Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Line to Color Workshop in Seattle

This weekend, I took a two and a half day Urban Sketchers Workshop with Gail Wong and Frank Ching, in Seattle. It was terrific and filled with useful, individualized instruction as well as lots of time to practice what we were being taught. We met a few more Portlanders there and I hope that they will join us for future sketchcrawls and maybe post their sketches, too.

Here are a few sketches from the weekend. If you want to read more about it and see more, go to http://draw2c.blogspot.com

This is the canal in the Fremont neighborhood. (We went straight to pen in this workshop, so all the guidelines and mistakes, remain.) At one point, the bridge opened and a tall sailboat passed through.  It held a violinist at the bow, playing as the boat moved along the canal.

Besides trying to use appropriate perspective and measurement, we were trying to have our subject placed in context (i.e. the surrounding area). I was pleased to see that those plants (with clusters of three leaves) that were surrounding me, were blackberries and not poison oak.

Next, we moved up the hill for street scenes. Here's Saturn, with solar panel rings, atop a building.

Strangely, there is a statue of Lenin nearby. Appropriately someone painted with blood on his hands.

On the final day, from a place on the crowded sidewalk, I sketched this iconic view. (Full disclosure: a few of those lines are Frank's.)

 A couple of children came by and painted with us for a few minutes. Here is one of the little charmers...

Back in Portland, I decided to try some of my new skills on a view I've sketched before and here's the result....

Thanks to Gail and Frank and my fellow sketchers!


  1. Thanks, Vicky. Looks like you had fun. If you were to summarize your one or two most important take a ways, what would they be?

  2. Mike, there was so much information and we each got individual instruction from both Gail and Frank, so what stands out for me is probably different from others. The things that I tried to focus on were: establishing boundaries for my sketch before hand and drawing the setting rather than just the subject. I also tried to (usually) have a background, foreground, and middle but with focus on just one of those elements--with detail, value, and/or color. Hope that helps. I think you'd really like this workshop.

  3. These are all great Vicky...especially like the last one and its soft colors and strong verticals! Wish I could have taken it...just had too much going on between new grandbaby and produce in the garden! (fitting in some local sketching though)

  4. It seems as though there was some great stuff in that workshop and your sketches are showing it! All are good but the last one you show here is very interesting and pleasing to me. I think it has something to do with the border and what you have chosen not to include or color!

  5. Thank you, Linda and Deb. I appreciate your comments.
    Linda, the class was excellent, but I'm sure it couldn't compete with a new grandbaby. Congratulations!