#USkSymposium2015 ——> Registration | Discussion Forum (New!) | Travel tips

May 5, 2015

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Frank Ching

Frank Ching, USA

Minolta DSC
Frank Ching retired from the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington in 2006 but continues to teach drawing workshops in the U.S. as well as internationally. Having participated in several International Urban Sketching Symposiums, he continues to enjoy meeting urban sketchers from around the world. He especially enjoys working with beginners and finds it rewarding to watch them develop their abilities over the course of a few hours.
Location: Waterloo Street
Workshop description
One of the challenges in urban sketching is overcoming the flatness of the pages we draw on and capturing the three-dimensional qualities of spatial environments. This workshop therefore focuses on the following three aspects of sketching architecture on location.
1. Framing the subject
  • Selecting the subject
  • Deciding on a viewpoint
  • Establishing context
2. Placing the composition on the page
  • Realizing compositional potential
  • Visualizing the image on the page
  • Drawing the first five lines
3. Developing the perspective structure
  • Understanding geometry
  • Determining the eye level
  • Sighting for convergence, scale, and proportion

The goal of the workshop is to develop an approach that will not only improve the spatial qualities of the work of advanced sketchers but also provide a sound foundation for beginners upon which they can grow their abilities. An advantage of this approach is that it enables one to work more quickly, the idea being that drawing multiple views can be more instructive than spending a lot of time on a single drawing.
More details.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

Bandung sketchwalk #25 video

Check out the video I made while at the Bandung Sketchwalk #25, the international edition with friends and fellow sketchers from other countries.

Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia and the country's third largest city by population.

- Parka

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Ea Ejersbo

Ea Ejersbo, Denmark

profile photo
Ea Ejersbo is an artist, instructor, trained printmaker & poet. She is a founding board member of the Urban Sketchers organization, and has been sketch-blogging since 2008. Her art practice centers mainly around sketchbooks, and she draws almost exclusively from observation. She does a lot of people-sketching everywhere she goes.
Ea is an experienced workshop instructor and gave a workshop at the Barcelona Symposium
in 2013, also together with Marina Grechanik. Ea makes her money working at a school of street circus, where she is mainly concerned with communication, planning, and international circus school projects. She lives on the outskirts of the city of Aarhus.
Location: Bugis Village
When we discover new places, we pay attention to its landscapes, architecture and flora. But most of all (at least for us), discovering new places is about discovering its inhabitants. People are what makes up these places and they are everywhere, busy with their daily activities.
We will try to make a portrait of the city by capturing its inhabitants.
Drawing people has always interested artists the most, and is often considered to be the hardest to do. Drawing people in their natural surroundings, moving, interacting, is even more challenging. People change their postures all the time, often leaving in the middle of a sketch.
So, how do we go about it?
The workshop will help the participants to overcome the fear of sketching people, and to discover fun and expressive ways of capturing the city’s inhabitants in action, caught up in their daily routines.
More details.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

