#sketchworkshop

Sketch Workshop August 26

There are two spots left in my next sketch workshop August 26! To contact me for more information and register, please visit my website.

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Sketching the Vignette

Last weekend I taught an Urban Sketcher workshop in Graton, CA, country style! It was the last of a series of  ten Urban Sketch workshops in the greater Bay Area celebrating the tenth anniversary of the worldwide organization.

The Graton Gallery generously let us meet in the shaded sculpture garden.  We also occupied the whole town, all one block of it, as we sketched lots of vignettes on the sidewalk, in the antique shop, the field, the garden at a restaurant and more. We took lots of pictures to share the day with you.

A vignette generally gets to the point of the story you want to tell without bringing in a lot of distracting (and possibly boring) details. It’s a way to express your enthusiasm about your subject so it’s clear why you picked it. It’s a well designed shape that is as important as the white of the paper around it. And it’s an extremely useful concept for the busy sketcher who wants to capture multiple stories in a day!

The students were busy with one assignment after another, doing thumbnails to identify and name the stories they wanted most to tell, connecting their subject to the environment it was in, “designing” the white space around it, and adding color to draw interest to it.

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For my 5 minute color demo I chose the subject of the green foliage peeking through the eye holes of Peter Crompton’s collosal sculpture in the garden.

airstream

Many of the students stayed after to have lunch at Zosia’s, where some had sketched this Airstream trailer. (This sketch of mine was done on a different day).

Travel Sketching Workshop

I just scheduled a new on-location sketching workshop for this summer. Hope you can come!

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Leave your cell phone in your pocket and record memories in a pen and watercolor sketch that tells your own story. In this on-location workshop you will have a day of instruction and practice with drawing exercises, strategies for designing your sketches and adding watercolor, all in a charming town nestled in the redwoods in Sonoma County.

For more info and to register, visit my website.

An afternoon in Graton

With the thought of sitting out in the lovely warm weather to sketch, my friends and I scheduled lunch at Willow Wood Market Cafe in Graton, followed by sketching in the town. It was Wednesday this week, and yet another day that never really warmed up.

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fountain pen with brown ink and w/c in Stillman + Birn Beta sketchbook, (full spread)

But I think I’ve been complaining too much about the weather lately! One can always put the hood of the sweatshirt up over ones head, after all. This spot, a boarded up abandoned house across the street turned out to be a wonderful subject. Just as I finished the sketch, (where I obviously got mesmerized by the old brick fireplace), the owner of the property showed up and gave us the history of the place! She grew up there, next to what was one of no less than three gas stations in this little one block town. For many years now they have been going through the environmental clean up, since it has not been a gas station for a long time. How fun to get the history from an old timer!

I woke up in the middle of the night after and knew I had to put this woman in the sketch, because I’d dreamed it! So I added her from memory the next day.

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I was also scouting out sketch spots for the workshop I’m teaching June 10, which is a 10 X 10 Urban Sketch workshop and the topic is Sketching Vignettes. I changed the location to Graton because I think it’s quite perfect for this workshop and very “user friendly” with all the restaurants, art gallery, historic buildings and the like.

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I started to sketch this gorgeous truck, but it was parked only briefly and drove off before I got too far. So I finished it later from a picture I’d taken.