Thursday, 16 February 2017

Art and antiques in a hall

In February, we went to the Luxexpo with Urban Sketchers Luxembourg. We had the choice between the Antiques Fair and a Wine Salon. I wasn't surprised that everyone in the group chose to explore the Antiques Fair.

The organizers kindly let us enter for free when they hears that we were enthusiastic amateur artists.

While waiting for a couple of latecomers, I sketched a stand exhibiting a few frames. There was not much movement there, most people went straight for the antiquities and artworks displayed inside the hall.

The Luxexpo is a huge hall whose size can be adapted to fit the needs of the different fairs, exhibitions and festivals taking place there. I found the contrast between the venue and what it was exhibiting quite interesting.

While I was making the sketch above, a group of Germans blocked the view, so instead of getting annoyed about that I decided to sketch them as fast as possible.

There were so many interesting objects and artworks on display! It was difficult to choose what to sketch first. This display of old toys was a no-brainer, though. It really felt like I was in a small antiques shop somewhere and not in a huge hall.

The day ended with a coffee at one of the temporary bars. All in all, it was a great venue to spend a cold winter afternoon in good company.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sketching with the USK Netherlands

The Urban Sketchers Netherlands organised a sketchcrawl in Maastricht last December. Since the city is about 2 hours away by car, some of us sketchers from Luxembourg decided to go and join them for the day.

I arrived just in the nick of time for a workshop help by René Fijten. The idea of the workshop was to document a place going from the general feeling to a detail. René is a great teacher and he was kind enough to translate everything for the non Dutch speakers so we could all benefit from the exercise as much as possible.

For the first exercise, René asked us to sketch the general view of our meeting place, describe it as we saw it. Was it a busy place? a small location? etc.

Then we stopped at a passage. Again: what were our impressions?

We then had to choose one of the facades that were more interesting to us and document it.

And finally, finish with a small detail.

I found this approach very interesting and a good exercise to keep in mind when sketching outside. I think it would make for a very interesting composition on a big double page, for example.

After the workshop, and after lunch, I joined other sketchers at the bookstore Dominicanen, an old church re-purposed as a library and a gorgeous place.

There were tons of great spots to sketch in there, but I decided to challenge myself with a birds-eye view over the hundreds of clients on the lower floor.

It was such an interesting viewpoint that I did a second sketch, this time focusing only on the people. So much can be said about a place merely through the body language of the people there!

Only too soon it was time to share all the sketches and for the group photo. The USK Netherlands made a great little clip documenting the sketchcrawl.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Just wondering...

I like to sketch random people from photos found online. It's a great exercise and, since they are total strangers, less pressure to make a good drawing.

Old mugshots are particularly interesting. For one, I love how different people looked in the past. Their hairdos and clothes particularly. Some of the men even look positively dapper.

Sketching these faces always makes me wonder what their lives looked like and why they were arrested.