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My Dubrovnik Sketchbook (Part 1) – Rooftop panoramas

I’ve always loved stationery: a new tin of pencils, a tray of unsqueezed paint tubes, an unwritten notebook and the thrill of a blank canvas. One item of stationery which gets me truly excited is a fresh new sketchbook, its pages literally begging to be filled with art. So heading to Dubrovnik with a brand new moleskin sketchbook in my bag meant that sooner rather than later, those crisp white pages were going to be filled with reflections on the city. And the first view which I rushed to capture was, perhaps unsurprisingly from my photos on yesterday’s post, the incredible rooftop view from our bedroom at the Stari Grad hotel.

Me sketching on the roof terrace and in our room

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Having captured the view of rooftops from one window, together with a slightly wonky rendition of the bell tower of the Franciscan monastery next door, I moved onto the second window from which our corner room benefited, this time undertaking a far more comprehensive roof top view extending almost across the whole of the walled city. From bedroom views, I headed up to the roof terrace, and the hotel’s waiters soon got used to the sight of me taking my breakfast with a sketchbook in one hand and a set of drawing pens in the other. From the breakfast terrace I then completed two views – one looking towards the old port, and another concentrating on the imposing Jesuit church.

View from window of the Stari Grad Hotel, Dubrovnik (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

View from window of the Stari Grad Hotel, Dubrovnik (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

View from the roof terrace at the Stari Grad Hotel, Dubrovnik (at breakfast) (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

View from the roof terrace at the Stari Grad Hotel, Dubrovnik (at breakfast) (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

View of Dubrovnik Rooftops from our bedroom at the Stari Grad Hotel (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

View of Dubrovnik Rooftops from our bedroom at the Stari Grad Hotel (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Rooftop view with the Jesuit Church, Dubrovnik (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Rooftop view with the Jesuit Church, Dubrovnik (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

So following on from my rooftop photography focus yesterday, I therefore thought that today would be a perfect time to share these first sketches with you. They’re by no means perfect works, made quickly and in pen which is of course unforgiving of any mistakes, but they were made in the moment, at speed, and for me carry more memories of a time and an atmosphere than a quickly shot photograph. I hope you like them!

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gill #

    Quite simply amazingly wonderful

    June 3, 2014
  2. How do you draw so detailed in pen? I really want to draw our town’s clock tower with my new pen but can’t get started… do you have any tips?

    June 3, 2014
    • Drawing with a pen needn’t be harder than with a pencil – it’s just you cant rub out so confidence is the key. Use a fine smoothly flowing pen. I start with a single detail and work outwards, although you need to keep checking that your proportions are in line. Go ahead and draw your clock tower – looking forward to seeing the results!

      June 3, 2014
      • Thank you so much for these tips! You have given me confidence. Would you recommend using a metal nib or one of those pens that look like a fineliner?

        June 3, 2014
      • You’re welcome! I use staedtler pigment fine liners. Using a nib is probably harder for detailed work but may create interesting fluid effects. Good luck!

        June 3, 2014
      • Thank you! I think that’s the same pen I have! I’m so excited now 🙂

        June 3, 2014
      • Great! They’re wonderful pens – I use them for my Norm sketches too – check out the one I posted last week of a Fishernorm – and there’ll be another one this Thursday. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

        June 3, 2014
  3. Cool drawings! Is there anything better than to sit in a nice place on holiday and just draw? So much better than taking photos too!

    June 3, 2014
    • So true! Because they take a bit longer than a photo as soon as you look back at the sketch you can remember such richer memories, the atmosphere of the place, what was going on around you, the time of the day – all captured line by line in a sketch. A great record, and I’m glad I made the effort (even if it bored my partner to tears!). Thanks for the comment 🙂

      June 3, 2014
      • Haha, yes, it works best when you’re either travelling alone or the other person also has something to keep themselves busy 🙂

        June 4, 2014
  4. These are super charming and fascinating, Nick! Love the text as well.

    June 3, 2014
    • Thanks Naomi! I couldn’t stop once I started! I’ll post some more pages from my sketchbook soon!

      June 3, 2014
  5. Absolutely loved this post! 🙂

    June 5, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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