Friday, July 20, 2012

Urban Sketchers Symposium—Part I

I attended the 3rd Annual International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic July 12-14. It was my second USK symposium having gone to Lisbon, Portugal last year. It is an amazing opportunity to meet other sketchers and to "see the world one drawing at a time".

The cathedral at Parque Colon sketched at the 36th Annual SketchCrawl on the last day of the Symposium.

The statue of Critobal Colon at the SketchCrawl.

The Parque Colon is a major gathering place in Santo Domingo. So besides 100+ sketchers there were many families enjoying a Saturday afternoon in the park.

The work shop "Improvising with Lines and Colors. The Urban Sketcher as a storyteller." was taught by Inma Serrano and Orling Dominguez. Both great teachers and artists, it was a very special treat to take a workshop from them. Our first assignment was to create a story at the Parque Colon using lines, color and improvisation. Playing with line weights and using color to emphsize focal points.

I came me to Santo Domingo with a very banged up bruised and swollen leg from my fall washing windows. Standing and sketching for three days in 90° heat just made it worse. I thankfully threw my red cotton Chinese shoes in my luggage at the last minute. They were the only shoes that fit my poor swollen foot. Besides hiding my hideous black and blue foot they were comfortable and cute!!! They definately deserved to be part of my first sketch on the square.

The second exercise was to use the same elements of the first but to add typography or handwriting to the composition. By this time my leg was killing me so I sat on a bench at the corner of the park and sketched. The workshop went by so quickly, I never had a chance to fihish this sketch.

I had an amazing experience in Santo Domingo. So much talent, creativity and inpiration.
Thank you all for a wonderful event.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Urban Sketchers Symposium—Part II

The "Mercado Merengue" workshop was taught by Melanie Reim and Nathalie Ramirez. A busy place where they sell everything from handicrafts to fruit. Noisy and frenetic with lots of traffic and people. The object was to capture people in motion. Assignments were tumbnails, quick gesture studies and mark-making and patterns.
 Quick geture drawings of a banana vendor.

Using patterns and marks to define space.

The workshop "The Decisive Moment" was taught by Veronica Lawler and Jonathan Schmidt, both accomplished reportage artists. Assigment was to walk along Calle El Conde and create quick studies and thumbnails of the lively feel of the streets of Santo Domingo.

One page of thumbnails using colored pencil and Neocolor II.

Urban Sketchers Symposium—part III

Nina Johansson's workshop "Challenge Through Limitations" forced us out of our comfort zones by trying different techniques and using tools we may not normally use. 

Getting over the fear of the white page. Taking some white paper we had to rub it against the ground, paint watercolors on a pattern such as a manhole cover then press the paper to ceate an impression, splash paint or scribble with pencil. Anything to rough up the paper so we were not faced with pristene white paper. We then had to trade with some one and use a tool we wouldn't normaly use to sketch. The above was a portion of the ruins of oldest hospital in the Americas done with a bamboo pen and ink on a piece of paper that Jorge created and traded with me.

 Direct watercolor sketch using no pencil or pen lines.

Sketched with jumbo multi-color swirl colored pencil.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


While washing the upper most windows on the deck I had a bit of a "mishap". Not realizing the small bench I was using to reach the last spot had rotted from being outdoors all winter. It gave way and I slipped through the wooden slats scraping both shins on the way down. The right leg took the hit and immediately started to swell. I iced it as much as possible, but I will be heading of to the 3rd Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium with a giant blue leg...UGH!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Long summer days—Back in Maine

I have been back in the USA for a little over a week. The weather has been perfect for those wonderful long days of summer on the Maine coast. Lots of time catching up with friends and getting outdoors. Not much sketching...and I'm heading to Santo Domingo for the 3rd Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in a few days...

The view from the deck watching the full "Thunder" or "Buck" moon rise over Portland harbor. The sky was still quite light.

4th of July at the beach started out with this delicoius cheese and fruit platter along with a lovely bottle of champagne.

A very quick sketch of our friend Mike while we enjoyed the wonderful food in the above drawing. I had to sketch the food first because, along with the champagne, it was going fast.

Sketch of friend Ben using black and gray shades of Pitt Pens.