Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4th International Urban Sketching Symposium: Barcelona!

Before arriving in Barcelona for the symposium, my husband and I went to Amsterdam and Paris, but that will be saved for another post.

We arrived in Barcelona two days before the symposium. We wandered around in the neighborhood where it was going to be held, and eventually found a group of sketchers already chatting, sketching, and drinking in a bar near the headquarters.

As the evening wore on, about two dozen of us went to dinner together and got to know eachother over tapas and sagria. What a fun evening!

The next day, there was a sketchcrawl near a hospital

and the Sagrada Familia...

Thursday, the workshops started, and my first one was with the effervescent Lynne Chapman, a children's book illustrator from Sheffield, England. I kind of missed the goal of the first sketch. Besides "going large" we were supposed to actually go off the page.

I got closer on this one.

Next, we were to ignore local color, use harmonious warm and cool colors and have an accent. This was so fun! I felt like I was releasing my inner fauve.

On day 2, my first workshop was with Luis Ruiz, an architect from Spain, whose work I've long admired. Here, I learned about leaving things out, leaving some repeating things to guide the eye, and making windows as just little scratchy spots instead of rectangles. I've got a long ways to go, but this time I didn't tire of drawing a building after the 5th window.

That afternoon, I had a workshop with Ea Ejersbo from Denmark and Marina Grechanik from Israel, both of whom draw sketches from their daily lives. We practiced drawing quickly, simplifying the scene, and leaving lots of blank space in the composition. We were to do this while finding stories to capture.  I really had fun with the looseness of this approach. Here are quick people sketches from the market...

one using a single color

and finally, combining color, line, and telling stories of the scene.

On the final day of the symposium, I had a workshop with Inma Serrano, an artist and teacher from Spain. She encouraged us to ignore local color, disregard perspective, draw quickly, and try to capture the energy in people and buildings. We started with several very short sketches of people at the Placa del Pi...

and then made our buildings "into monsters"...

Again, this was tremendously fun. All these loose activities were very freeing and made for childlike play.

In the afternoon, some of us planned to sketch at another market before the big sketchcrawl, but it was closed, so we had some very refreshing treats at a charming cafe...

and missed the huge photo shoot at the Arc de Triomf. Still, we managed to get to the giant sketchcrawl for another sketch, where I tried to apply some of the new skills I had been taught.

The symposium was a wonderful experience. The sketchers, the instructors, the staff, and the whole city of Barcelona were incredible and I will have memories (and sketches) of these for a lifetime.


Katharine said...

Thanks for sharing these.. I really enjoyed reading about all you experiences.....especially the dinner and the mystery man. Can't wait to see your sketches in person. I'm curious about the wavy line architecture.

Janene said...

So fascinating to read about and see the sketching results of your various classes. It sounds like you were really stretched, and your sketches are excellent!

Vicky said...

Thank you, Katharine and Janene.
Janene, you're right about being stretched. This symposium really emphasized exploration and trying new things. It was very fun getting tossed out of our comfort zones.