Japan trip and graphite sketches

Howdy, I bring sketches! But first – a little rambling recount of my life. So far, there’s been a good sprinkling of happiness and mirth into my week, after a loooong week of essays and interviews and performed assessments.

So.. two days ago, I received an email from the Embassy of Japan, inviting me and 18 other journalists across Australia to a short journey through glorious Japan! YAY. I was shocked, surprised, flabbergasted, ghost-faced and then plum-faced, to say the least. I applied on the insistence of an old friend of mine, and expected nothing in return – save for an eyebag or two (as with most applications, one expects to write a LOT of words. In my case, it is done in the witching hours of the night).

I admit I do not know what to expect, but the words “host family”, “regional government officials”, “Tokyo”, “visits to Japanese media corporations” and “tourist spots” that peppered the application guide are cause for a lot of excitement! The objective of the program is to promote the “Japan brand”; for this, they have picked the right girl. I love Japan, ever since my pre-pube days of Sailor Moon and Pokemon, and I am more than willing to slather online media, print media, any media – about its virtues.

I cannot wait!

In other news, I’ve got horses and ballerinas lined up.

First, the horse. This took a fair amount of time to sketch, as I have never drawn a big animal before. Feel free to ogle at it. The name of my subject is Pashmira, and yes, she is very pleased to meet you too.

Horse by antipodea

Then we have what is a failed attempt to sketch a Moroccan friend of mine, inspired by our conversation through Facebook. Though separated by many seas, oceans and power-hungry politicians, we still keep in touch occasionally, even though he lives in a beautiful oasis, the most beautiful place I have ever seen.  The subject looks as though he has stubble, but I guarantee you that he has not; I get a bit clenched and blurry-eyed when sketching faces, that is all.

Moroccan man by antipodea

Next, a ballerina! I like the shading in this, bravo me.


Then comes my first serious attempt to draw that gnarly, tangly thing called hair. It wasn’t too hard: a couple of flicks of the wrist upwards and downwards gives a hair-like texture. I am not quite as pleased about the nose, however. Still, wait ’til you see the next.

Portrait of a Russian woman by antipodea

I apologise, I have forgotten the look of penises. They’re not the most beautiful of things, so I never used to look long and hard. I regret now. The woman’s figure is far better to look at – you’ll be seeing some female sketches from me someday! In any case, let me present my first quick sketch of a man..

With these milestones completed, I now look forward to my next: to write a long feature of a circus tycoon, research into the history of marketing in tertiary institutions, draw a female nude, converse in Spanish, meet my future Japanese host family and government officials, and last but certainly not the least, to enrol myself in a beginners art course at Australia’s oldest art school (just added this to the list a minute ago)!

Now, to heave a sigh… and roll ourselves into something sweet and tranquil, Al Bowlly style:

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