Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sketching Workshop: 'Colour Games'

The delegates at last month's Urban Sketchers International Symposium, got to choose 5 sketching workshops, from the 13 on offer. As an instructor though, I had to deliver my own Quick-on-the-Draw workshop in 3 of the 5 slots, so I could only choose 2 to take part in.

On the first morning, I did Nina Johansson's workshop. For my other, I chose Jason Das, partly because I like his work, but also because I am very interested in colour and always keen to try doing new things with it.

Jason's workshop looked at the relationship between the colour of the line and its body colour, and the effect of using a coloured line, rather than just black. We each did two drawings of the same place, on either side of the page in our sketchbooks. On one side we used a cold line (I used a blue gel pen) and the other warm (red pencil). Then we painted them both, in much the same way, and brought everybody's books together, to look at what worked best. 

I definitely like my blue line best (but that's partly because the gel pen has more oomph), which was why I chose blue line for the next exercise. Jason asked us to do two similar drawings again, but this time with the same coloured line. We then painted them differently: one with naturalistic colour, one with colours as mad as we could manage. I decided to do one big drawing across the two pages but colour it in two halves:

It was quite hard choosing unnaturalistic colours, but for most people, the crazy colours were more interesting.

We were just getting into the next exercise when the sky went black (very strange, since it had been unremittingly scorching until then). Then the rain came - very sudden and very heavy. We fled for the tiny bit of cover there was under the arch in my top sketch.

Then, just as suddenly, it was over. I sat back down on the ground to continue with the next exercise. Though I was on a sitting pad, so thought I'd stay dry, the rain wicked up from the bottom edges of my shorts and I was soaked to my bum when I stood up again.

This time we each did a line drawing in black, but swapped our sketchbooks with a partner, so everyone coloured someone else's sketch. I drew the statue with the palms, while my partner drew me drawing the statue and palms!

It was really fun to colour someone else's work, liberated from any preconceptions or plans made during the line-work about how it should be done. I decided to have another go at the crazy colour idea, which is why I have green hair. The sketch in my book looks nothing like I imagined, which was so interesting.

The other interesting thing was that, though we each got our own line-drawing back at the end, we all agreed that is was the colouring that created 'ownership' of the sketches.

Thanks Jason - it was really good fun. I intend to get some coloured gel pens and to experiment more with contrary colours.

You can see all the other sketches I did during my trip in the Dominican Republic sketchbook on my website.


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Lovely, Lynne! I enjoy colored lines too, and yours are bold and exciting.

Nikira said...

Really wonderful post and experiments, it is hard to go against your natural instincts, but, I guess, learning is about getting out of your "normal" way.

Bethann said...

Your sketches from Santo Domingo are some of my favorites, of all the sketches I have seen so far! The liveliness of your lines, and the spontaneity are delightful. Further, perhaps because of my field journaling background, I find your use of text in the sketches particularly compelling.


Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you so much. I was having such fun the whole time I was there, permanently buzzing, and I think it does come through in the sketches.