Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Lisbon Sketching Symposium

I have been 'off the air' for longer than usual, as I have been away in Lisbon, having an amazing time at the Urban Sketchers 2011 Sketching Symposium: 3 days of constant drawing and painting, plus the opportunity to meet like-minded, similarly (and even more) obsessive sketchers from all over the world.

We had two 3 hour sketching workshops each day, out on location in Lisbon, plus lectures in between. 

Above is a sketch I did for a workshop called 'Sketch Mix', where we were asked to concentrate first on specific objects in a street, then tie them together by drawing a background, but a different background from the same street, in a less bold medium. I drew a shoeshop window then swivelled on my stool to draw a long view down the street.

After each workshop, we laid all the sketchbooks out on the pavement, to share what we had done:

Another workshop was 'Waterscapes'. We were taken to a high point, looking down over the River Tagus. I experimented with using just watercolour straight onto the page, without any pencil guide-line at all:

When I had done the view, I concentrated on using the same watercolour-only technique to sketch the people:

One of my workshop was specifically about sketching people, called 'Urban Portraits', very much back in my comfort zone. It was still tricky though, as we were once again very high up and there were some very strong wonds, threatening to whip the book out of my hand. Also, it meant people didn't hang around for long!

The first sketch and the one below are both from my first workshop 'Lining over Colour', where we were given just 10 minutes per sketch and asked to put colour down first, in simple blobs or lines, then draw the line work on afterwards. 

During 'Unfinished Business', it was suggested that, instead of creating single, finished drawings, we instead work on 'spreads', which conjured the essence of a place, by taking details, observing people, patterns, colour, snatches of conversation etc:

I was pestered rather a lot by men while I was sitting in the square, working on my spreads. One of them even tried to get down on the ground to look under my sketchbook, to see my legs! After a while, I decided to move and sit next to one or two other sketchers - safety in numbers!

I had intended to post some more sketches into my Picture Gallery, but unfortunately, I was in the middle of scanning, when the scanner went on the blink. Thank goodness I got these few, and I have my photos. 

John spent the whole of yesterday afternoon and evening trying to sort it out to no avail, so now we have a man coming in on Thursday, so cross fingers!


cassia said...

the last spread in particular is great! Glad to hear you had a spiffo time, Miss Chapman. xxx

Pedro said...

Glad to meet you in person.


Love the watercolour straight onto the page. Love Lisbon too.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear all about it. Especially theg pics and descriptions of the workshops. Wish I could have been there. I could have helped see off the men who were a problem as I know a bit of 'language' in Portuguese. Hope you post some more.

Ruth Rosengarten said...

Lovely sketches - so sorry not to have met you personally (not least as I also life in the UK!) - don't know how that happened, except that I wasnt always around! Nice evocation of Lisbon and the symposium.

Cathy Gatland said...

Love how you caught that very windy morning - great sketches Lynne