May 4, 2015

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Delphine Priollaud

Delphine Priollaud, France

Delphine Priollaud-Stoclet graduated from National School of Architecture of Paris-La Villette (ENSAPLV) as an architect in 1998. She has founded her own school near Paris, L’Atelier de la Salamandre, and she teaches drawing, painting and fine arts. She also organizes workshops all around the world to teach and promote the art of urban sketching and creative tourism.
She is the author of “Créez votre carnet de voyage, Impressions nomades” (Create your travel Sketchbook) and “I draw” (March 2015) to explain children how to draw (Créapassions edition).
Drawing the world to catch the line of life, very far or close to home, is an important part of her life, and she is filling her sketchbooks principally using chinese ink, watercolor or tempera.
Besides drawing as another way to see the world, she loves painting huge abstract canvas as a memory of visited landscapes.
Location: Queen Street Market
I believe that simplicity is the better way to capture life and to feel its energy and likeness.
I draw as quickly as possible, without heavy equipment, looking for a global vision and a pure design according to a personal interpretation.
I select what is really important for me to draw at the present time : it’s impossible to draw everything I see ! So I need to make choices. That’s a tough decision…
How simplify the subject with sensitivity and an expressive line ? I really don’t believe in perfection from simple imitation. The sketch can be unfinished and guessed for more sense, depending of a dynamic composition which plays with black, brown and white contrasts according to full and empty spaces in the drawing. Lightness invades the drawing : it makes it «breath» !
I don’t want to produce a realistic artwork : capturing the emotion and essence of the scene, with a global vision and a pure design is really more interesting.
The most important point is how we feel the atmosphere, and good vibes to draw without confusing speed with hurry using a creative approach.
I usually mix black, thin and fluid lines (pen) with values (Chinese ink and walnut , washed with some water) : fusion of black and brown is very expressive.
Dark shadows are true eye-catchers : they indicate volume, darker on the area of interest, lighter to the edges.
I will enjoy to make another demonstration with colors, using watercolor exactly in the same way : simplicity, lightness, brightness, globality.
Don’t get lost in the details, and lively scenes will really be easier to draw!
For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

Outside the Mingei in San Diego

By Lydia Velarde, San Diego
When my friend told me there was a sketchbook of James Castle at the Mingei exhibit, SELF-TAUGHT GENIUS - Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum I decided to take a drive to see the show. Unfortunately the museum is closed on Monday but I made a fun morning out of it by sketching the front of the museum. I also got to visit the San Diego Museum of Art. (Balboa Park will be the location of the 3rd Annual West Coast Urban Sketcher Sketch Crawl in August)

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Ch’ng Kiah Kiean

Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Malaysia

Ch'ng Kiah Kiean
Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, born 1974 in George Town, Penang. He was trained in architecture from Universiti Sains Malaysia and loves art, design and photography. He is a blog correspondent of Urban Sketchers and also one of the administrator of Urban Sketchers Penang. He published Sketchers of Pulo Pinang in 2009 and Line-line Journey in 2011.
Location: National Library of Singapore
20130720 Aerial View of Madrid
Have you ever encounter with the problems that I want to do a big piece of sketch while travelling? It’s too troublesome to carry a big or long paper especially travels by flight. Have you ever want to do a super long panorama sketch, street or aerial view but the paper is not long enough?
Workshop Description
  • Participants will learn how to combine multiple sheets of same size paper to capture large scenes.
  • Tips of sketching panorama aerial view.
  • Tips of leaving white or blank space in your sketch creatively.
More details.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

Reportage: Minimum Wage Protests in New York City

Suhita Shirodkar in New York City

On the 15th of April I covered one of many minimum wage protests held around New York for the website eater.com. Here is a link to the piece, which had reports from all over the country. The protest I covered was to be held at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. The first really organized groups that got there are in the sketches below. They wore shirts that read “I can’t breathe” and carried signs with the “Fight for $15″ message on them.
The main protest, which included lots of speeches, police barriers to control the crowds, and thousands of people, had moved a block over to 6th Avenue. Sketching in the middle of a huge bustling crowd is always exciting. And challenging. You need to be skilled at elbowing your way through a crowd. ( Luckily, I grew up in the the super-crowded city of Mumbai,India, so pushing my way through a crowd is second nature to me) 
There’s the issue of drawing and painting when you’re being jostled around continually. But my biggest challenge is seeing over and past a crowd where everyone is taller and bigger than me! With a camera, you can raise your hands above your head for a shot and use a zoom to close in on your subject matter. With sketching, you need to compose your sketch and “zoom in” visually to catch the action.

On the left is a shot I took with my phone, hands raised, zoomed in. On the right is the sketch I made standing where I was, catching glimpses of the action above the heads of the crowd. Like I said, it was very challenging. And exciting.

The three pieces above are the ones that appeared in the final piece. But there were lots more sketches I started and either abandoned or didn’t send in, because the subjects moved away, the composition didn’t work, or because they just didn’t say enough. Below are a few incompletes and rejects.

