Sketch Workshop Boston. Simplifying your Sketches

Sunday October 21 ‘18.

This was a chilly day and it looked like rain, so our Boston Common sketch plan needed rethinking.
The beautiful Boston Library was our choice but being Sunday, for some unknown reason, they don’t open till early afternoon.
There across the road was the very inviting Fairmont Copley Hotel.

I asked one of our sketchers if she liked that idea.. ‘‘If they have coffee, I’m very happy”
A girl after my own heart.

Perfect for us in their big homely restaurant done out in dark wood, comfy chairs and the log fire burning. Coffee ordered and we got started.

I like to know what people’s art experience is and what they’d like to achieve. They were not new to sketching being Urban Sketchers but were keen to loosen up and avoid overdoing their work.

We started with a warmup sketch which gets people in the mood and not too challenging. Continuous line leaves in glorious Fall colours was our fun beginning. Pen and eyes working together to get the shapes on paper.

Colour was applied, some in aquarelle and some with watercolours. Chinagraph or water brush all added to the effect.

People sketching and eye level perspective was mentioned next. I have demo sheets for both so we talked those through and did a few sausage people to help get proportion right, and looked at how perspective works with my simple graph.

Sketch Tip: Create a page of little people doing all sorts of things. Action, standing, bending, sitting. Make this your homework and you’ll be able to pop them into your sketches whenever you need a few.
I like to put people into every sketch to bring life and humour to it.

We were getting a bit nibblish, and we were coming up for our last sketch.
Time for some food sketching. Little pans of individually baked breads were brought, with napkins cutlery and plates, plus a little pot of creamed honey and rosemary butter. Sooo delicious.

This would be an exercise in composition, elipses and focus.

Sketch Tip: Sketch the main food item first, then apply colour quickly so that you can eat. Everything else can be sketched after that. It won’t run away!

I asked whether they’d like to see colour applied to my demo with paint or aquarelle pencil.
The answer.
Aquarelle, as they weren’t clear on how to use them. So they saw how we layer one colour over another, leave whites top and sides, add a sitting down line and punch in some darks. I don’t use black by the way!

Everyone happily then did their own first food sketch and began a new way to keep the subject simple, use plenty of white, clear colour and darks to get dimension. Great success.

Thanks Boston Sketchers. What a good day we had and your results were stunning.

Same Time next year!

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