|7/12/13 USK symposium panelists. Diamine Chocolate Brown ink.|
What can I say about my first International Urban Sketching Symposium? I’ve already mentioned what an exhilarating, vibrant and intense city Barcelona is, so the symposium location alone was enough to make my heart race. Combine that with being with 200 people from around the world who are equally passionate about sketching as I am, and the collective energy we produced was probably enough to light up the Sagrada Familia! I feel fortunate and grateful to the all-volunteer symposium committee that brought us together. And as much as I learned from the workshops that formed the meat of the symposium, I think what I’ll remember most is being part of that amazing collective passion and the individuals I met there who contributed their unique energy.
|7/11/13 Lynne Chapman's workshop exercise. |
Ink, colored pencil, markers.
Lynne Chapman’s “Sketches that Sing: Creating Sketches with a Life of their Own” was my first workshop of the symposium, and she set the tone with her lively, colorful and entertaining teaching style. Her exercises focused on three areas – composition, using color to direct attention, and using playful patterns and marks to create shading and energy. My sketch of Placa Vicenc Martorell, a relatively quiet plaza, was the last one I finished in her workshop, incorporating mark-making techniques, mixed media and the dynamic composition style she presented.
|7/11/13 Marion Rivolier's workshop exercise. Watercolor.|
Marc Taro Holmes was a particularly organized instructor who posted a PDF of his workshop handout weeks in advance so that we could study the concepts before we arrived at La Rambla – Barcelona’s bustling pedestrian mall. I found it very helpful to preview the lessons he presented in “Drawing People in Motion.” The first part of the workshop involved
|7/12/13 Marc Taro Holmes' workshop exercise. |
Pencil, brush pen, watercolor
|7/13/13 Catarino & Jamarillo's workshop exercise. Watercolor.|
|7/12/13 Inma Serrano's workshop exercise. Tombow markers.|
Inma’s workshop focused on three concepts: “People Are Alive” – quickly turning human figures into abstract, organic gestures and forms that describe their energy rather than their appearance; “Buildings Are Alive” – imagining that architectural structures are living, dynamic, organic “monsters” or creatures rather than static, serious descriptions of perspective. (A-HA! The magic words!); and “Color is Alive” – using mixed-media color to drive the focus, composition and rhythm of a sketch.
|7/12/13 Inma Serrano's workshop exercise. Diamine Chocolate |
Brown ink, watercolor.
The sketch I did for the “Buildings Are Alive” section – the floral-shaped frontispiece on a Placa del Pi building – was a liberation! Only that frontispiece engaged me – why struggle through the rest that I’m not interested in?
The next day at Arc de Triomf, I felt the full impact of the workshop as I sketched the Arc – something I probably wouldn’t have even attempted before Inma liberated me! Even more important – it was the most fun I ever had sketching an architectural structure!
See my blog post on the 4th International Urban Sketching Symposium blog for a little more about what I experienced.