My timeframe to get all this done? About an hour: the rally itself lasted about 45 minutes and the crowds dispersed as soon as it was done. Yes, it’s guerilla sketching. And I loved it.

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Behzad Bagheri

Behzad Bagheri, Iran

Behzad Bagheri
Behzad Bagheri qualified from Tehran University of Art with a Master’s Degree in Architecture.
When he first started painting, he adopted watercolors and sketches for the purposes of his initial architecture designs. Aesthetics soon took over the functional side and he found himself painting for artistic purposes rather than functional, architectural purposes.
His work was becoming a means for him to connect with himself and his surroundings and share these impressions with others. It became a way to communicate with others. Since the transformation of his work from design to art, he has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Iran and overseas.
For the past ten years he has been teaching art and architecture. He is experienced in Islamic art and architecture, applied geometry, perspective geometry, painting and drawing with watercolor, pencil, graphite and charcoal.
Location: National Museum of Singapore
Behzad Bagheri-Sketches (5)
Workshop description
Light and shadows visually define objects. The direction from which a dominant light originates, the placement of this light source affects every aspects of a drawing and make changes in objects lightness, darkness and color. Similarly, the shadows shapes, sizes and values range of shades in different times of a day are always changing .On the other hand ,when we walk up to an object and see it from various sides, we’ll have new images of the different values created by the light and shadows. So, the different characteristics of the light hitting an object can completely change its appearance.
Through this workshop we try to figure out, perceive and present the beauty and warmth of the sun’s light and its companion with the shadow in sketch. We start with the geometry of light and shadow and its perspective principals. We also learn how the objects are seen facing natural and artificial light sources, and what shadows they leave around.
Then we learn values and different shades of grey between white and black (light and Shadow) and experience it on the paper. After that, we look around and change our position, choose frames and start testing presentation of light and shadow on the paper through trial and error.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

May 3, 2015

A Prayer Tree for Nepal

A few days ago Samantha Zaza made a post about Nepal, and her art students, and how they were surviving the earthquake. Obviously there will be a lot to accomplish before life comes close to normal again there. To help the efforts, Studio 1482 (including myself) has created a print fundraiser campaign. Make a donation of $50 to CARE to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal and receive a print from one of the studio artists. Click HERE to learn how. The image below is mine, titled A Prayer Tree for Nepal. Thank you, Veronica Lawlor

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Asnee Tasna

Asnee Tasna, Thailand

Asnee graduated in Architecture from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in 1972. He had then worked in Singapore with a private architectural practice in Singapore soon after the graduation till 2001. Asnee retired from architectural practice and returned to Bangkok, his home town in 2003 where he is now residing.
Asnee is an Urban Sketchers’ correspondent for Bangkok since 2008 and an instructor for USk’s 2nd Symposium of 2011 in Lisbon. After having successfully founded Bangkok Sketchers in 2010, he set up the regional chapter, Urban Sketchers of Thailand (National Chapter), in Dec 2014 with the aim to combine the active talented sketchers across the country. Asnee was one of the co-authors of the Architects’ Sketchbooks, published in Bangkok in 2008 (Chinese version: published 2013), a contributor of The Art of Urban Sketching (2012) and An Illustrated Journey (2013). He is now teaching as an external lecturer/instructor for Architectural Faculty of Bangkok University and Arsomsilp Institute of Arts in Bangkok. 
SketchWalk C: Singapore Now and Then

Location: Queen Street
Singapore is a compact city state with surprisingly varied characteristic, its multi-racial population offers the unique sketching experience of its own. As visitors, one can’t help but notice the strange co-existence of the unlikely cultures, customs, traditions, people, architecture and landscape. But as sketchers, such rich variety of Singapore cityscape translates into a pleasantly surprise and sketching challenge and fun.
Singapore Now & Then will aim to explore the old and the new of Singapore by visiting its national monument, the historical and the iconic building, Raffle’s Hotel and its hi-tech National Library, another icon building of the recent days. These two buildings are situated not far from each other yet far different than each other in so many ways. The activity will allow the participants a glimpse of, as well as to capture with his or her own hand, the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented and patronized by a host of elites including Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham, in addition of a visit to the public area of the hotel with its splendid court yards.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

