Sketching hands:

Моя ладонь превратилась в кулак (moya ladon’ prevratilas’ v kulak) – my hand has turned into a fist… (lyrics)



Another light week, art-wise. Life is busy right now; I cannot indulge my imagination on paper much, and must attempt to find beauty in the small things, such as my own left foot. Whether I succeed, I leave to the reader to judge.

Midweek monsters

Specification from my students: three legs (one long, two short); one eye; sharp teeth; headless; body of a carp; two noses; lots of fur; scorpion tail; eight tentacles. Provisional title “headless octoscorpiocarp”.

A day later, another class produced a somewhat similar specification: three legs, one eye, head of a fish, big sharp teeth, fat body, long dark hair, ears on stalks, and a genie bottle orbiting around it. This kind of monster is called a “Nerpaneh”.


Trying to learn how to use watercolours – a forgiving medium in some ways but sadly not something you can do on whatever scrap paper you have hanging around. Below: a houseplant (capsicum chinense). The yellow thing is a sticky piece of plastic for catching small flies.

And this is based on an older post:

Practice is needed but this could be very useful.

Altarpiece (Sv. Trojice IV)

I’ve been working on a simplified, black-and-white rendition of the painting above the altar at Sv. Trojice church, for possible inclusion in materials to give to tourists. The painting portrays Sts. John of Matha and Felix of Valois ransoming Christian slaves from Saracen slave-traders. My first draught:

Top: the Holy Trinity.

Middle: an angel showing St. John of Matha the symbol (a red and blue cross) of his new order (the Trinitarians, an order initially devoted to freeing slaves), representing St. John receiving the symbol in a vision.

Bottom: Sts. John of Matha (bearded guy in robes) and Felix of Valois (man in hat) paying a bored-looking slave-trader for the release of captives.

Now, Felix of Valois was a Christian hermit and ascetic from France; if your response is, “so why is he wearing a Moroccan hat, then?”, you are sharper than me – I just assumed, hey, maybe French hermits wore strange hats in those days; but in fact I had completely misinterpreted the painting I was copying…

…wherein the bearded, robed man next to the angel is actually St. Felix (praying for the success of their endeavour, not experiencing a vision); the bearded, robed man at the bottom is St. John, as I had thought; and the man in the Moroccan hat is in fact a Moroccan. (The boy holding the money-bag is F. X. K. Palko, who painted the picture.) However, I am now completely confused as to why that angel is holding up the symbol of the Order in the upper-middle of the picture.

Another draught or two will be needed.

(The history of the Trinitarian Order.)