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DRAWING

Attention

The official zine of Urban Sketchers NOVEMBER 2018


Drawing Attention Mandate Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiums, sketchcrawls, news and events; shares news about USk chapters; and educates readers about the practice of on-location sketching. Thanks to this month’s Drawing Attention contributors: Managing Editor: Brenda Murray Managing Editor, Incoming: Patricia Chow Editorial Assistant: Pedro Loureiro Mailchimp layout: Jane Dillon Wingfield Issuu layout: Anne Taylor Writers: Meagan Burns; Leslie Akchurin; Mark Anderson; Mark Leibowitz; Pedro Loureiro; Susan Schaffhausen; Ann Schwartzwald. Proofreaders: Ann Schwartzwald; Leslie Akchurin. Contributors: Parka; Amber Sausen; Maria Regina Tuazon cover image: Paul Heaston Subscribe to Drawing Attention. Read the September edition of Drawing Attention. Circulation: 11,001 Readership: 16k+ Web: urbansketchers.org Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Click here to make your tax-deductible contribution via Paypal. © 2018 Urban Sketchers.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Dear Urban Sketchers, In May and June 2018, Urban Sketchers embarked on its first ever 10k+10k Matching Fund Campaign. Thanks to your contributions we raised over $20,000USD to bring urban sketching to the world through the Community Grant Workshop Program! We believe that one way to share Urban Sketchers with those who have not had the opportunity to practice urban sketching is to combine our two greatest resources: our enthusiastic USk Chapters with our talented USk instructors. Let’s bring an educational event to a community organization and celebrate the life-changing power of on-location drawing. While informal USk chapter events are free to all participants, our world-class educational programming requires

resources and serves as a wonderful welcome to those who want or need more support to build confidence in on-location sketching. USk chapters worldwide are invited to partner with a local community group (not-for-profit, school, art organization, city agency) to develop and implement a workshop for that group. We’re looking to pilot the program with at least three USk chapters in 2019. Please check out the Community Workshop Grant Program FAQs and start talking with local organizations about how to reach people whose lives could be touched by the practice of urban sketching. Applications for the 2019 program will be accepted through the end of the year. Happy Sketching, Amber Sausen, USk President

MANAGING EDITOR’S MESSAGE This will be my last edition of Drawing Attention as the Managing Editor although I hope to continue contributing as a writer in the new year. I would like to welcome Patricia Chow from Los Angeles who has been slowly easing into the job. As Managing Editor it has been a lot of fun writing and editing for DA and getting to know so many talented artists. This month we are introducing three new chapters, celebrating the great contribution Alvin Wong has made to USk and highlighting the gorgeous work of Ian Fennelly, Paul Heaston and Uma Kelkar. A million thanks to our amazing team of DA writers, proofreaders and graphic designers—you are the best! Cheers, Brenda Murray, Drawing Attention Managing Editor drawingattention@urbansketchers.org


CONTENTS 4

USK NEWS & EVENTS

20

8

USK BELGIUM

42

USK LANGUEDOC

HARMONY IN GRAY – UMA KELKAR

26

THE MORE YOU LOOK... – IAN FENNELLY

14

48

USK RIGA

VOLUNTEER WITH A VISION – ALVIN WONG

34

NEW PERSPECTIVES – PAUL HEASTON

54

REVIEWS | ENDNOTES

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NOVEMBER 2018 3


USk News & Events

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16,000+

artists & art lovers For more information about ad placement, sizes and costs for corporate sponsors, email Raylie at raylie@verizon.net

4 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk News & Events

ACCOMMODATION SURVEY WINNER Congratulations, Cara Christine Mitchel! You won a Workshop Pass for the 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands! Registration instructions will be shared by December 2018. The prize/registration is non-transferrable. Thanks to you and everyone who participated in the Porto Accommodation Survey this year. You helped Urban Sketchers and USk Portugal to get a grant from the Tourism Bureau, which contributed to funding the Symposium’s operational and volunteers’ expenses. Your cooperation is highly appreciated! Click here for more Symposium information.

