Danny Gregory

Amsterdam Part IV

The last day of the Symposium I was out dodging bicycles and exploring again, this time in the Jordaan, a neighborhood with numerous outdoor markets, stunning houses, interesting shops and more canals! I particularly wanted to find the Het Papeneiland a historic outdoor cafe I had seen in my guidebook. It was early in the morning and barely open yet.

ams12

Once again I tried to tackle all the elements at once! (When will I learn?!) Then walked across another bridge to get this stunning view of the cafe from a different angle.

amshetpapenland

There I met a charming Yorkshire sketcher who, while she was drawing this whole complex scene, regaled me with stories of life on the moors where the Bronte sisters lived. Soon a Dutch woman joined us with her own local stories. . .which is why I sometimes enjoy wandering “alone”.

ams13

The subject matter here was chosen as a result of resting my feet and drinking an iced coffee at another cafe on another canal.

amsbikemadness

Just in case you haven’t been to Holland and you picture people walking around in wooden shoes or skating on the ice of canals. . .this is the scene outside the Central Station in Amsterdam. If you want to blow a gasket, try sketching that tangle!

One has to learn very quickly that pedestrians must yield to the bikes that are coming at you sometimes at alarming speeds from all directions at once. After a couple of near misses I caught on and walked with exaggerated caution.

ams21

The Symposium ended that day as it always does with the final sketchwalk followed by picture taking and the closing reception. I joined the Spanish “delegation” on the waterfront across from the Nemo Science Museum, built in the shape of a boat.

amsfinalsketchwalkpic

The day ended at the reception with the big announcement that next year’s Symposium will be held in Hong Kong!

A high point for me was getting to meet Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, the online art school creators of Sketchbook Skool . It was Danny’s book Everyday Matters, 2003, that launched me on a lifetime of sketching and broke the ground for the Urban Sketcher movement.  His books and courses have been at the top of my resource list for students for years. So I shook his hand and offered my sincere thanks for his gifts to the world of sketching. . .and we had a lovely conversation. Koosje too, as beautiful and enthusiastic as she in the online workshops she teaches.

ams19

The next morning I took a bus out to the De Gooyer windmill to do my mandatory windmill sketch. Up close one is struck by the enormous span of the blades/arms; also the attention to primary color accents, which now seems so “Dutch”.

ams14

Seated at a sidewalk table at a lunch spot near the Zuidekerk I had a busy view which I chose once again for an architectural landscape reflecting Mondrian style.

While I was busy with this sketch a fellow stopped on his bike, watching in respectful silence. I looked up and asked “Are you an artist?”  Bingo! He nodded and smiled and we started talking and he asked to join me and an hour later we parted.

amsCorstiaan

Corstiaan had been noticing scores of sketchers occupying his city and was happy to have someone tell him about it. He is an accomplished Dutch artist, master of many styles and materials, and was fascinated to learn about the international world of urban sketchers. I was equally fascinated to meet a local and hear his perspective of the art world in Europe.

Stay tuned for the last two days. . .

 

Advertisements

#OneWeek100People2017, Day 4

Day 4 of the challenge I decided to speed things up a bit more. Using the QuickPoses.com site I set the timer on 60 seconds and got out my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen which is great for gestural sketching (I had forgotten how much I love this pen!)

The Quick Poses in the clothes and costumes category tend to be action poses that rely heavily on costumes with weaponry with only an occasional ballet dancer or fashion model thrown in. I had to sit on my judgments about that and just get started!

day4_100

I don’t seem to be able to fit too many of these gestures on a page (6 X 9″ sketchbook,) so I had to keep flipping pages. The figures are grouped randomly by me to save some paper. Some interesting story lines resulted from the pairings!

Day4_100_2

In this one for instance, the pinup figure appears to be held hostage. (Not my intention!)

day4_100_3

I was catching on here about leaving out what i didn’t have time to draw. How little we need to recognize a figure.

day4_100_5

My brush pen is starting to run out of ink here!

day4_100_6

So I switch to the Lamy Joy fountain pen. The muscle man pose is a gift! Most figure models are attractive women ,so it takes longer to learn how to sketch a male physique.

day4_100_7

The break dancer was particularly difficult, but I think the skateboarder may be my favorite.

day4_100_8

But I had to get some live model practice and headed to town to catch the high schoolers who always swarm the Safeway grocery store after school and hang out in front. It was a warm day, so they all seemed to have those multi-colored ice pops and some sodas. I felt like a lurker, standing behind my car directly across from them. But of course they didn’t notice me. Adults are largely invisible to people this age.

You probably know of Danny Gregory of sketchbook fame? I loved his video, I’d rather draw you than shoot you on the difference between the way a camera sees and we human’s see . Watching it this morning made it just a bit easier to accept the gross imperfections of my own efforts and appreciate this process. Thanks Danny! Collecting 100 sketches in 5 days of busy life doesn’t lend itself particularly to accuracy in drawing, but a lot of life is getting communicated nevertheless!

#OneWeek100People2017