Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Workshop with the Seattle Sketcher

What sketcher could resist taking a workshop from the Seattle Sketcher himself? Not me, so as soon as I heard that the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden was offering it, I signed up.

7/29/12, Copic Multiliner SP pen, S & B sketchbook
Three hours isn’t much time, but Gabi packed a lot into a fun workshop. First, we made small thumbnail sketches of large spaces to help gain control of huge masses of information and to get a sense of composition. I told him I am especially interested in understanding the whole "perspective thing," so he gave me pointers about finding the horizon line at eye level and working out the perspective from there.

7/29/12, Copic Multiliner SP pen, watercolor

Then we worked from the opposite end – zoomed in on small details with particular attention to values. I was already painting the pots and leaves in this composition when Gabi pointed out the large areas of darker values behind the plants and in the shadows. He suggested that painting in the darker negative shapes around the plants would help to make the lighter plants stand out by contrast.

Finally, we put the two views together in the last assignment: Choose a detail to focus on, but give it spatial context to suggest the larger whole. I sketched a couple of my classmates first and gave less detail to the plants, trees and building behind them, making the human subjects the focal point of the composition.
7/29/12, Copic Multiliner SP pen, S & B sketchbook

After class I went to my neighborhood Maple Leaf Park and tried to apply what I had learned (a panorama across two pages of a landscape sketchbook scanned in two pieces). 


  1. Thanks for the post, Tina! I love how you summarized the workshop and hope my tips are helpful. In your neighborhood sketch I love how that small tree up against the house really pops, thanks to the dark shadow behind it. Well done!

  2. Awwww, I'm jealous, Tina! You had your very own Gabi for three hours! (Okay, you had to share him with the class, but still...)


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