Friday, 19 September 2014

Sketching fundamentals - with Matthew Brehm

The best part about a Usk Symposium is to meet old and new friends. This being my second participation, I had the great pleasure to see people again with whom I had sympathized the previous year, and was pleasantly surprised that quite a few people remembered me.

As I said before, Paraty being a small city, the streets were full of sketchers everywhere and participants were easy to spot, acquaintances easily formed.

The second best part are the workshops, of course. This year I chose very different subjects and, to make the selection a tiny bit easier, I decided not to take any of the workshops held by an instructor whose workshop I had attended in Barcelona.

I still ended up wishing I had done this and done that. On top of what I actually did, of course. I'm greedy like that.

Fortunately, another great thing about a symposium is sharing experiences and insights with other participants, so in the end you learn almost as much indirectly as during an actual workshop.

On the first day of workshops I got to see two very different approaches to sketching: Matthew Brehm's Sketching Fundamentals, and Behzad Bagheri's The Joy of the movement.

Matthew Brehm's workshop was about studying the subject before commiting it to paper. First composing the sketch, deciding what exactly to put on paper before starting to measure and lightly put some marks to gradually build your sketch.

It forced me to do something I don't usually do: visualize the sketch before drawing it.

To be honest, although I am happy with my sketch, I felt a little bit stifled by the process. But that's because I was doing something I don't usually do and that's the point of a symposium like this.

Matthew Brehm's workshop
Spot the sketcher!
It started raining fairly early on, so we had to find some shelter and poor Matthew had to improvise a Q&A session for the rest of the workshop. It gave me a lot of insights and tips for sketching, though, so good catch, Matthew!

The one concept I will keep in mind from this workshop is: VISUALIZE!