Next post is the final day of the symposium...
Friday had a different format this year, which I liked. A workshop in the morning then lots of activities or talks to choose from in the afternoon. I had chosen Matthew Brehm's workshop as I admire his watercolours and it was on Sketching Fundamentals. It started well, but I got off with the wrong attitude on the first exercise when we where sent to do something and I spied 2 boys up a tree... I quickly sketched them then tried to add in what I as supposed to do. (sorry can't get decent scan or photo but if you click on it, it opens in lightbox and is clearer)
We did a couple more exercises and then Matt gave a long demo. It was interesting, but I was itching to do more sketches and clock watched until the end of the workshop. I am pleased with my portrait of João drawn as he was listening.
After a quick lunch break with the lovely Orling (drawingbythepound), I went to capture my own version of the King tide in the streets. (top) Next, it was back to the Casa do Cultura for talks by Simone Ridyard and then Gaby Campanario. I wish Gaby's talk had been longer as it was so informative - sketch reportage is something I want to get into - and he has a great story telling technique. Night fell quickly in Paraty, so then it was on to a demo by the brilliant Brazilian artist Ivonesyo Ramos. He is very charismatic and despite some drops of rain did an impressive nightime painting, which I bought in the silent auction.
Finally, I went to a talk/demo by the sponsors PEN.UP where I did my first ever digital sketch on a tablet. it wasn't great, but I can see future experiments with this medium (when I buy a tablet).
All in all it wasn't the my most productive day on my part, but I got lots from it.
Next post is the final day of the symposium...
Having attended last year's symposium, I was not as nervous before my first workshop, but still at little bit. It was with Paul Heaston, whose work I really admire. Paul had almost finished his demo when the heavens opened. We took over a nearby café/restaurant and got out our new sketchbooks given by the Brazilian sponsor: casa do artista
The workshop was on drawing wide-angle perspectives, and whilst I understood Paul's great handouts and explanations, unlike normal perspective I couldn't "see" it. Hence, among many errors my pad and and feet are too small in this first attempt.
With a break in the rain, I went outside for my 2nd drawing, and whilst I had to take cover twice from more showers, I am pleased with the result. (Top). I really enjoyed this workshop and (with cheat sheets in hand) shall try this method again.
After a too short lunch break, it was on to Liz Steel's workshop "Feeling the edges – a tactile approach to sketching architecture". Despite the freezing cold, the wind was icy cold, and being cut off by an amazing full-moon tide (I believe they are called King tides), which flood the streets of Paraty. It was very interesting and fun. We did lots of mark making and an exercise which involved careful measurement of proportions, before we could then take a more tactile approach.
In the brief Liz said "Trusting your own personal response to a building is far more important when sketching architecture than achieving absolutely accurate proportions or perfect perspective", but I seem to have lost the point when working on my final drawing. I'll blame the cold.
Looking at the sketch later in the Pousada, I added the sky, then colour in an attempt to get something nearer the aim of the workshop - should have left it alone, I think. Oh well, it's all about learning.
Heading back for more clothes prior to dinner, I heard drumming and went to investigate. There was a drum class in a building and I stood in the doorway and sketched - my own personal response :) I am starting to doubt using the urban sketcher title, as I do tend to draw people and objects without their setting. I guess that's something to think about as I always struggle with the situational part of people sketching.
By the time the drumming stopped, it was time to meet the others for dinner, but couldn't find them. Luckily I ran into Omar and joined him and Norberto at Quintal Verde. I started the sketch below, but a group of people came and sat blocking my view. Later, we were joined by Rita, which is one benefit of a smaller location in that you could normally find someone to eat or drink with.
So that was all from the Thursday. Friday was another full day, which I will leave to my next post.
Please leave your comments below, as I love to hear your thoughts.
Waking up on Saturday morning, I couldn't believe it was the last day of the symposium already. After the panel, I gathered for my 5th and final workshop, Barcelona Perspectives with the architects Florian Afflerbach and Arno Hartmann. The group caught the metro out to the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion, where, after a demonstration by Arno & with help from Florian, Alissa and I very carefully drew 4 lines in 25 minutes.
I studied and used perspective back in college and still apply it to some drawings, BUT never with my urban sketches. It was enlightening! Alissa and I did get the basic 2-point perspective finished and I for one felt I'd achieved a lot.
Next, we moved into the building to draw it with 1-point perspective. This was new to me, or completely forgotten, and ended up as my favourite workshop drawing from the whole symposium. It was also the best workshop I attended and left me buzzing to try more. Thank you both Florian & Arno.
Back at CCCB, I attended Fred Lynch's fantastic talk, then headed for the metro to join WWSketchcrawl #40 and the end of the symposium. I have never seen so many sketchers in one place - it was amazing! The symposium participants and organisers were joined by the off-symposium attendies, and local sketchers. Numbers vary but the paper said there were 500 sketchers!
