This week, I had to pop over to Italy to sort out some banking and apartment issues. Whilst there, I was able to take advantage of the spring weather to do a couple of watercolour sketches.
I'm loving my first full spring in years. Is it spring where you are? Are you out sketching too?
Determined to do one 360° drawing, which was halfway right, I started the day with an early morning sketch out of my hotel window. It's a bit better than the previous attempts, but this technique still needs some work.
After breakfast, I headed into town for a pre-workshop sketch and ran into Liz Ackerley, a fabulous landscape designer at Poppyhead Consultancy. Tackling the wonky, albeit restored, building of the Flying Standard was a challenge. I would have liked a bit more time to work on the sketch, but had to join Simone Ridyard for her great workshop.
First up was 1-point perspective down the side of modern university buildings with the cathedral in the background. Again, I ran out of time and having pencilled in the cathedral added colour later. (sorry about image quality, my scanner is ignoring watercolours, so I too a photo).
Next we went into the old cathedral for a demo on 2-point perspective by Simone, which was really informative.
Then it was round the corner to Hay Lane, where I drew the Golden Cross pub with an extreme perspective as I sat on the pavement. Whilst I pencilled in the rest of the street I chose not to overwork the sketch and empasize the pub's structure.
Sadly, due to worrying about Degas' health despite being left with my amazing dog-sitter, who sent me regular messages, and the Friday /end of Easter traffic I chose not to participate in the the last afternoon session but head home. I was greated by a very waggily tail, cuddles and half an hour of crying from Degas.
I had a fabulous time on the workshop and would thoroughly recommend attending an UrbanSketching workshop regardless of your level and experience. Thank you to the wonderful instructors and my fellow participants.
Don't forget the Urban Sketcher's Symposium is in Singapore this year, and I hear there will be an Oxford workshop later this year.
Swasky (aka Víctor Martínez Escámez)
Urbansketchers symposium 2015
Day 2 started with some fun warm up exercises with Isabel Carmona, then the challenge began: we had to produce 360° sketches. This was the most challenging thing I did all week both inside the Herbert and then outside at the new cathedral. As you can see below, I didn't get the taper correct, among other things.
In the afternoon, our tasks included drawing people and then placing them in context. As you can see from the photos it was a lovely sunny afternoon and a pleasure to sketch outside, which is not what you expect from Coventry in April. Exhausted we had a debrief over a refreshing glass of cider in the local. I sketched an amazing pink cider, but I cannot get a decent copy of it, sorry.
Last part will be on Thursday.
With Degas on the mend, I was able to attend the UrbanSketchers Coventry workshop this week. However, needing to leave her with the dogsitter for as short a period as possible, I arrived almost on time for the start of the first workshop, but missed the night before's drink and draw registration event. I also left before the end on Friday, partially due to Friday/end of Easter week traffic, but also as I wanted to see how she was. In between was a great event, arranged and tutored by Isabel Carmona, Swasky, and Simone Ridyard.
With no time to settle, it was straight in with recording the old cathedral in Swasky's workshop on Bending the Floor. The result is above, and I have to confess it's my favourite of the three days. The workshop was ran alongside the Recording Britain exhibition, at the Herbert, and copies of our drawings are there until the end of the month.
The second exercise was more complex, and although I didn't do it correctly, I am also pleased with my representation of the Herbert and adjacent university buildings. (below)
In the afternoon we drew lots of portraits of each other, which was fun, and Simone took this great photo of us (below).
Exhaused, we retired to the nearby pub for food, drinks, and, of course, more sketching.
Parts 2 and 3 will be posted on Tuesday and Thursday. I hope you come back to check them out. Please remember I love receiving your comments.
Whilst in Manchester last weekend, I did a couple of other sketches away from the sketchcrawl. The first was sat in The Peveril of the Peak with Simone Ridyard and members of the SAI. The stained glass had caught my eye and as a man was staring at me, I started to draw him... well actually for once, I sketched the background around him, I just got to him and his group left.
On Sunday morning, I sketched the view from the window, with a total disregard to composition. This is my second greenhouse sketch this month. (The first is here.) Then, I sketched a doll on a bookcase, unfinished, both before breakfast.
How successful do you think these are? Please leave a comment telling me.
Yesterday, I joined the Manchester, Yorkshire, and Society of Architectural Illustrators (SAI) for a sketchcrawl in Manchester. It was a surprisingly blue skied sunny day, but with an icy wind, which made outdoor sketching a challenge. As you can see from my sketches below, I alternated between outside and inside locations.
It was lovely to meet so many sketchers from all over (40+ at the interim lunch meeting) and hope to get up to Manchester and sketch again... albeit in a warmer month.
It's been a busy couple of weeks. I had a weekend away and my poor assistant has been in Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, Cambridge for surgery on her elbows. She now needs lots of love and cuddles to help her recover.
I have mainly been creative in a photographic way, apart from a couple of sketches. The above one was drawn at my friend's house in Cheltenham. We have had surprisingly clear blue skies, which has made the UK spring look prettier. Here's a few examples... and a fire as the nights are still cold.
What have you done this week?
I am now a member of the print workshop at Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester. Consequently, on Thursday I had my induction to use the workshop unsupervised in the future. Whilst there I took the opportunity to have a 2nd attempt at etching. I used one of my new etching needles, which is quite heavy and a dream to draw with into the hard ground. I redid the oak leaves I'd attempted to etch on my workshop, you can see those results here.
What printmaking lessons have you learnt?
What did you sketch this week? Why not leave a link in a comment here?
To celebrate the start of the Chinese year of the Ram, here is a watercolour of a ram I photographed in New Zealand.
This year is refered to the year of the sheep or goat or ram as the BBC explains in this video Chinese New Year confusion over sheep and where I got this slide:
I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.