Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Bali - paddy fields and palm trees

Palm trees and paddy fields in Bali
28 April 1997
Neocolor II in Daler Rowney Sketchbook
I had paddy fields right outside the window of where I stayed in Bali.

However we saw some some pretty spectacular views of paddy fields on the hillsides of Bali as we travelled around the island.

One afternoon we stopped at a point where it's possible to draw the rice fields.

This was my sketch for working out what I wanted to do with my plein air pastel.  Sadly the latter never happened because:
  • it took a long time to work out how to represent the palm trees and the paddy fields.  Never under estimate how much time you need to get your eye trained to draw new objects!
  • it started to cloud over and then began to rain and pastel and rain do not mix!
I really feel like I didn't do the view justice - but it was overwhelming!

I still have the photographs I took while trying to work out the best angle for a drawing.

However it's very evident to me that even though photographs are generally unable to provide a reliable colour reference that my neocolors did not provide the colours I needed for this sketch.  Everything is looking a bit too blue whereas the vegetation while lush leaned more towards apple / sap green end of the green spectrum - with some deep olives around the palm trees.

Writing this post has made me want to have another go at capturing the scene and the colours.

You can see below some of the photos I took.  The view was spectacular.

Paddy fields in front of me - on so many different levels!
This next one shows the level on which i sat - I was perched on a narrow ledge just in front of one of the hawker's huts (which is hidden by the very prominent palm tree at the front of the photo).

I was sat on a ledge just in front (to the right in this photo)
of the Hawker's Huts
The spot where we stopped was obviously a regular tourist stop judging by the hawkers' stalls and sheds.  One of the hawkers provided a very entertaining sideshow for our expedition.  He was very adept at splitting coconuts for drinks and nibbles!  Plus modelled three hats at once to show how stable they were on one's head!

The most entertaining hawker
three hats on his head and ready to split a coconut at our command!
This last photo shows one of my fellow painters sat in front of the vista of paddy fields and palm trees.  Not a place for easels!

First take a big sheet of paper.........
From here we went to Petalu - a small village north of Ubud - to see the white herons (kokocan)  of Petalu coming home to roost in the trees along the road to the temple.  They arrive from all over Bali.

This is a video of the White Herons of Petalu by a couple called Hans and Fifi which gives you a good sense of the sights and sounds of Bali villages but doesn't quite capture the moments just as dusk falls when wave after wave of white herons arrive and land in the huge trees lining the road to the temple.  Magical!  (This site has some good photos of a celebration associated with the herons and the village - and provide some commentary on what has happened at the village in the past).


1 comment:

  1. I have just come across your website and you are leading a very exciting and interesting life. I love the pastel colours and soft strokes you use in your sketches.

    We can all certainly learn a lot from you.



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