New #USkWorkshop in San Francisco, Oct. 10:

August 26, 2015

Beating the Heat in Singapore

By Gail Wong visiting in Singapore
Back street in the Arab District

One of the ways to beat the heat in Singapore was getting up early in the morning to sketch, as you have heard from many other sketchers already.  The first morning after I arrived,  I sketched with Shari Blaukoph on Waterloo St.  That was my first time sketching in Singapore.  I won't show that sketch...the first day of sketching was awful.  I wasn't used to the humidity even in the morning.  Wet on wet did not work well for me and my palette was a muddy mess with my paints oozing out of the wells.  It was immediately discouraging and I was worried about how to handle that. I found out talking to Shari that everyone had a difficult time the first day out. I found that you  have to adjust how you approach painting in the humidity,  a little less wetness to control the paints. 

Here are some of my early morning sketches from Singapore.

Masjid Sultan

Back Alley in Little India

Church on the corner of Middle Road and Waterloo

Back Alley in Little India, Singapore. Virginia Hein Sketching
 Liz Steel, Suhita and Virginia Hein

Frank Ching, Liz Steel,  Suhita and another sketcher

August 25, 2015

Oceanside Village, Oceanside, California

By Lydia Velarde

 I sat at the harbor early this morning sketching the village. The only thing moving this was a fishing boat taking off from the dock.

Dark City

by Inma Serrano 

Sorry at first because I have not already scan all the sketches I made in Singapour during the symposium.
It really was an unforgettable experience for me,  for everyone, I think. I have to say thank you to the all people there, specially to the local team for their kindness. It was an incredible opportunity to be there. I promise to scan and share here soon. 

The reason why I didn´t do my homework is that at the end of my holidays I am working tirelessly in a set of illustrations for an art fair that will be placed in Seville in early September. It is called Blur Fair.

I'm working at home, so maybe it should not be appropriate to share here the drawings I am making. But there are some of them based on different nightly sketches I did in some old sketchbooks. So I hope it can serve as an excuse to share some more elaborate drawings that I'm doing.

Here are some of the original images:

  Dark City

And here is one of the illustration.. The album is called Dark City. More here.

Dark City

I think it is the first time I work with watercolor using a dark background. I know it does not sound very orthodox (sorry Shari).

Basically the process is this: I make a dark background with watercolor first, mixing blue and black, wait until it dries an then I make the lines and the shadows using Pentel brush pen and my dear Sailor calligraphy fountain pen. I manage mixing dark watercolor and lines choicely. The strokes of blue and turquoise are made with pencil over the background. I use some white gouache at the end for highlight some lines (road, streetlights...) 
It´s a different way to use the watercolor (again sorry Shari) and it seems to work for night sketches. 

Try and judge for yourselves. 

Mont Saint-Michel and Honfleur

Thanks to a very good friend I had the opportunity to visit these two amazing places. Mont Saint-Michel is out of a fairy tale. I can’t imagine there is another place on earth like it. Its abbey reaches so high to the sky as if it is literally reaching for God. I did a few quick drawings and this painting which really cannot capture what I saw. I feel like I’d need a week to figure out what to say and how to say it.
Honfleur is a small town in the Normandy region of France. This was my kind of European town. No matter where you turn there are picturesque buildings, a port, and limitless beauty in the details. I spent one chilly rainy morning making this series of black and white drawings. Again I wish I had a week to spend there.

From Apulia!

Some days spent in the South of Italy! Lovely's relaxing sketching about relax! :)

Before and after Symposium

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

  I participated in 6th urban sketchers symposium this year. It was a wonderful event  as I expected. Meeting some new and old sketcher friends and sharing thoughts and works.
In the next post I will show you some sketches that I have done during the symposium, but here I wanted to share some sketches of Istanbul on the road to Singapore and then some drawings and painting after the symposium that have been done between 25th and 30th of July. Thank you very much all my friends who helped me in this wonderful journey.

  First, some conte sketches of Istanbul. I was thinking about light and shadow more, because of my workshop.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Sultanahmet Meydani

 And here are some works after the symposium. It was wonderful to discover beauties of this wonderful country.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Chinatown/ Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Near Botanic Gardens entrance
One thing, Many thoughts

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) 

Little india
Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan)

August 24, 2015

A Playwright and an Urban Sketcher Collaborate

Guest Post by Liz Ackerley

I am thrilled at the collaborative opportunities that urban sketching appears to enable.

My drawings in and around Salford recently caught the attention of playwright and director, Vanessa Brooks. She says the images are helping her interpret the space inhabited by the characters of her play “I love you baby.”

One of the lead characters in the play, Samantha, lives in a hi-rise luxury apartment in Salford Quays which you can see in my sketches below.

Samantha also has views of the deprived and undeveloped Salford, where another character, a young man named Tyler comes from.

Yet another character, Sister Sadie, travels through Manchester Piccadilly station with its queues of people and across Manchester to Samantha’s apartment for their mothers funeral and wake:

A character named Clarence lives with his elderly mother in a cottage in Yorkshire. This sketch took the playwright into Clarence’s past:

And then there’s a sister called Grace, who is a nurturer and professional carer of dogs. My drawings of my own greyhound Tanzi provide inspiration for that story line.

Over the next few months the play will be developed with three project partners including The Lowry in Salford and I am looking forward to attending the scratch performance of the play there in November! You can read Vanessa’s blog about the use of my drawings to inform the play here.

Liz Ackerley is a landscape architect and Urban Sketcher based on Manchester UK. She blogs about her sketching adventures here.

Zoro Garden, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

By Lydia Velarde
The Zoro Garden is a sunken stone grotto garden that was designed as a nudist colony during the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition it is now a butterfly garden. I was there sketching with friends this morning.