Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brazil!!! Part 5 Friday in Paraty

Reflections. Super5 pen & watercolour in moleskin
 Friday had a different format this year, which I liked. A workshop in the morning then lots of activities or talks to choose from in the afternoon. I had chosen Matthew Brehm's workshop as I admire his watercolours and it was on Sketching Fundamentals. It started well, but I got off with the wrong attitude on the first exercise when we where sent to do something and I spied 2 boys up a tree... I quickly sketched them then tried to add in what I as supposed to do. (sorry can't get decent scan or photo)
We did a couple more exercises and then Matt gave a long demo. It was interesting, but I was itching to do more sketches and clock watched until the end of the workshop. I am pleased with my portrait of João drawn as he was listening.
Pencil in casa do artista sketchbook.
After a quick lunch break with the lovely Orling (drawingbythepound), I went to capture my own version of the King tide in the streets. (top) Next, it was back to the Casa do Cultura for talks by Simone Ridyard and then Gaby Campanario. I wish Gaby's talk had been longer as it was so informative - sketch reportage is something I want to get into - and he has a great story telling technique. Night fell quickly in Paraty, so then it was on to a demo by the brilliant Brazilian artist Ivonesyo Ramos. He is very charismatic and despite some drops of rain did an impressive nightime painting, which I bought in the silent auction.
Ivonesyo Ramos painting in the dark.
Finally, I went to a talk/demo by the sponsors PEN.UP where I did my first ever digital sketch on a tablet. it wasn't great, but I can see future experiments with this medium (when I buy a tablet).
All in all it wasn't the my most productive day on my part, but I got lots from it.
Next post is the final day of the symposium...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Granary Square, N1

Fountains, Super5 pen & watercolour in A4 sketchbook
 Yesterday, I joined the Drawing London on Location meetup group for a day drawing around Granary Square, just north of Kings Cross, which was held in collaboration with the new House of Illustration.
I enjoyed the day, and it's a very interesting area, but feel I could have got better results. Here are some of them. 
The Book Barge. Soluble ink & watercolour A4 sketchbook
Musicians on The Book Barge, watercolour A4
Train people on route to London, A6 Laloran sketchbook
 What did you do yesterday? 

btw. The next post will be another from Brazil. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Brazil!! Pt.4 Thursday in Paraty

Trying wide-angle perspectives with Paul Heaston.
Having attended last year's symposium, I was not as nervous before my first workshop, but still at little bit. It was with Paul Heaston, whose work I really admire. Paul had almost finished his demo when the heavens opened. We took over a nearby café/restaurant and got out our new sketchbooks given by the Brazilian sponsor: casa do artista
 The workshop was on drawing wide-angle perspectives, and whilst I understood Paul's great handouts and explanations, unlike normal perspective I couldn't "see" it. Hence, among many errors my pad and and feet are too small in this first attempt.
1st attempt at wide angle perspective
With a break in the rain, I went outside for my 2nd drawing, and whilst I had to take cover twice from more showers, I am pleased with the result. (Top). I really enjoyed this workshop and (with cheat sheets in hand) shall try this method again. 

Surrounded by the tide!
After a too short lunch break, it was on to Liz Steel's workshop "Feeling the edges – a tactile approach to sketching architecture". Despite the freezing cold, the wind was icy cold, and being cut off by an amazing full-moon tide (I believe they are called King tides), which flood the streets of Paraty. It was very interesting and fun. We did lots of mark making and an exercise which involved careful measurement of proportions, before we could then take a more tactile approach.
How many windows???? An exercise in Liz's workshop
The last exercise. Photos by Liz
In the brief Liz said "Trusting your own personal response to a building is far more important when sketching architecture than achieving absolutely accurate proportions or perfect perspective", but I seem to have lost the point when working on my final drawing. I'll blame the cold.
At the end of the workshop.
 Looking at the sketch later in the Pousada, I added the sky, then colour in an attempt to get something nearer the aim of the workshop - should have left it alone, I think. Oh well, it's all about learning.

Heading back for more clothes prior to dinner, I heard drumming and went to investigate. There was a drum class in a building and I stood in the doorway and sketched - my own personal response :) I am starting to doubt using the urban sketcher title, as I do tend to draw people and objects without their setting. I guess that's something to think about as I always struggle with the situational part of people sketching.
Drum school
 By the time the drumming stopped, it was time to meet the others for dinner, but couldn't find them. Luckily I ran into Omar and joined him and Norberto at Quintal Verde. I started the sketch below, but a group of people came and sat blocking my view. Later, we were joined by Rita, which is one benefit of a smaller location in that you could normally find someone to eat or drink with.
 So that was all from the Thursday. Friday was another full day, which I will leave to my next post.

Please leave your comments below, as I love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Brazil!!! Part 3 Wednesday in Paraty

After the long, long bus ride I arrived in Paraty at 6pm. At 8pm I joined Brazilian sketcher, Flávio Ricardo, in sketching a theatrical performance of Paraty's history. Afterwards, I discovered 5 other urbansketchers had been drawing in the dark. What a great way to start the symposium. 
Sketching in the dark.
 The next morning I had to find an atm and walked past this lovely yard, which I wanted to sketch, but took a photo until I could get back,which I sadly didn't :(
Money issues resolved, I headed into the old town of Paraty to explore. The grey horse of the photo became my 1st subject. I prefer to draw animals in pencil (I know I'm always sketching Degas in ink but... I'm an artist) unfortunately the blue pencil I grabbed won't scan or photograph well.
1st Paraty sketch

