By Gabi Campanario in Singapore
In her workshop, Los Angeles artist and teacher Virginia Hein said finding the harmony of light and dark, a Japanese design concept known as "Notan," is key to make a successful sketch. Don't get too distracted by local color first —the green of the trees, the red of the roofs—, she said. Instead, start by boiling down the scene to dark and light shapes.
Virginia's teaching is the kind of stuff one can never hear enough. I think I enjoyed listening just as much as I enjoyed watching her demonstrate the theory with decisive strokes of pencil, brush pen and watercolor.
The idea of boiling things down to dark and light areas to achieve harmony got me thinking about my own sketchbook spread in similar terms. The left side represents an evening of socializing with fellow sketchers from Korea, Costa Rica, Canada, Germany and Portugal (It's called the International Urban Sketchers Symposium for a reason!) The right side shows a glimpse of the teaching that goes on during the morning and afternoon workshops. Night socializing vs. day learning. That's the kind of harmony you experience when you attend the Symposium!
Tip from Virginia Hein: To think in terms of shapes, "use biggest brush you can stand to use." #USkSingapore2015 pic.twitter.com/8n5yRuOh0L— gabi campanario (@seattlesketcher) July 24, 2015