July 31, 2012

USK Symposium - The Leftovers

On the Monday after the Symposium there were maybe 18 of us left in Santo Domingo, so guess what we did... we went sketching! We went to the Mercado, where Melanie Reim and Nathalie Ramirez had taught a workshop, but I didn't get to go to that one so I was excited to have a chance to see the market and to walk around more of Santo Domingo.

I did a little pencil sketch to warm up (it is sideways), and then busted out the colored pencils, having been heavily influenced by Lynne Chapman! There's some Pitt pen in there, too. Alanna Randall and I went upstairs where she talked to people in Spanish and I nodded and smiled, and we sat and made some drawings.

The interior of this space was pretty amazing, but you could only see it from upstairs. I was excited to get to draw it since I didn't get to draw in the cathedral. (That statement makes sense to me.) What is difficult to convey in a sketch is that you can see below to the first floor where all of the market stalls are, and it is complete chaos. There are wires EVERYWHERE, and if I had had more time, and if it hadn't been 100 degrees, I would have drawn every one of them. But I did as much as I could as my glasses slipped down my nose from the sweating.

Alanna and I both sketched this butcher's stall. That's a pig's head, and some feet. Alanna is a vegetarian, and she thought it was weird to be sketching a pig's head, but once you see it you just kind of have to draw it.

These animals were still alive, outside in the open air part of the market.

We found our group again, on the yellow steps of the market. That's Kalina Wilson in her awesome green hat. I finally openly sketched a person - the man in the lower right corner - and showed it to him and asked his name. Click for more detail and to see what happened.

More sketchers joined us on the steps until we were all there, sketching, sketching, sketching.

After that we all went to lunch together, and more joined us. And we kept sketching. It was a really wonderful lunch with amazing company. After that I said goodbye for real to everyone there and was quite sad, but so happy to have had the experience and the time with these wonderful people.

July 30, 2012

USK Symposium - The Day After

On Saturday night I was so sad to say good-bye to all of the sketchers, but then I saw most of them at breakfast on Sunday.

After three days of non-stop sketching action, I really wanted to take it easy on Sunday, so I didn't sketch until lunch!

I didn't do much that day, which was exactly what I wanted to do. Just sat in the park with Toby, sat at a cafe by myself for hours enjoying a leisurely lunch and writing and sketching, then took a nap.

El Conde
But then of course we went to dinner with most of the remaining sketchers, and sketched.

July 29, 2012

USK Symposium - Day Three, Part Two

The afternoon of the last day was occupied with the 36th World Wide SketchCrawl, which we all participated in at Parque Colón. We took over the whole already full park. Locals were hanging out, taking pictures, messing with pigeons, and we were all there to sketch them.

I picked a spot under a tree and sat for maybe two hours working on this sketch and the sketch below. I had so much fun making the thumbnails and then working them out in larger sketches.

And drawing pigeons!

This one I got up and moved around a bit. But not much. There was so much happening and I just wanted to sketch everything.

Late in the afternoon we all came together in front of the cathedral to take our "family photo."

Here we all are!

(photo by Laurel Holmes, I believe)

And here we all are again, in the next three photos, gathered at the Museo de las Casas Reales at the closing reception, about to get our certificates. We got certificates!!!

And here are a lot of us doing the other thing we couldn't stop doing, other than sketching, which was looking at each other's sketch books!

USK Symposium - Day Three

The Symposium was only three days, so this was the last day! That morning I was too overwhelmed with affection for my fellow sketchers to take many pictures :) But I had it together enough to sketch some sketchers at the morning talk.

The workshop I took Saturday was by the wonderful Miguel Herranz and Swasky and was called What's Behind an Onion?.

I started out strong with some leftover sexy line from the previous day, but then I lost it a little. Which was actually good because then Miguel & Swasky could use my sketches as examples for what not to do. Just kidding - I appreciate critiques! I was there to learn!

Here Swasky uses his hat to demonstrate a better composition.

Here he wears his hat and uses his hands to make his point.

Finally! My a-ha moment. What's behind an onion, you ask? Layers!

More on day three soon...

July 27, 2012

USK Symposium - Day Two!

Day two of the Symposium was really just as awesome as day one. It started out with a panel discussion with some of the instructors of the previous day's workshops. I really like that - it was like a critique or a debriefing, plus we got to hear about what was going on in workshops that we didn't attend since, unfortunately, you can't go to all of them.

The first workshop I took on Friday was Lynne Chapman's Quick-on-the-Draw. Lynne is so full of energy and so is her line, which she refers to as "sexy line." We all just went to town with the sexy line. Look at that tree! Sexy!

Slightly less sexy, but fun to do!

I love this sketch, if I do say so myself. It was important to me during these workshops to retain what is important to me in my work, quality of line and quality of marks (in oil painting it would be the brushstrokes). I feel like I really did that with this sketch. Plus I really put a lot of thought into it, but managed not to over-think it.

