Mother's Milk Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls © 2014

Mother’s Milk Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls © 2014

This sketch captures everything I enjoy about field sketching. People. Animals. Color and pattern. Speed. Simplicity.

You might be thinking that it doesn’t look all that simple, as it contains a woman, her child, a cow and a calf, plus the brightly colored, patterned shuka. But in reality, the sketch was very simple. The heads of the woman and her child are just simple shapes and I didn’t include the pattern on the shuka, just lines to show the main folds. The cow required more detail, just to get the perspective right and perhaps most importantly, to show that the woman’s head is leaning against the cow’s flank, highlighting the connection between them. Although the shuka covers the calabash the milk is being collected in, you can still tell what is happening here. I did many pencil sketches in quick succession on this morning, then added watercolor later that day (I don’t use photos or video to do this and I always finish my field sketches in the field, so that I can honestly say they were completed on site).

I am, as ever, grateful to the friendly people of Loibor Siret in Tanzania who allowed me the wonderful opportunity to sketch in their home. I am packing up copies of all the sketches I did that day to send to them. I am also grateful for the opportunity to stay with the African People & Wildlife Fund who are doing great work with communities on the Maasai Steppe of northern Tanzania.

Learn more about the valuable work of the African People & Wildlife Fund on the Maasai Steppe in Tanzania.

See more of my African Field Sketches.

Until next time…

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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