FOLLOW USK ON TWITTER

SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE NOVEMBER 2018 5


USk News & Events

WELCOME PATRICIA! USk would like to welcome Patricia Chow to her new role as the Managing Editor of Drawing Attention. Patricia is an urban sketcher based in Los Angeles, California, who also participates in San Francisco and Bay Area sketch events.

10X10 WORKSHOPS USk 10x10 Workshops are an excellent opportunity to learn new sketching skills from a top USk instructor and to meet a new community of sketchers in a location near you. To see the list of 10x10 classes around the world click HERE.

FOLLOW USK ON FACEBOOK 6 DRAWING ATTENTION

Like all urban sketchers, she loves meeting people from around the world and sketching together. Patricia attended her first USk Symposium in Porto last year, and is looking forward to seeing everyone again in Amsterdam in 2019! You can contact Patricia at drawingattention@urbansketchers.org.


USk News & Events

Urban Sketchers is currently seeking volunteers to fill the following positions: • Volunteer Fundraising Director • Volunteer Sponsorship Administrator • Volunteer Communications Director For more information click HERE.

FOLLOW USK ON INSTAGRAM

SUBSCRIBE TO THE USK YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOVEMBER 2018 7


Featured Chapter

ARGUABLY THE LARGEST WINE PRODUCER IN THE WORLD, WITH MILES AND MILES OF VINEYARDS IN THE LOWLANDS, AND SKI RESORTS IN THE MOUNTAINS... I ASK URBAN SKETCHER ANNETTE MORRIS ONE OF MY USUAL QUESTIONS: WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE AND SKETCH? AND REALIZE IMMEDIATELY HOW SILLY I MUST SOUND. IN FACT, WHAT IS NOT SPECIAL ABOUT THE HOME TURF OF URBAN SKETCHERS LANGUEDOC? BY MARK ALAN ANDERSON

SKETCH BY MARC DEJOUX

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USk Languedoc

QUINTESSENTIAL

FRANCE P

ont du Gard, Carcassonne, the Arena of Nîmes: Languedoc stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains, from the Riviera to Spain. The French chapter boasts nearly 200 members, all the more remarkable considering they were only sanctioned nine months ago. Meeting the first Wednesday of every month, with occasional weekend outings thrown in for good measure, the group is bonded by the enjoyment of getting outside and sketching together. Morris explains that it’s great to see other people sketch, paint, and draw, and to compare how different people approach the same subject. Every meetup is an opportunity to get to know fellow urban sketchers and learn about individual styles and artistic decision making. “The social aspect is important – you might not get to meet other artists otherwise, to know why someone chose a particular color or paint.” The countryside is varied and beautiful, the hustle and bustle of city centers – so different from the coastal areas – features classic French architecture. And although the region can be “touristy” in summer months, much of Languedoc is sparsely NOVEMBER 2018 9


Featured Chapter

SKETCH OF ASSIGNAN BY ARNAUD SALEMBIER 10 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk Languedoc

populated. The sketchers of USk Languedoc hail from all over, often traveling an hour and a half to join their sketching comrades. Small villages are a favorite subject; they’re peaceful, historic places, surrounded by vineyards – quintessential France.

CAFE DE LA PAIX BY ANNETTE MORRIS

While many members are international, Morris says, “Some of our members have lived here all their lives but have never been [to one of the small village sketching locations] and were amazed at how beautiful it was. It’s a positive thing to get people out of their comfort zone.” Like many other chapters, the group ranges from professional to novice. A recent outing found sketchers at a vintage car rally – very challenging from a sketching standpoint. Undaunted, the recurring question was where are we going for lunch? “This is France, after all!” Morris laughs. NOVEMBER 2018 11


Featured Chapter

‘MY 2CV IN THE VINEYARD’ BY ANNETTE MORRIS 12 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk Languedoc

