By Maria Regina Tuazon in Singapore
The destinations are overwhelming as much as we're spoiled for choice when it comes to workshops to explore. This was the scene before the various workshops started. For the coming days, look out for the boards the symposium staff put up to find your instructor and you're set!
In the morning I tagged with Marc Taro Holmes' workshop, Sketching Characters on the Street. I was supposed to be helping him out with but I was also sketching the event so luckily Shirley Ong Tan managed to help out and I get to check out the ones within the same strip. He gave simple guidelines to be able to sketch people quickly by locking he shape of the head with some anchor points and mapping out shapes of the face which all add up and come alive with the last touch of spot darks. Here the class was asked to stand in a circle and draw someone opposite you.
We then headed out to Waterloo street which was a small strip but had a Buddhist and Hindu temple next to each other. It was an active street filled with flower vendors, fortune tellers and other people who sell stuff which was perfect for catching different characters on the street
This flower vendor didn't like to be sketched :(
This Buddha whom people touch to get blessings from marks the spot for show and tell!
Melanie Reim's workshop, The Influence of Calligraphy in the Figure and Environment, was also at the same location. I checked it out and she was showing the class some inspiring examples of calligraphic work in art and sketches. Using varied lines from thin to thick with a brush or flexible pen and composition play big roles in creating calligraphic marks. I came in at the middle of her workshop so I got a bit of idea what they were doing and tried it.
I tried sketching with a pen and a brush pen too and realized how easy and addictive it can be once you get the hang of it. Here are some sketchers just outside the Sri Krishnan Hindu temple.
The goddess Lakshmi holding some lotuses and the Monkey God Hanuman are visible from the entrance.
After lunch I caught Matthew Brehm (The Structure of Light in Watercolor) briefing his group before going out and he was talking about tones, thinking in light and dark, building major shapes, color compliements, having warm shadows and zooming out to simplify things. He stresses the importance of leaving some whites for the highlights.
I also briefly caught Gail Wong's workshop (Exploration in Expressive Watercolor through Shape and Value) before they headed out. They were laying in washes and she told the sketchers to be fearless and to play like a five year old! She said sometimes there are inevitable blooms but you just need to leave it alone and let it be part of the process .
Headed back to Waterloo and caught up with Suhita Shrirodkar who was teaching Capturing Chaos. Drawing crowds overwhelm me and she showed how putting in a structure first gives you the freedom to put something unstructured over it. Crowds are a lot of things connected together and she sad be comfortable with a mess!
That's the group as a crowd in front of the crowd they are sketching..
In between the crowds there's Fiona from Sydney right outside, sitting on the floor of the temple grounds. She's in Veronica Lawlor's workshop but I didn't catch the class being briefed so I can't say much yet about it.
I tried to catch a few more groups nearby but only found the tail end of Inma Serrano and Miguel Herranz's workshop (Thin Line, Bold Line) at Bras Basah. They were all doing their own sketching before the final show and tell.
I realize how much urban sketching has changed the act of drawing. There is time to draw and filter stuff by yourself but without a tribe like this, it's not so solitary and won't be so enjoyable as all the sharing and tripping out that we do.
There's Kenneth Chin drawing a partner from the class and I got to sketch them while
Inma sketched me.
And I sketched her back!
Went back to the National Design Centre and we had the board of the Urban Sketchers up on stage talking about how they all started sketching and blogging and doing their roles. They answered questions from an open forum and encouraged everyone to come forward if they would want play a more active role in the organization. What an inspiring day! Hopefully we get to cover more and different workshops we didn't touch today and go more in depth.
#usksingapore Maria Regina Tuazon