Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Tour of Seattle, Urban Sketcher Style

5/18/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook
A day in Mount Vernon with the venerable Frank Ching and Gail Wong wasn’t enough for me; I went back for a whole weekend of their “Line to Color” Urban Sketchers workshop, this time in Seattle. Sketchers from as far away as Idaho and California joined local sketchers for what turned out to be a whirlwind tour of some of Seattle’s most sketch-worthy neighborhoods and attractions: Ballard, Fremont, Gas Works Park and the Pike Place Market.

The highlight of our Friday evening meet-and-greet over Ballard Pizza Company pizza was hearing guest and MC Gabi Campanario talk about the birth of the Urban Sketchers movement and how local workshops like “Line to Color” have become an ongoing adjunct to the annual international Urban Sketchers symposia.
5/18/13 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, S & B sketchbook

In Ballard on Friday and Fremont Saturday morning, workshop participants practiced perspective and composition under Frank and Gail’s watchful eyes and thoughtful critique. As one participant kiddingly said, “I thought I was my own worst critic until I met Frank.” I worked hard practicing the exercises they recommended, but when they weren’t looking, I snuck in another sketch of Lenin (actually, my third, although he’s barely visible in the second).

By the time we got to Gas Works Park on Saturday afternoon, we were adding color to our lines. I finally got to practice wet-on-wet clouds over the Seattle skyline using the technique I’ve long admired in Gail’s sketches.

Sunday morning’s class at the Market was combined with the regular monthly Seattle Urban Sketchers meet-up, which brought out a record number of sketchers! (As far as social urban sketching goes, this sketchcrawl was an anniversary for me: A year ago this weekend I went to my very first.) I did one class exercise, a value study with selective color of the iconic Public Market Center sign. But after that, I decided class was over, and I spent the rest of the meet-up sketching my favorite farmer’s market subject: street performers (see next blog post).
5/19/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook

By the end of the workshop, I came to the same conclusion I always come to: Learning from the masters helps; hearing their critiques of my sketches helps the most. But the only way to become a better sketcher is to practice, practice, practice.

Thanks, Gail and Frank, for another great workshop!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your weekend was packed and these are great sketches :)


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