A bit more about the Urban Sketchers symposium in Barcelona, as promised...
I have gone right off drawing buildings. I love the relative freedom of expression you have when you are drawing landscape or people, the fluidity of line, the fact that you don't have to worry about how many windows there are, or whether the perspective is right.
Which is why I SO enjoyed Inma Serrano's workshop in Barcelona: Rhythm in the City. She showed us how there doesn't need to be any difference when it comes to buildings - just treat them as if they were alive.
We started though, by drawing people:
We were in a big square, in front of the cathedral, so people were constantly milling about, taking photos, chatting, or standing around in groups. Inma explained how, if you want to catch someone's brief pose, you can use watercolour, just one colour, to quickly capture the main shape, then use a watercolour pencil to add just enough line to pick out details, while the paint is still wet. This worked a treat and was good fun.
Then Inma did a demonstration, which was truly inspiring.
I thought her sketch was gorgeous. Below is how the final spread looked later, when she had finished adding colour and other sketches into it. Actually, though I love the wild colour, I think I prefer the stage before - it's more raw. Everyone got very excited during the demo: we couldn't wait to give it a go ourselves.
Inma said she never measures, not even with her eye - she just feels her way from one part of the building to another, expressing the shapes as she goes. We all got stuck in and tried it:
I enjoyed this technique so much. I love the idea of drawing architecture just like I draw mountains. It was so liberating and, like all good ideas, I couldn't think why I hadn't thought of it before!
This was my version of the catherdral:
The next afternoon was the final SketchCrawl, at the Arc de Triumf, and I used Inma's approach. I was absolutely delighted with the way it turned out:
It was this way of thinking about buildings which allowed me to draw York Minster so happily when I got back home to England. I tackled views like this vaulted ceiling, which I would never have considered previously, because I would have found it way too boring, having to spend ions carefully working out the construction and perspective. Instead I worked instinctively, just like I was shown, and had a great time!
If you would like to read about the Sketches That Sing workshop from the symposium, which was about helping to add freedom and life to your sketches, click here. Or you can take a peek at the rest of my Barcelona sketchbooks. Have fun!