Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lots to learn from the Expressive Urban Sketching Workshop

Last weekend was my first opportunity to experience an official Urban Sketching Workshop. I had brought with me some hopes of enjoying the energy and creativity Liz Steel has often spoken of in relation to past USK Symposiums. The workshop turned out what I had hoped for and more. Paul Wang and Liz taught with ease, managed the group of 25 superbly and ensured we all had a great time and challenged ourselves with the variety of concepts they presented.

Cockatoo Island is the host of many old and rusting structures, preserved on the island for the enjoyment of the public and to display the history of the area. Through demonstration and exercises Liz and Paul guided us with new materials, mark making and creating a focal point. We then had ample time to put these skills and media to use with urban sketching on the island.

Having a second consecutive day with the workshop really helped to consolidate what we were being taught. I have fallen in love with this Daniel Smith Green Apatite which is part of Paul Wang's selected palette. There is a texture of dark flecks that appear once the wash starts to dry as well as a variation in the green that results.
I enjoyed the 2 days and would not hesitate to repeat the process. It's helped to free up my ideas of how materials can be used and unlock opportunities for further exploration. There were moments when I looked at my work and wondered what was I doing, where was I heading - feeling overwhelmed and exhausted! Some time ago I would have stopped at those moments for fear of heading in the wrong direction with my results, but having good teachers who I have a lot of confidence in encourages me. Its part of the process of moving onward with my sketching.