HEY BOOK AUTHORS... AGAIN THIS DECEMBER, JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, WE WILL PUBLISH OUR LIST OF URBAN SKETCHING BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2018. IF YOU HAVE PUBLISHED A BOOK ABOUT URBAN SKETCHING BETWEEN NOV 15, 2017 AND NOV 15, 2018 PLEASE SEND THE NAME OF THE BOOK, THE DATE PUBLISHED, A PHOTO OF THE FRONT COVER OF THE BOOK AND A LINK FOR WHERE IT CAN BE PURCHASED TO SUSANROGERS84@SHAW.CA BEFORE NOVEMBER 15. THANK YOU SO MUCH! NARBONNE MARKET BY BARBARA CRAIG NOVEMBER 2018 13


Featured Chapter

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Up-and-coming sketching hub

of the Baltic THE BLOOMING USK RIGA CHAPTER IN LATVIA IS QUICKLY BECOMING A HUB FOR SKETCHING ON THE BALTIC. THEIR INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO ORGANIZING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND BRINGING VISITING TALENT FROM ABROAD IS GAINING THE ATTENTION OF THE GLOBAL USK COMMUNITY. BY PEDRO LOUREIRO

M

asha Zurikova first came into contact with Urban Sketchers when she was posted to Brussels as a diplomat. “The community there is strong and vibrant.” Back in her native Riga, and yearning for some sketching, she found the recently registered USk Riga Facebook group, and volunteered to help. Around the same time, Alina Beitane also met group founder Agnese Aljena, and all three became group admins. “It was quite miraculous,” Masha recalls, “that three people that hadn’t met in person before could communicate so well and organize something like this. We became friends because of urban sketching.” USk Riga registered on Facebook in March 2017 and became an official chapter in September 2017. Things are developing quickly for the chapter, NOVEMBER 2018 15


Featured Chapter

TALLINN PORT BY MASHA ZURIKOVA

16 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk Riga

which currently counts over 180 members. “About 10 to 15 people come to our sketch walks,” Masha reports. “We organize events every month or couple of months, depending on the availability of people.” They sketch on weekday evenings or Saturday mornings, and an admin usually provides an itinerary for latecomers. The three admins have very different backgrounds: Masha describes herself as “a civil servant by day, and illustrator by night,” Alina is an architect, and Agnese is a photographer who always wanted to draw – urban sketching became her doorway to illustration.

SKETCH BY MASHA OF MIERA STREET

At present, USk Riga is the only USk chapter in the Baltic States, and serves as a hub for urban sketchers in neighboring cities and countries. “Sometimes people from Tallinn and Vilnius join us for our events”, Masha explains. “Riga is a very sketchable city. There is the Old Town with medieval architecture, and an art nouveau quarter.” But the local sketchers are also fond of less obvious locations, like “abandoned industrial sites or old wooden shabby buildings, which can be kind of romantic, and also some interesting Soviet-era buildings.” During the winter, they “try to meet in a café, with a view to the street or the roofs. We find a way to sketch in any weather condition,” Masha says. Besides sketch walks, the chapter organizes an initiative they call Urban Sketching School. “It started very spontaneously! Agnese was chatting to Rudy Murdock, a sketcher from Indonesia, and thought it would be fun

SKETCH BY AGNESE ALJENA OF RIGA SKYLINE

NOVEMBER 2018 17


Title

SKETCH BY ANDREJ SALA 18 DRAWING ATTENTION

SKETCH BY AIGA KALNINA OF RIGA AVE SOL CONCERT HALL


Title

MASHA’S SKETCHES & TOOLS

SKETCH BY IVETA PERKONE

to have him over to sketch and teach a 3-day workshop”. The admins organized a crowdfunding campaign among the local sketchers to finance Rudy’s trip, and in the summer of 2017, he became their first Urban Sketching School guest teacher. In February of this year, they invited Alex Hillkurtz from Paris and Mea Köhler from Germany, and during the summer, Emma Fitzpatrick came from the UK. Masha happily reports that USk Riga aims to keep these events going, and are already looking for funding from the Ministry of Culture to fuel the experience and bring even more sketchers to Riga.

