I wrote about rapid sketching some posts ago, but this time I took up one other challenge. The challenge was to sketch the landscape with fountain pen and watercolours as we traveled on the highway. We were taking a five hour drive to one lovely seaside place Kozarica in Pakoštane on the Dalmatian coast, near Zadar. We traveled from Maribor, past Zagreb and then through Lika region (where, by the way, famous Nikola Tesla was born). I sketched with fountain pen Pilot Falcon with Platinum Carbon Black Ink and Schmincke watercolours.

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I tried to sketch the landscape character, pattern of fields and meadows, and even the morning fog in one of the valleys we passed by.tanja simonic korosak_kozarica 2014 2

Here is the sketching gear and the sketch in making. By the time I finished the sketch, the scenery was long gone.

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The landscape of the inland Croatia was lush and very green. One of my favourite landscapes is the picturesque scenery of mountain Zir, which peaks out of the Lika flatlands. It grows bigger and bigger while we speed by on the highway. The bottom of the mountain is wooded, but the peak is mostly rocky with some vegetation growing from nooks and crannies.


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The Lika area was very inspiring. However in the landscape of utmost scenic beauty one can sense not just the picturesque promise of holiday relaxation on the coast but also sees the abandoned fields and houses as traces of the war some twenty years ago. Today, ‘half’ of Europeans seems to travel to this beautiful coast in the summer (well according to some statistic, at least half of Slovenians really do) and enjoy the landscapes and the Dalmatian coast.

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The traffic became more dense when we approached the tunnel Sveti Rok. The almost six kilometres long tunnel connects the Croatian inlands with the Dalmatian coast through the mountain range Velebit.


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On the other side of the tunnel, the landscape changes are evident. Vegetation is very sparse. It dots the rocky limestone  which is exposed to the hot sub- mediteranian sun.

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And the views were great.

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At that point we soon left the highway to drive to our destination and there were first 17 watercolour sketches in my sketchbook.