Meet the Symposium Instructors: Anita Ryanto

Anita Ryanto, Singapore

AR Under The Olive Tree 3
Anita Ryanto is a full-time lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, School of InfoComm Technology, Singapore. She has been teaching foundation drawing and painting classes with traditional and digital mediums to students attending the Diploma in Animation & 3D Arts and the Diploma in Multimedia & Animation for nearly 10 years.
Anita holds a Degree in Illustration from Curtin University, Western Australia and a Diploma in Graphic Design from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.
Her passion for drawing has grown even stronger ever since she joined Urban Sketchers Singapore three years ago. With her constant companions – a sketchbook, a traveller palette, a few pens and a water brush, she is always ready to sketch anywhere, anytime.
A self-confessed food-aholic and sketching addict, she is currently working on a book featuring her food sketches in water color.

Activity 1: Street Food Sketching.

Yuan Yang Hill St cafe
Singapore is a small island with a rich cultural diversity. Her island people include races from all over the world. Her street food embodies and reflects this rich cultural heritage.
The diverse heritage of Singapore’s street food is definitely worth sketching. In this activity, the participants will take away with them some cultural knowledge of the local cuisine from the major ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay & Indian including Peranakan.
They will get to taste the colors and feel the textures of Singapore Street Food through sketching in pen and watercolour. And they get to taste the food, too!

More details.

For more information about the Symposium, including schedule and registration information, please visit the Symposium site.

Having Fun, When I Should be at my Computer!

by Lynne Chapman in Sheffield, UK

Sheffield's Crucible Theatre is home to the World Snooker Championships. It so happens that the partner of one of my sketch-buddies, who lives across the Pennines in Manchester, is potty about snooker. He had a ticket to watch it on Wednesday, so my friend took the train to Sheffield with him, but spent the day sketching instead.

Which is why I ended up taking the day off work on Tuesday.

We met up with 3 other members of Usk Yorkshire, who'd also escaped for the day, and we had a lovely time (the way you do, when you're being slightly naughty). We pootled about the city centre, sketching whatever took our fancy. We had fun and games with the weather again though: I left the house in a hail storm, then we had a couple of hours of alternate brilliant sunshine and heavy showers. Now you know why we Brits are obsessed with weather! 

We sheltered under a big overhang to do the sketch above. There was quite a lot of interest from passers-by. I know some people find it annoying when people stop to talk, but I rather like it. It's the random connections with complete strangers that I enjoy. Everyone has their own story, often about how they used to love art at school. I always try and recruit them when they say that. Sometimes it works too.

We were freezing by the time we were done and needed to warm up. We spotted a wine bar with really big windows upstairs and, because it was on a corner, it afforded great views. Unfortunately, we discovered the upstairs area of the bar was closed. When we looked all forlorn and explained what we'd wanted to do, the waiters let us in anyway. They even brought us up coffee and muffins while we worked - how nice is that? 

Because we had the place to ourselves, I got down onto the floor, sitting virtually under a table to get the best view of the building above. It's been turned into another wine bar / restaurant now, but I fell for the typography craved into the stone, from the days when it belonged to Sheffield Water Works.

After lunch, we decided to stay indoors and keep warm, so went into the Winter Gardens and bought yet more coffee, so we could sit at the cafe's tables: 

My friend from Manchester drew the greenery...

...but I fancied having a go at the view out of the windows again. I seem to be rather into architecture at the moment. Also, given the snooker was on, I thought I ought to take the opportunity to sketch the Crucible Theatre, where it all happens:

We still had over an hour left before the snooker turned out, so we girded our loins and braved the outdoors. We found a sunny spot, sitting on a grassy mound (just to the left of the view above), opposite where a big screen was streaming the snooker from inside the theatre. I drew this man who was watching the play. The view behind him was rather boring, but at least the cast shadow added a bit of interest: