Monday, October 14, 2019

Drawings from Amsterdam


Drawings from a week spent in Amsterdam at the end of July, during the USk 2019 Symposium. Although I didn’t attend the workshops, it was great to meet up with many Urban Sketchers around the city. I used Stillman and Birn watercolour paper to make the sketchbook and really enjoyed working in it although scanning it was slightly problematic, hence the varying sizes of the images. 















Saturday, October 5, 2019

Workshops with Isabel Carmona in Valencia


Last month I went to a drawing course in Valencia entitled ‘Space Oddities’ run by PYSB, which stands for 'Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries.' There were three different tutors and today I’m talking about the sessions with Isabel Carmona.

The location of the first workshop with Isabel was at ‘Torres de Serranos’ and started with some nice loosening up exercises of quick drawings, including some ‘blind drawing’ exercises. We looked at the skyline and the ‘ground line’, where the people came and details on the buildings.


Rooftops
Rooftops and a line of detail
Rooftops, ground line, details and the line of people
Recording solid shapes
                                                                             
Using different strengths of colour to show distance
In the second workshop she focussed on a ‘fisheye’ technique, where you imagine your view to be inside a 180 degree sphere and draw everything in it. We drew in and around the ‘Centre de Carme Culturo Contemporania.’ I think I tend to draw a bit like this anyway so I was able to grasp the concept although it is tricky to do, especially round the edges!





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Each of the instructors provides a set of approaches/ideas which you can use to help your drawing if you choose - a bit like adding more tools to your drawing toolbox.

Isabel is on Instagram @isacarand and you can find out more about PYSB and their upcoming courses @pushingyoursketchingboundaries




Friday, October 4, 2019

Workshops with Swasky in Valencia

Second attempt at the square

Last month I went to a drawing course in Valencia entitled ‘Space Oddities’ run by PYSB, which stands for 'Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries.' There were three different tutors and today I’m talking about the sessions with Swasky.


My first attempt

For the first workshop we walked to ‘Plaza de la Virgen’ and Swasky asked us to start by making our own drawing of the space. Then he talked about how he would approach drawing it and we produced another drawing using his ideas. I had difficulty in working out how to draw the corners of the square and took a while to get the hang of it. Then we made a drawing trying to focus on one side of the square. I struggled again with this and it’s something I probably need to try again!

Focusing on one side of the square

For the second session we moved to the ‘Torres de Quart’ and talked about the concept of ‘bending the floor’ and imaging that your drawing has ‘hinges’ showing different angles and perspectives. Of all the techniques from the workshops, I found this concept the most difficult to understand but Swasky was very patient trying to explain. By the end of the session I produced something sort of along the right lines. My sketching boundaries were definitely pushed!


First attempt

Starting to get the hang of the concept
Each of the instructors provides a set of approaches/ideas which you can use to help your drawing if you choose - a bit like adding more tools to your drawing toolbox.

Swasky is on Instagram @swasky and PYSB are @pushingyoursketchingboundaries

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Workshops with Hugo Barros Costa in Valencia

My drawing from the terrace

Last month I went to a drawing course in Valencia entitled ‘Space Oddities’ run by PYSB, which stands for Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries. There were three different tutors and today I’m talking about the sessions with Hugo Barros Costa 

I first remember seeing Hugo’s work at ‘Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage’ in Clermont-Ferrand in 2017 where he had a stand displaying his drawings from his book ‘NYC Graphic Chronicles’ so when I saw that he was going to be one of the tutors for the PYSB workshops in Valencia, I was keen to take part.

Hugo’s two workshops were located near the large Spanish department store ‘El Corte Ingles’ - we were to draw the view of a street from ground level and then the same street from a terrace at the top of the building.


My rough of the street view

In Hugo’s own drawings, he is not afraid to tackle very complicated views and he showed us lots of examples of his work, quite a few which were drawn over several sheets of paper and over several days. He talked about planning out the drawing using a pencil as a unit of measurement. It’s something I have done in the past but often forget to do now even though I know it’s a really useful way to help get everything in the right place. I tried to take my time and not rush, and Hugo gave lots of feedback and encouragement.

My colour drawing of the street view
Each of the instructors provides a set of approaches/ideas which you can use to help your drawing if you choose - a bit like adding more tools to your drawing toolbox.

If you want to find out more about Hugo and his workshops, he is on Instagram @yolahugo


More information about PYSB on Instagram @pushingyoursketchingboundaries

A drawing made a few days later from the hotel in Seville trying to use the techniques from the workshop



Monday, September 16, 2019

My illustration process - Creating an illustrated leaflet

I worked with ‘Incredible Edible Lambeth’ again this year to produce a folded illustrated leaflet promoting all the wonderful Harvest events happening in their area.

The leaflet, which is A6 size when folded, is printed on both sides of an A4 sheet.

I needed to create a cover, back, middle spread and large central list based on the one from the previous year. The text was to be handwritten again and the first job was to write, scan and collate this together. 


Next I needed to change the text colour from black to a dark green using the ‘Colour Range’ tool on Photoshop. After this it was a case of adding the illustrations on a separate layer until everything looked about right.

The leaflet was checked, I made final amendments and the complete version was sent as a PDF, ready for printing.



It’s a lovely event, so if you are local, do pop along!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Trying out 'Daniel Smith' watercolours


I was excited to win a raffle prize at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam this year, especially as it contained a set of Daniel Smith watercolours. I’d always wanted to try them as I had heard such great things about the paints!

My raffle prize!
Firstly, I set about painting some colour swatches. The ever so tiny Hahnmuhle zigzag sketchbook, which was part of the prize too, was perfect for this. The set I won has colours put together by Jane Blundell. My initial reaction was that they were very earthy colours with no greens. The texture was quite creamy with an almost gouache feel when using them. I particularly enjoyed using the Buff Titanium, both on its own and as a mixer.
Colour testing in the Hahnemuhle zigzag sketchbook

Colour testing in the Hahnemuhle zigzag sketchbook
Next was to take the box out on location. I painted with them at Greenwich, Dulwich and Pitzhanger Manor. The lack of ready mixed greens was the biggest problem for me. Also at one point the colours fell out of their box so I bought a metal tin to hold them instead. 





The main result from using them was that I realised what my favourite colours are from Winsor & Newton. I missed their Cobalt Blue, Naples Yellow, Indian Yellow, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Opera Rose. I love their greens especially Oxide of Chromium and Perylene Green.
My usual W&N palette, just one DS - Lunar Blue
I’m off on an exciting trip soon so I think I’ll combine the two sets, picking my favourites from both companies and see how that works.

Monday, September 2, 2019

ASC Open Studios in Croydon


It’s been almost year since the opening of the ASC Art House in Croydon, where I have studio space, and to celebrate we are holding an Open Studio event! More than fifty studios will be open, showing a wide range of work from painting, sculpture, printmaking, fashion, upholstery, photography and much more.


The dates and times are:
Friday 13th September, 6 - 9 pm and Saturday 14th September, 12 - 5 pm


It would be lovely if you could make it along!