Monday, April 25, 2016

Urban Sketching Workshop Report

I am tired!

Since Friday, I've been participating in the Urban Sketchers Line-to-Color Workshop taught by Gail Wong and Frank Ching (both architects).  Tina also took the workshop, which was great, since she was able to handle the driving.

On Friday afternoon we had a tour of the Daniel Smith paint-making facility, and got to hear opening lectures, and then had some time to play around with some of the many fabulous paints they make there.  They fed us a pizza dinner, too!  Any money I may have saved on dinner was long gone and then some after they gave us some time to shop in the store, though.

On Saturday we met at Gas Works Park at 9:00am -- the good news was that it wasn't raining.  The bad news was that it was a chilly 50 degrees.  The group (about 30 students) had been broken into two, one met with Gail at Gas Works to learn more about watercolor while the second met with Frank to do pen drawing.  The next day we switched.   I think there were 14 in our group on Saturday.  Gail did demos and then we practiced -- we did a lot on seeing shapes and values, and did a number of value studies before being turned loose after lunch to paint on our own.  No pencil/pens allowed, only paint -- not my thing, but I did a creditable scene of the skyline view from the park:

The sun did pop out from the clouds now and then to warm us a bit, thank goodness.  We stopped at 4:00pm -- a long day.

Sunday was even longer.  We met up with Frank for pen drawing in Fremont, but as it was raining hard, he opted to carpool over to the UW campus so we could sit beneath the cover of Kane Hall while drawing the Neo-Gothic architecture around Red Square.

Frank gave us plenty of great demonstrations and tips on perspective and architectural drawing, which I did not practice all that well.  It was cold again (colder than Saturday) and I was very uncomfortable.  Luckily Kane Hall was open for an event, so I could pop inside to warm up.

We stayed there for three hours, then broke for lunch and headed back to Fremont for the afternoon session.  The rain tapered off from time to time, long enough to sit outside to sketch without cover, at least for short periods.

Our last sketch stop was by the canal, where we were supposed to practice our new perspective-handling skills on the bridge, but I was tired of buildings.  I found some rocks near the canal edge and drew those instead.  Rain drops added to the texture!

At 5:00pm we stopped, and then went to dinner together at a burger-sandwich place.  Got home at 7:30pm.  You may be wondering, "What about poor Truman -- you were gone all day both Saturday and Sunday!"   Do not fear -- little Tru had early afternoon visits both days from his former pet sitter Shelley and her little chihuahua Princie.  He was quite happy to see them again.

Finally, today was the last day of the workshop, a half-day at Seattle Center where the two instructors and groups got back together to practice both pen and color together, to share their work, and to pick up a few more tips.

The sun was shining, and most people went out to draw the big buildings and structures, while I had my eye on the quirky little sculptures that decorate the Children's Theater.   I've been wanting to draw them for years, and was very happy to have the time to do so.

We re-grouped inside the Armory (the old Center House), shared our work, and said our goodbyes.  Truman was ecstatic when I got home at 1:00pm -- I don't think he's going to let me out of his sight again for a while.

It was a good workshop, with great locations, though the weather could have been a tad more cooperative.  I mean, on Sunday I was wearing my jeans with waterproof pants over them, a long-sleeved t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it and a waterproof jacket, and my winter hat with ear muffs and I was still too cold!    Thank goodness it warmed up some in the afternoon or I would never gotten through it.  Now I need a nap...or two...or three!


  1. What a weekend, a long rest in order, how cold was it. At least you honed your skil, ate well and got to spend on 'needed' supplies. Any pics of the shop?

    1. We weren't allowed to take photos of the paint-making area of the store. I did take a couple of the art supply section but they weren't that interesting so didn't post them.

      I was so cold on Saturday that on Sunday I wore double layers of clothing plus my winter coat and hat and was still a little chilly at times! It wasn't really that cold, maybe 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but it felt a lot colder because we weren't moving around at all, just sitting and drawing. Glad to get home and warm up!