MASHA’S TIPS • USE VODKA IN YOUR WATER BRUSH TO SKETCH IN FREEZING WEATHER CONDITIONS! • CROWDFUND TO BRING SKETCHERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO TEACH IN YOUR CITY!

f

CONNECT WITH USK RIGA’S SKETCHING SCHOOL NOVEMBER 2018 19


Featured Chapter

USk Belgium: Just continue. Just continue. BY JANE WINGFIELD

20 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk Belgium

LISBON SYMPOSIUM, 2011: CORINNE RAES, FOUNDER OF USK BELGIUM, WAS THERE WITH HER ART TEACHER. SHE RECOGNIZED ALL THE BIG NAMES AND FELT VERY INTIMIDATED, BUT HER TEACHER TOLD HER, “DON’T YOU WORRY. JUST CONTINUE. JUST CONTINUE.” THAT ADVICE COULD WELL BE THE MANTRA OF USK BELGIUM – THEY ARE ON THE MOVE!

I spoke with Corinne (left) and current admin, Sonia Vande Velde (right). “Belgium is small,” they explained. “All of Belgium is a neighborhood. That’s why we can have events in so many places.” Beginning in 2011 with just a few sketchers, USk Belgium has grown to over 1,500 members, with participation ranging from 20 to 200 at their sketch outings and events. Since May, they have sketched at the Fête des Fleurs in Brussels, commemorating the 1968 Cultural Revolution, a regional sketchcrawl in Liège with 200 participants, Heritage Days in Brussels, and Drawing Days in Oostende, a multi-country European celebration of the arts. SKETCH BY GÉRARD MICHEL

NOVEMBER 2018 21


Featured Chapter

Sonia and two other sketchers are currently documenting a construction site where underground historical ruins have been revealed. The Old Market had been destroyed to make room for an office building and parking garage, which was now being demolished. As they dig “you can see remnants of the Old Market,” reports Sonia. “It’s like an archaeological site.” “Once we sketched inside an old train hangar,” recalled Corinne. “It was winter. There was only one fire. At day’s end, everyone was huddled around that fire sketching whatever was nearby.” Corinne especially loves to sketch the back side of houses in Belgium. People construct makeshift additions to their property, resulting in ramshackle constructs that are both charming and uniquely Belgian.

SKETCH BY CHRIS PERDIEUS 22 DRAWING ATTENTION


USk Belgium

USK BELGIUM TIPS •

DON’T BE AFRAID OF PASSERSBY WHO STOP AND TALK TO YOU. THEY ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING POSITIVE TO SAY.

AND, OF COURSE, THE ORIGINAL MANTRA, “DON’T YOU WORRY. JUST CONTINUE, JUST CONTINUE”. NOVEMBER 2018 23


Featured Chapter

ABOVE: SKETCH BY CORINNE RAES

SKETCH BY JORIS VAN HOVE

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CONNECT WITH USK BELGIUM


USk Belgium

SKETCH BY SONIA VANDE VELDE

NOVEMBER 2018 25


USk Instructor

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‘The More You Look, the More You See’

USk Maestrat

– On location with Ian Fennelly IAN FENNELLY WAS A WORKSHOP INSTRUCTOR AT THE URBAN SKETCHERS INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM IN PORTO THIS SUMMER, PROVING HIMSELF A GIFTED TEACHER AS WELL AS A WONDERFULLY TALENTED ARTIST. HE TALKED TO ANN SCHWARTZWALD