The poor horse had it's ears back most of the time as it seemed unhappy with where it was stood, except in the photo. Moving on I turned the corner and found a whole load of sketchers.  (hmm I wonder what the collective noun is as it's a misbelief of painters  and a colony/enclave of artists, but what about sketchers? Any suggestions please leave it in the comments below.) Despite being happy with my horse sketch, I was very slow to start sketching, catching up with friends first, and the perspective is very off due to my lack of concentration. Still, it was fun to be sketching in a group already.
Pousado do Sandi
Photo from symposium sponsor PEN.UP
Then it was time for tea with Liz. See her amazing tea sketches on her blog: www.lizsteel.com
Liz was the only one to sketch whilst the rest of us chatted, drank our tea and shared sketchbooks.
Photo from Liz Steel.
Finally, it was time to register for the symposium. Last year we registered the day the workshops started, but this was a great change, one I hope is continued in future symposiums, and was followed by a sketchwalk. It was quite cold and overcast at the location and I joined some of the Croquis Urbanos - Curitiba who had sensibly found a bar with some shelter to sketch in.

Testing out the new Super5 pen
 After an aborted building attempt (above), I started to sketch the sketchers in Refúgio Restaurant. Later that evening I continued in Café Pingado.
The first Sketchwalk sketchers. Can you see me?
Don't forget to leave suggestions for the collective noun of sketchers.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Degas & sunflowers

Sunflower 24th September, watercolour
 As a quick interlude in my Brasil posts, here are my sketches and watercolour experiments from this month. The sketches of Degas have been done with a Super5 pen and all have been done in the watercolour Moleskin I got at the recent Urban Sketchers Symposium.

15th September
17th September.
After Paul Heaston. 18th
21st September
27th September
27th September

28th September watercolour
29th Sept. Soluble ink and watercolour experiment I
29th Sept. Soluble ink and watercolour experiment II

 What have you sketched this month? Why don't you leave a comment below? You are welcome to link to a post too.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BRAZIL! Pt. 2 Búzios

 After Rio, with fellow urban sketcher Béliza, I travelled to the far end of the state to the resort area of Armação dos Búzios. (You can read Béliza's account here: Goodbye jetlag). We decided to explore with a mini-sketchcrawl starting at breakfast in a delightful café overlooking the beach. Whilst sipping freshly squeezed orange juice and munching on croistants we set to painting the scene. The boats were so colourful they cried out to be painted.
Breakfast sketching with Béliza
After breakfast, we wandered along the seafront and stopped near a couple of sculptures, which conveniently were near both shade and seats. Even having someone to sketch with, I struggled all day to draw taking ages to settle and decide on subjects.Whilst my friend started her second sketch in that location, I finally made a poor attempt to capture a blue building nearby. 
A bit further on, we stopped for a drink, and I quickly painted (with no under-drawing) the couple sat in front of us. Having wandered around, my final sketch of the day was trying to capture the hews of a nearby tree and the yacht club beyond, but it failed badly.
Yacht club
On our second day, we took a boat trip. Even thought the water was cold (it is winter in Brazil) I swam at one of the bays we stopped at, but chose to stay warm and dry at the next one and tried to capture the turquoise sea of Ossos bay. (sorry the scan has changed the colour)

The following day, we took buses the other end of the state, massively delayed due to the Tour do Rio and I did this last sketch staring out of the bus window, not moving through Angra Dos Reis.
Part 3 is to follow. What do you think so far?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

BRAZIL!!!! Pt.1 Rio de Janeiro

A magical view from Sugarloaf mountain.

Part 1 Rio sketches.

When I'm stressed I find it dificult to draw, even sketch, and my default creative outlet reverts to photography. As many of you know from following me on facebook (www.facebook.com/suepownallartist), I recently went to Brazil for the 5th Urban Sketchers Symposium. Looking at the posts now appearing, I am jealous of the sketching others have done in that beautiful country. Whilst I had a fabulous time, both in the week preceeding the symposium and at the symposium, I am not very happy with my sketches... obviously workshop sketches are experimentations and are not expected to be great yet... it would be nice. I'm very pleased with my photos especially Jump, which I took in Rio's Botanical Gardens and the photo of Cristo Redentor (above).

Jump, Jardim Botânico.
My holiday started in Rio and I based myself in the Santa Teresa district, which I explored thoroughly, but it wasn't until the next day when I went  to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain), after a diversion in the the Centro and the Brazilian collection in the Museu Nacional de belas Artes (due to missing a bus stop, but that's a whole different story) that I put down my camera and picked up a pen... when I got back to the bottom. Everywhere I went in Rio, there were street vendors and I wanted to capture this one at the base of the mountain. The customer is a composite person and I wish I could delete her. oh well

The following day, I went to the Botanical Gardens. Whilst I spent 3 hours in the gardens, this was the only sketch I did. I think it is a variety of Breadfruit / fruta pão, pão de massa in Portuguese.
Artocarpus altilis, Jardim Botânico
From the gardens I had a walk alongside the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon then caught a bus, deliberately, to Centro and the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. I saw an exhibition by Brasilian artist Milton Machado Cabeça and had a lovely cuppa before having a wander around. The old pier supports caught my eye, but, as I'd been told not to be in the area in the evening, I had to sketch quickly with the sunsetting.
Estação das Barcas
Watercolouring in situ
On my last day in Rio I had to go to Corcovado and see Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). I made plans to meet fellow urban sketchers Jenny and Birgit, but due to train schedules we missed each other. I was up there quite early, yet it was still very busy. I found a space at the side to sit and paint. Whilst I was disappointed not to be sketching with the others, I needed the motivation, I am pleased with my painting. 

So that's the first part of my trip. What do you think so far?