Friday, April 17, 2020

Recalling My Graphite Breakthrough

4/10/20 Across the street, Maple Leaf neighborhood

Nearly two years ago, I took a workshop at the Porto Urban Sketchers Symposium from Eduardo Bajzek that changed the way I used graphite as a sketching medium. Much more important, though, was that “Graphite is the Matter” changed the way I started seeing values. You can read the summary of the workshop (linked above), but I’m not sure whether I was able to explain in that post exactly how the change occurred. I think it was one of those light bulb moments, and once the light is turned on, it can’t be turned off. It was truly a breakthrough for me.

At right is a sketch I made from our bedroom window last week. Other sketches shown in this post are from Eduardo’s Porto workshop, Delft last summer, and our snowpocalypse last February.

* * *

7/19/18 Porto
Last week would have been the 11th annual Urban Sketchers Symposium, hosted by Hong Kong. Political strife and potential violence in that city forced organizers to reluctantly cancel the event earlier this year. Ironically, the symposium would undoubtedly have been cancelled this month no matter where it was being hosted. Whether from political unrest or a global pandemic, it seems the symposium this year was doomed.

Regardless, it was heartbreaking when the Hong Kong Urban Sketchers team had to cancel after working hard on the event for nearly a year before making that difficult decision. As an expression of support and solidarity, urban sketchers everywhere posted their sketches from Hong Kong or shared stories of “breakthroughs” they have experienced from being part of Urban Sketchers. This was my story.

7/30/19 Delft
2/11/19 Our backyard


  1. These make a big impact when seen together! You've got such a nice effect in all of them.

    1. Thank you! I do enjoy using graphite, and I love the effect... but it's much more time-consuming, so I don't use it as often as I'd like.


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