NOVEMBER 2018 27


USk Instructor

I

an Fennelly was a workshop instructor at the Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Porto this summer. While his enormous talent as an artist is clear, he is also a gifted teacher – participants commented on his openness and generosity in sharing his insights with others; his clear, incremental instruction; and his sensitivity to students’ needs, frustrations and progress. His warmth and gentle humor facilitated the creation of many wonderful sketches. Ian lives on the west coast of England, outside Liverpool. His home includes a light and airy studio overlooking the beach, very conducive to his work as an artist and urban sketcher. He is also a primary school art consultant, training primary school teachers in art and creativity. Ian has long enjoyed the feel of being out on location. He recalls, “I’ve always drawn on location, as it’s a big part of the work I do as an artist - gathering information and experiencing the location… 28 DRAWING ATTENTION

now I see urban sketching as a way of making art on location… I discovered my local Liverpool group via Facebook and we meet each month. I then joined other groups and now post work on the International group site.” Ian always allows himself to be totally engrossed in observing details around him. “Somewhere a long time ago I either heard someone say, or read in a book, or even thought of it myself, ‘the more you look, the more you see,’ which I think is pretty cool, and then I added on ‘the more you look the more you see, the more you understand,’ which I think says everything.” One tough obstacle is the weather in England. “Winter months it’s almost impossible to be outside due to the cold temperatures and rain… you can try to overcome this by wearing loads of layers, but you might still get soaked”. Ian enthusiastically embraces new projects and challenges, including


The more you look, the more you see

“I

‘VE ALWAYS DRAWN ON LOCATION, AS IT’S A BIG PART OF THE WORK I DO AS AN ARTIST – GATHERING INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCING THE LOCATION…

NOVEMBER 2018 29


USk Instructor

teaching a busy workshop schedule, and working with Derwent to promote their products. “I am now starting to use their new Inktense water paint sets, which I’m really excited about as the colour ranges are amazing and quite different from what I usually use.” IAN’S SKETCHING TIPS: MY ADVICE FOR CREATING ART ON LOCATION IS TO ENGAGE WITH THE PUBLIC. SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS I’VE HAD WHILE URBAN SKETCHING WILL STAY WITH ME FOREVER. MOST PEOPLE ARE LOVELY & GENUINELY FASCINATED BY WHAT YOU ARE DOING. WE MAY TAKE WHAT WE DO FOR GRANTED, OTHER PEOPLE MAY NEVER HAVE SEEN AN ARTIST BEFORE. ALSO REMEMBER WHEN YOU ARE DRAWING OUTSIDE, YOU ARE IN THE SCENE. YOU OCCUPY THE SAME SPACE AND TIME THAT YOUR SUBJECT OCCUPIES, WHICH IS WHY IT’S SO DIFFERENT FROM COPYING A PHOTOGRAPH. 30 DRAWING ATTENTION


The more you look, the more you see

NOVEMBER 2018 31


USk Instructor

32 DRAWING ATTENTION


The more you look, the more you see

w

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IAN

NOVEMBER 2018 33


USk Instructor

PAUL HEASTON DECIDED HE DIDN’T WANT TO TRAVEL WITH ALL OF THE USUAL PLEIN AIR PAINTING EQUIPMENT ON A SEMESTER IN ITALY, SO HE OPTED FOR A FEW MOLESKINE SKETCHBOOKS INSTEAD. SOON A PASSION WAS BORN. BY MEAGAN BURNS

34 DRAWING ATTENTION


NEW PERSPECTIVES

P

aul Heaston, USk Instructor, Denver, USA, fell into urban sketching 11 years ago while a student at Montana State Universitywhere he was studying oil painting. While planning for a semester abroad in Italy, so he opted for a few Moleskine sketchbooks to capture his Italian travels. When he returned home, his thengirlfriend and now wife, Linda, encouraged him to share his sketchbook art on Flickr, where Paul discovered other sketching enthusiasts. Soon after, USk founder

Gabi Campanario discovered Paul’s sketches on the once-popular photosharing site, and asked Paul to be a contributor to the Urban Sketchers’ blog. Paul’s newfound passion for sketching was ignited! Paul began to experiment with sketching and developing his style, which he happily continues to this day, both on his travels and from his home in Denver, Colorado. As a graduate student, Paul was unable to attend the first symposium in Portland, but he was eager to meet other sketchers and discover more NOVEMBER 2018 35


