Food is an important part of Turkish culture, and in Istanbul, you are never far from a tasty place to sit down and enjoy a meal. From tables piled high with various cheeses, olives and spreads for breakfast, to a soup or kebab for dinner, there is no shortage of ways to fill your belly— and while you're at it, the sketching opportunities are endless.
The man in the above sketch was behind the counter of a börek salonu, a savoury pastry salon. He left before I could colour in the drawing, and though his coworker ran off with my sketchbook to show a host of people, I am unsure if he ever saw it himself.
Now, this man is the most dedicated and serious waiter in all of Turkey. He works over at an Anatolian breakfast joint which I frequent, intensely serving patrons copper dishes of eggs and sausage, and making certain that you understand the olive oil is ONLY for use in the salad— nothing else. After nearly two years, I finally gathered up the courage to sketch him, much to the delight of his fellow waiters. Upon seeing his portrait, he remained as stoic as ever, and continued to fiercely wipe down a table.
And finally, this man man was simply a diner at one of my favourite dürüm places, where perfectly seasoned kebabs are wrapped up snuggly with tomatoes, onions and spices in a flat bread. The guy was barely conscious, and made for an interesting subject.
By the way— since my return to Nepal this summer I've been using various sizes of Fabriano Venezia sketchbooks, and the paper is a dream with watercolour and ink. I was able to fully abuse the book with drippy washes during a monsoon, and everything held together. If you are partial to watercolours, ink or pencil, try these books out. They come in a variety of sizes— I now have three! My Nepal book is a little bigger than A4, and in order to scan my sketches, I have to piece together about four to six scans of each spread. This has been taking me since August to accomplish—I hope to share them soon!
Visit my blog Harika for more sketches, stories and photos!