I couldn't wait to start drawing, so once the photos were taken, I attempted the Arc de Triomf itself. Thanks to James Richards, the crowds weren't daubting to draw and I am very pleased with my result (top). There was some great music nearby, so several of us drew the buskers as we enjoyed it. When we gave them some change as thanks (great subject & music), they asked to see our sketchbooks and clapped us as we had clapped them.
Finally, we headed back to CCCB for the closing ceremony sniff sniff. I'd managed to get a copy of Nina Johansson's book and she kindly signed it for me, which is a fabulous souvenir of both the symposium and last year's trip. Another fabulous souvenir was Florian's drawing of the Mie's Pavilion, drawn whilst I was sat next to him, which I got in the silent auction.
In the afternoon of the 1st day, I attended the workshop of an illustrator I admire, Melanie Reim. Sitting in CCB's patio she talked about Picasso making marks as an introduction to Channelling Picasso; the theme of the workshop. Then the heavens opened and we took shelter under the umbrellas of CCCB's cafe and continued the workshop there.
The rain didn't abate all afternoon, and disappointingly for me we stayed at the café drawing each other in various Picasso like ways (or not as mine seem). I'd been looking forward to sketching in Pla de la Boqueria on the Rambla as I spend a lot of time drawing in cafés here in Oman due to the prohibitive heat.
I have to confess I felt disappointed with my drawings from this workshop, but as lovely Liz Steel said at the drink and draw, we don't know what we get from a workshop until we apply it at a later date.
Still feeling a bit out of my depth, despite the successful morning, I didn't do any sketches at the drink and draw, but chatted to a few people before heading off for dinner. On my way to the metro, I heard/saw a great capoeira troup and cheered myself up with a non directed sketch, my-style.
The following morning, after the panel discussion, it was off to Plaça Catalunya for James Richards' Life between the buildings workshop. This was a workshop I instantly recognised new information that I could use in my sketching, and did on subsequent days. The actual drawings I produced for the workshop aren't good, but I learnt so much that it doesn't matter!
After lunch I attended a talk by Miguel Gallardo, someone I had not heard about beforehand, but he left me in awe, inspired, and emotional afterwards. Then it was on to Virginia Hein's workshop Panoramas in light and shade. It was held down pass Colom at the Maremàgnum, an area I've not seen before.
After the workshop, I went to the drink and draw and was immortalised by Pete Scully, which was flattering.
To be continued...
I have to start by writing a big THANK YOU to the organisers of this year's symposium. What an amazing event they achieved in Barcelona this month! Also, I'd like to thank everyone involved from interpreters to instructors and especially everyone who participated. The symposium was an amazing experience! The best part, for me, were the participants: meeting face-to-face and sketching with people who have been bloggy friends and contacts for years; re-meeting the Barcelona sketchers I drew with last year, and making new friends.
I arrived in Barcelona the day before the event, very stressed by the events of the last few months, dumped my bag at my hostel, and dashed to Sagrada Familia to join in the pre-symposium sketchcrawl. On arrival - I froze! I drew there last year with +Nina Johansson, and some of the Barcelona sketchers, so in theory the structure shouldn't have been terrifying but seeing the mass of sketchers and the quality of their sketches and paintings made me panic. I started chatting to +Simone Ridyard whose work I've recently started following and sat with her to do a bad watercolour sketch
The first morning, I was still really very nervous, especially seeing everyone (so it seemed) sketching all around me at registration, so my sketchbook stayed firmly in my bag. My first workshop was with +Norberto Dorantes whose work I really admire and was the first workshop I wanted to do when it was originally listed at the beginning of the year. Norberto was amazing, explaining everything very well. I had some pen issues - my non-waterproof ink was actually waterproof and the cartridge I tried still wouldn't bleed - but got lent one to use.
I enjoyed every minute of the workshop, once I had a pen that worked, and wanted it to be longer. I also wanted to experiment more with Norberto's non-waterproof ink technique.
To be continued...
One thing I like to do when I visit my parents is to go to the Monday life drawing class, which has been running for years. I first went in December 2009, I attend several times in 2010, but last attended a class in September 2011. Knowing I was going today, on Saturday I decided to draw with charcoal, not something I've done in a very long time, so bought some ready for today's class. I was slightly nervous having not taken a class in so long and because of my choice of medium. Consequently, I did the three 5 minute warm-up sketches using a Conté sketching pencil and then happily used the charcoal for the longer poses. Usually I like the precision of pen and pencil and was surprised how much I enjoyed experimenting with the roughness of charcoal. By the way: Despite the photos here I didn't use tinted paper, but white and so the contrasts are greater.A3 charcoal © Sue Pownall 2013
During the 3 hour class, I completed 12 drawings of which the two here are my favourite. I feel it was a very successful morning and I hope to go again before I return to Oman.
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I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.