Reykjavík: sketching about town

I’ve noticed before that as I get more comfortable with a city, the friendlier the locals seem to become. I went to the post office today and two separate customers helped me, and the lady behind the desk was very smiley and kind, even if I couldn’t understand anything she said. I don’t know if my outlook changes once I’ve been in a place for awhile, or if I develop a more open demeanor that actually causes people to treat me better; it’s probably both.

After my errand I went to a café and ordered carrot cake, then took a seat outside for some writing and sketching. There was a free concert in Ingólfstorg (Ingolf’s Square) because of the jazz festival, so I drew some of the people who were there listening to the Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band’s “unique North Atlantic Afro Beat.”

Sketch at Ingólfstorg

Outdoor-jazz audience members

After this I realized that if I am going to do any amount of outdoor sketching in Iceland, I’ll need some way to keep my hands warm. (This was true in Scotland as well, which is maybe why I didn’t do much outdoor sketching there!) I remembered seeing some Iceland-made wool-blend felt mitts in a gift shop, so I browsed the shops around the square until I found the same pair. They’re not super-insulating but they’re very fitted, so I won’t have that clumsy-mitten feeling!

Lisa's left hand in black felt mitt

I thought I was going home after that, but when I caught sight of the harbor from a space between two buildings, I had to go there. I crossed a couple of streets to the Old Harbor, where I spotted a bench and decided I had enough stamina left for another sketch.

Old Harbor sketch, on-site

Old Harbor sketch

I think I’m getting better at these pen/marker sketches. I’ve resolved to do more of them so as to get more practice. I’ve also been following a couple of artist/illustrator-bloggers who do similar (but way more polished) versions of the same, and they inspire me. Check ’em out: SF-based Wendy MacNaughton and UK illustrator Geo Parkin.