Lynne then had us create vignettes of the activities and sights in the plaza and tie them together using text. I really loved this exercise, and there was plenty to capture in this small plaza on a tiny intersection in the Colonial Zone, including Roberto the tour guide, pigeons pigeons everywhere, a guy painting on a canvas that he was holding up in front of him, an old man with both a pompadour and long straight hair going down his back, a wreck between an SUV and a police car, and a very old man working hard at sweeping the plaza.

Look at all of that color!

After a yummy shrimp crepe for lunch, I went to my second workshop of the day, Architecture - Personal Views with Liz Steel and Frank Ching. It was a bit intimidating to be drawing architecture for just a couple of hours with someone who has taught architecture for almost as long as I've been alive. Another participant had a story about one of Frank Ching's text books (um, that he wrote) being ever present in their university department. They called it "The Ching." Anyway, it was still super fun! I just had to loosen up a bit, also slow down a bit, and just pay attention.

We were kicked out of the cathedral because it was closing time, so we sat outside to draw the facade. Frank gave me several pointers and after a couple of false starts I ended up with this sketch of the church.

At one point it started to rain and we all ran up to the entrance, where I drew the lady on the left there, who was perched above me.

After the rain stopped I went back to my spot to work on the facade some more, but mostly ended up drawing people and patterns.

Here are our architectural sketches perched on an architectural feature.

It was fun to see how everyone else approached the subject, and there were some fantastic sketches!

This workshop definitely pushed me farther out of my comfort zone than the others did, which is what this event is all about.

At dinner that night I went right back to my comfort zone of drawing food.

July 24, 2012

USK Symposium - Day One, Part Two!

Here's my lunch. Who doesn't love a ham and cheese sandwich! Above that is my lunch sketch and one from the after-lunch lecture.

The second workshop I took on Thursday was Veronica Lawlor and Jonathan Schmidt's The Decisive Moment. They are big on making thumbnails prior to committing to a sketch, which is an unusual approach for me, as I tend to just dive in without thinking.

The best part about this workshop was that they made me slow down. And look. For like 45 minutes! It was great!

The other best part about this workshop was how the two instructors went around to each participant and quietly showed us how to add dimension to our sketches. It was very stealthy the way they did that. It took me a while to even fully get it, but now I can't get it out of my head!

This is the first big sketch I made from the thumbnails (about 8x10 or so). I was standing in the middle of the pedestrian street El Conde leaning on a sign and so many nice Dominicans came up to talk to me. The people of Santo Domingo really couldn't have been nicer.

Frank who goes by Paco, an American who retired there, introduced himself and his table, which he called "The Office." With him were two men who worked as guards on Rikers Island. When I introduced myself and said I'm from Memphis, one starts quizzing me about Elvis. "Have you ever been to Graceland? How many times? Was it worth it?" The other gentleman was less aggressive with his small talk, and said that he once dated a woman from Memphis and that my accent brought back nice memories. Yay, Memphis!

Look at that beautiful building. I sketched it.

Some of the groups' sketches. Click on this one to see it better.

A few more notes from the workshop and a quick sketch of Jonathan, followed by night sketching at the Quintana bar. I couldn't stop looking at that library sign and had to sketch it. We were having drinks with a couple dozen other sketchers, and Toby could not believe we were all sketching after having sketched all day. Once you get started it is hard to stop!

July 23, 2012

USK Symposium - Day One!

Day one of the Symposium started with a convivial breakfast at the hotel with other sketchers. The top left sketch is a typical start-of-the-day sketch for me - a warm-up to get the hand, eye and sketchbook warmed up. Click on the image to enlarge it and see the story on the bottom left.

The very light sketch on the right is of the same scene, below, in which I was up on the stage! For the welcome comments! It was fine, but it helped to do a quick sketch to calm the nerves.

Since my job on the committee was to work with sponsors, I read out all of the sponsors' names in order to thank them publicly. As I was reading them (there were nine, total), I realized I had never said the last one out loud. "Kunst & Papier." Hopefully my Southern accent made my butchering of it sound a little cute, at least.

Anyway, this is everybody! Everybody, this is Sketchwork.

This is the site of the first workshop I took, Straight to Colors with Eduardo Bajzek. Super great workshop, and a great group of people, too.

First attempts with markers. The one on the left made me laugh out loud at myself! But then Eduardo gave me some pointers and I started to get the hang of it.

 Adding some color...

Getting more pointers from Eduardo, and trying to stay hydrated. That's Irina on the left. She made some lovely sketches.

(photo by Scott Renk)

There's Scott! We met on the plane - on the same flight from Atlanta. I borrowed some of his photos for this post!

Here's our great group - we're all very proud of our work! Some of us went to lunch together after. And sketched.

(Scott's photo, taken by Laurel Holmes)

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