Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Lighting the City: Lights and Shadows amid Excitement and Serenity - with Sagar Fornies

Sagar Fornies is an impressive artist. All his sketches that I have seen so far have left a lasting impression on me. Adding the fact that he is also a comic book artist (I'm a comic book fan), I have to admit that I was impressed by him even before meeting him.

Being able to attend one of his workshops was definitely going to be one of the highlights of this symposium.

His workshop was about learning to introduce light in our sketches, which also contributes to adding depth to them. More details here.

We made two sketches in total: one in the parc of the university and one inside the beautiful building, and I think that between my first and my second there is definitely some improvement.

Sketching vegetation is not my forte, but I received good instructions. Just keep practicing!
Between the sketch above and the sketch below, there was one key sentence that the great teacher told me:

Don't be afraid!

Yes, I know, it's that simple, and there was more, of course. But this was the core idea and I feel that, added to the other worshops I had already attended, this sentence was the key to unblock me.

Second sketch with some guidance from Sagar
I felt elated at the end of this workshop. I definitely learned a lot and feel like I will improve my skills and have learned not to be so apprehensive about colour and mark making thanks to Sagar and the other teachers.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sketches that Sing: Creating Sketches with a Life of their Own - with Lynne Chapman

I admire Lynne Chapman's way of playing with colour. So again, choosing her workshop was a no-brainer for me.

I was as curious to meet the person as I was about her workshop and I knew I would definitely learn a lot from her.

We were focusing on different points: composition, colour and mark-making. A more detailed description can be found here.

I have to admit that this workshop was one of the most challenging ones for me. Playful and fun, but challenging. As I mentioned in a previous post: using colour is not my forte.

However, I think I didn't do too badly and, although I still have to work on my colour use and technique, I think I lost a bit of my apprehension and started to enjoy just playing with it.

This sketch was about composition. We had to think the way we framed the sketch in order to make it more dramatic, by going very close to the subject and "cutting" it on at least two sides.

Lynne suggested the use of colour (obviously, lol). I think it works very well here and I like experimenting with it now.
Another exercise had us combine only 3 colours, each in a different medium and use mark-making to make the drawing more dramatic.

This exercise definitely had me leave my comfort zone and I think I still have to experiment with it a lot before I completely "get it".

I used a yellow marker, a red pencil and a blue watercolour pencil.
All in all, this was a very fun morning. Lynne Chapman's love for sketching is very contagious and I can't wait to experiment more on what I learned from her.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Drawing from the Heart and over Color Splashes - with Tia Boon Sim and Paul Wang

I have to admit that colour is not my strongest point so far. I really need to work on that. And learn to be less of a control freak when sketching with colour.

So every time I see Tia and Paul's beautiful sketches I cannot help but marvel at them. They are always so colorful and vibrant.

Evidently, when I saw that they were proposing a workshop, it naturally went to my workshops-not-to-be-missed selection. Here is the description of the workshop, with some of Tia and Paul's sketches.

It was very interesting to see Tia and Paul's sketching process to get to the results I so admired. And discovering their techniques and different tools they use (Paul even uses a comb!).

Tia even mentioned to me that Qi Gong techniques can be used for drawing. I have to look into that. And into blind drawing as well.

On this sketch I tried Tia's technique of splashing colour on the paper first (but normally it would be better to have the splashes ready before going on location), and drawing with a twig and ink.

Splashing colours and trying some blind drawing on the columns

Here I tried using Paul's different techniques, drawing with wax, fingers, comb, credit card, etc.
trying different techniques: wax, fingers, comb, credit card, etc.

This workshop was very playful to me. I felt like I didn't really know what I was doing, but I still had fun and I hope that in time I can start incorporating some of their spirit in my sketches as well.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sketching Urban Place: People, Space and Street - with Richard Alomar

The first workshop of the USK Barcelona Symposium was all about understanding urban space and how it was created for the people living in it.

This might be a strange thing to say, considering the subject of the whole symposium, but I had never really thought about the places we live in in these terms.

Sure, I understood the basic principles, for example that a street is supposed to lead you some place, but it had never (consciously) occurred to me that some places were designed to be lived in, enjoyed as such, and others just for their utilitarian purpose, to serve some function.

Richard Alomar's workshop introduced me to the concepts of path, transition, entry and point of focus of a place, which in turn led me to think about my sketches in a very different way.

Check out this link to read a full description of the workshop.

For the first exercise, we had to do very quick 30-second and 2-minute sketches of one place, then moved to another.

It is a stressful exercise in the beginning, but it helps to go to the essentials instead of focusing too much on details.
Capturing space in a few quick strokes
Another exercise was first describing a place in words : what we were seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. before sketching those things. Again, very interesting exercise to help understand what we are going to draw.

We did these exercises a few times until we reached Plaça Reial, where we stayed for about an hour and had more time to do a more complete sketch.

Plaça Reial - I had a lovely time sketching this with two adorable ladies from England at this point
I loved this workshop (as all the others). Richard was very dynamic and his instructions were clear. It was a great way to start this symposium.

Urban Sketching Symposium in Barcelona

I have recently attendended an amazing symposium on urban sketching in Barcelona.
What is urban sketching, you might ask?
Well, the best way to find out is to visit this amazing website.
I was expecting to learn a lot and to come back inspired, and I was not disappointed.
I met so many wonderful people, attended many amazing workshops and just soaked in all that I could learn and experience.
I thought it would be fitting to start this blog with some sketches I did during the symposium. After all, this whole movement is what encouraged me to take up drawing again in the first place.
Hope you enjoy and maybe get infected by the movement!

Oh hey!

Great to see you here!
Don't mind me, I'm just scribbling and sketching.
Feel free to look around, though.
Nice to meet you, by the way!