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Animals Drawing Ink and watercolor wash People Sketchbook Pages

Scottish Festival at Ardenwood, Part 2

Warrior in full leather (and kilt), ink & watercolor
Warrior in full leather (and kilt), ink & watercolor

Moving on from the bagpipers in the last post to some of the other characters I met at the Scottish Festival. Except for the kilt, this guy could have been in Mad Max. I asked him about his metal cup since nearly every person in character either was carrying one or had one clipped to their belts. I asked whether drinking was an important part of the culture. He said no, that when you were served beverages you were expected to have your own goblet or mug, they weren’t provided.

Sitting in the Clan Cian booth
Sitting in the Clan Cian booth

This old gent with the long white hair and beard was one of the most authentic-looking characters.

Mary Queen of Scotts
Mary Queen of Scotts

She behaved quite regally but seemed to be a kind sovereign.

Serving girl
Serving girl

She was hanging out and helping to serve in the beer garden. I added extra length to her skirt using Photoshop cloning after my sister pointed out she looked to be standing in a hole or missing feet because her skirt wasn’t long enough.

M'lady in royal blue
M

A tent was set up to demonstrate how the lords and ladies traveled in style, with full silver settings, rugs, bedding and furniture. They could only travel (to visit other lords and ladies) very short distances each day in their wagons because of the weight and all the setting up required for their servants to create a home away from home each day.

Romans waiting by a small fire truck for a parade to begin
Romans waiting by a small fire truck for a parade to begin

Along with Scots there were Romans, Vikings and even a couple of pirates.

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Bay Area Parks Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Painting People Places Sketchbook Pages

Bagpipes and Badger Bags: Scottish Tartan Festival at Ardenwood

Macintosh Pipe Band Drummer, ink & watercolor
Macintosh Pipe Band Woman, ink & watercolor in small WC Moleskine

When the Scottish Tartan Festival came to Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, Cathy and I arrived at the start of the festivities to sketch. We were greeted by a royal retinue of people in full costume. They stayed in character all day, acting out scenes from Scottish history. Along with the re-enactors there was a bagpipe band, booths for clans, beer, food, craft vendors, demonstrations of kilt wrapping, and pole-tossing competitions.

Macintosh Pipe Band, ink & watercolor in small WC Moleskine
Macintosh Pipe Band Woman, ink & watercolor in small WC Moleskine

I’d filled my last handmade sketchbook and didn’t have time to bind another so I was using a small watercolor Moleskine and my fountain pen. I wasn’t used to such a small page and it was a bit of a struggle with a too thick line on a very small page.

Sporran: Furry man purses worn with kilts
Sporran: Furry man purses worn with kilts (two sketchbook pages assembled in Photoshop)

All of the men in kilts were wearing frontal fanny packs made of fur or leather called “Sporran” (roll those r’s). I had to take a photo (pasted into sketchbook above) of one gentleman’s sporran made from an actual badger! People were very friendly and happy to explain things to us and didn’t mind us sketching them.

Macintosh Bagpiper and Drummer
Macintosh Bagpiper and Drummer

I was fascinated by the bagpipes and drew them repeatedly until I understood what I was seeing. They looked like brown corduroy vacuum bags with a bunch of pipes sticking out of them. The bags are lined with leather or Goretex but used to be made from sheep or goat stomachs.

Bag piper contestant
Bag pipe contestant

There were judging stations set up around the park where young pipers performed and judges carefully rated their performances. This guy (above) left before I’d finished drawing him but I like the sketch anyway. Most of the pipe band members appeared to be of retirement age. I asked one when he started playing bagpipes (glad my kids never wanted to learn bagpipe!). He said that he started in his 50s and most of the band had started playing as adults too.

Pipe Band and Dancer
Pipe Band and Dancer

There were some lovely young dancers performing on the stage while the pipe band played but I was so intent on drawing the pipers I nearly missed seeing the dancers.

I thought it was interesting that ALL of the bagpipers wore earplugs.

Next time I’ll post my sketches of the people in period costumes.