Monday, October 25, 2010


There are two mountainous places Eastern Cape coastal dwellers often gravitate to for holidays - Hogsback and Katberg. In the late 1980s, we had a Bentley family get-together at Katberg, which is surprisingly close to Hogsback - only about 50km as the crow flies.

I was armed with a soft pencil for the trip, and did several drawings of the mountains surrounding our hired self-catering cottage. As with Hogsback, many locals make a bit of money from the tourists by selling walking sticks with patterning etched into the wood. One of the young guys we met, Patrick Makinana, agreed to be sketched. It is not often I do posed portraits like this, but I think it turned out quite well.

This is a view of the cottage we hired (I think), with the mountains beyond.

I recall this as a quick sketch of one of the locals carrying a lamb.

My enduring love of the sculptural quality of mountains found an outlet here. The mountains, though so close to those at Hogsback, are entirely different in character. Geologists will be able to explain why.

Not since doing basic training during my military conscription days in the late 1970s at Ladysmith in the foothills of the Drakensberg (see earlier postings), had I explored peaks with pencil to this extent. And now I had an actual drawing book and decent pencil - as opposed to working with ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper.

The soft pencil definitely lends itself to drawing the folds of mountains.

This is actually the left-hand half of a panoramic view I did over two opposing pages of the surrounding hills and mountains. The right-hand half is below, but I think each works quite well alone.

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