was there. Guess I'll just have to go back and try again....

Five days at Panzi wasn't nearly long enough to sketch and draw everything that caught my interest, although by now I was needing a break from sketch journaling. I think two weeks is about optimum for me if I'm sketching and journaling hours each day.  It can be exhausting (although exciting and exhiliarating ~ go figure!), and by now I was nearing the end of my third week.  

"my" yellow orchids
I spent some time lounging on my little chalet deck gazing dreamily up at the gorgeous yellow orchids growing in the tree above, and lazily sketching a fat skink (a lizard)  that liked to bask in the splashes of sun on the deck railing.

sketching the skink
One morning I rode into Hoedspruit with Glynn and John to shop for souvenirs and exchange some dollars for rands.

There are some really nice shops in Hoedspruit, but I mostly shopped at the outdoor craftsmen's displays, which have a lot more cachet than a modern shop. I bought a couple of charming carved creatures ~ a hornbill, and a hippo in a carved stone pool, from the man in the picture below.  

Craftsmen and their wares on a Hoedspruit roadside.
Nothing lasts forever, and after five wonderful Panzi days of sketching and exploring, bush-walking with Glynn and chatting with Bev and John, it was time to leave.  Glynn drove me into Hoedspruit to catch my shuttle to Johannesburg, where I caught my plane home.  

my plane taxis into its berth
 On the back of the plane seat in front of me was a screen upon which I could watch movies or switch to an airplane's-tail view of the scenery. We took off at about sunset, and chased the moon across the Atlantic, arriving, 17 hours later at dawn, on the east coast of the US. This is the view from the tail of the plane taxiing into the airport at NYC after crossing the Atlantic.   I was home again.

If I'd blogged this last August, I would have waxed poetic and told you some more tales, but I have been working on my South African Sketching Safari sketchbook and tutorial ever since I got home and I am just about waxed out.  

The cover of the new South African Sketching Safari sketch journal.
The sketchbook and its tutorial is finally finished, and I finally got it uploaded this morning. It took me a couple of days to write the code for the new webpage and make all the connections to other pages on my website and to the server so that you can download your own copy, but now,  TA-DAH!  It is done!  

If you'd like to learn more about what's inside, go here to its page for a closer look, and I hope you'll be tempted to download a copy to see more.  It's more than a hundred pages, and it took me six months to create, so $9.95 is a pretty good deal I think.

My next sketch journal will be done in Saguaro National Park near Tucson.  Watch for it! If you put your name in the alerts box at upper right, you will be notified when I blog about it.  In the meantime, have a happy holiday, and I'll blog again soon.  

Ho! Ho! Ho!

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