Travels down South

Usually the autumn finds me hard at work teaching groups of watercolour students. Indeed, I have been doing that, but not on a regular weekly basis as before. Early this year I made the decision to retire from teaching weekly groups, to allow more time for painting, walking and travel. These days I tutor more occasional groups, usually here at the studio.

With a bit of free time available, Margaret and I decided to head down to South Africa in early November, for three weeks of game watching and walking. A great country and I hope that the recent passing of Nelson Mandella will not cause any difficulties there. We were certainly made very welcome by people of all different races, during our stay in Kwazulu Natal.

sketch of the Drakensberg mountains, South Africa
View of the Drakensberg Mountains, near Cathedral Peak. Edding pen on A5 cartridge paper sketchbook.

If you’re expecting to see paintings of the rhino, elephant and giraffe that we saw, you’ll have to be patient as they are still in my head, not on the paper. I took a lot of photographs though. There was certainly plenty of wildlife to be seen, although no lion or leopard regrettably. There was no opportunity to sketch on the game drives, as we were in a group, but when we got to the Drakensberg Mountains, I managed to do a few quick sketches in ink. Here’s one, and you can see why the Drakensbergs are so called – the Dragon’s Mountains, with peaks like sharp teeth. Some great walking, but steep, phew!

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