PeF and I settled on the Kumkapı fish markets by the Marmara Sea in Istanbul, for this weekend's SketchCrawl. Istanbul had the biggest number of participants for the event— two! Inshallah the next one will have more people— we'll post an announcement on Urban Sketchers Istanbul when the next crawl happens.
It was a grey day— cold enough for your fingers to lock around your pencil, and your nose to be in constant need of a tissue. In between showers of icy rain, we split our time watching gulls and sketching fish, much to the delight and surprise of the burly fishmongers. They took turns bellowing "BUYRUNBUYRUN!" at potential customers, and hovering behind us tsking, and making hand gestures of approval.
We stood for nearly two hours, each of us working on our spreads, and I couldn't help but think that sketching demands a certain amount of toughness. I could feel my knees protest, and goodness, it was cold— but then the sketch would absorb me, and I forgot. Every so often, a fishmonger would yell "Abi!" at PeF (which means brother), wave at him to move, then hurl an arc of seawater on his fish— the tail end of the arc landing where PeF once stood. I was routinely bumped out of the way by customers, and narrowly avoided getting drenched by a sheet of water being emptied from a bowed awning.
The fish sketch was the first time I tried using a white Uniball Signo pen over watercolour for some highlights, and I rather like the effect— so did the fishmonger whose fish it was. He argued with a fellow monger over whether or not the colours in my sketch were the same as the real fish, defending me, while his buddy insisted the mouth was all wrong.
See the photos, read the stories on my blog Harika.