USk Instructor

about the community, so Paul’s wife Linda suggested he apply to be an instructor – but the lightbulb went off again. “I wasn’t sure if I should apply to be an instructor, because I’m not an architect, nor did I have traditional training in perspective and geometry, but I knew even back then I was a good teacher, and I really wanted to get to that Symposium – thankfully I was accepted!” “I love being at Symposiums and meeting other sketchers. Every person’s skill set can be applied to urban sketching, and there’s no hardline between instructor and student. We are a resource for each other, we can learn from each other and all styles can be applied.” Paul has had the good fortune to teach at every Urban Sketchers Symposium except Singapore, when bigger things were brewing at home – his wife was giving birth to their first daughter. Now he has two daughters, and while they’re not yet official Urban Sketchers, Paul

36 DRAWING ATTENTION

brought the entire family to the Chicago Symposium, and hopes to have his family travel with him to future symposiums as well, because it’s a great way to meet other sketching families.

PAUL’S FIRST SYMPOSIUM AS AN INSTRUCTOR ZIL, AND HE TAUGHT A WORKSHOP ON DEVE CURVED PERSPECTIVE, CALLED “BIG PICTURE A DETAILS.” HIS CURRENT WORKSHOP, CALLED “ PERSPECTIVE,” STILL DEALS WITH THIS TOPIC. IS ON THE VISUAL METAPHOR OF THE UMBREL SKETCHERS UNDERSTAND CURVED PERSPECTI

“There’s nothing like existing for a few days only to sketch and sketch some more, it’s completely selfindulgent in the best way!”

DRAWING THE SHAPE OF AN UMBRELLA FIRST LOWING THE ‘RIBS’ AS GUIDELINES FOR HOW CEDES TOWARD THE VANISHING POINT AT TH THE UMBRELLA (SEE RIGHT), CAN ENCOURAG WIDE-ANGLE CITYSCAPES THAT ARE MORE DY DRAMATIC. THEN SCENE DETAILS ARE ADDED TIME, YOU CAN DEVELOP INTERESTING ANGLE SPHERICAL OR “FISHEYE” PERSPECTIVES.


WAS IN BRAELOPING A AND THE TINY “UMBRELLA THE FOCUS LLA TO HELP IVE.

T, AND FOLSPACE REHE TIP OF GE SKETCHING YNAMIC AND D IN LAYERS. IN ES SUCH AS

N

READ MORE OF PAUL’S WORKSHOP NOTES HERE NOVEMBER 2018 37


USk Instructor

38 DRAWING ATTENTION


New perspectives

f

FIND OUT MORE ON PAUL’S FACEBOOK PAGE. ALSO CHECK OUT HIS INSTAGRAM & TWITTER @PAULHEASTON NOVEMBER 2018 39


USk Instructor

40 DRAWING ATTENTION


New perspectives

NOVEMBER 2018 41


USk Instructor

Harmony in Gray

SKIES OF SAN JOSE 42 DRAWING ATTENTION


“THE MIND IS A TOOL FOR PAINTING, FAR BEYOND WHAT THE EYE SEES.” THIS IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL PIECE OF ‘EQUIPMENT’ FOR TEACHING ARTIST UMA KELKAR’S STUDENTS, BEFORE THEY LOAD THEMSELVES UP WITH ALL THEIR OTHER URBAN SKETCHING GEAR. BY SUSAN SCHAFFHAUSEN

U

ma belongs to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of USk. She finds Urban Sketchers to be very supportive to the solo artist in ways that reach beyond individual learning and skill building. “Sometimes you need something external to encourage you—a supportive community.” Joining USk helped Uma bring her life back into balance when the reality of motherhood and full-time work left her exhausted and overwhelmed. “The only thing I had that was just for me was my art.” Uma’s suggestion for a successful art practice has a lot to do with ensuring family will cooperate and understand that taking time to make art is an absolute necessity. Uma arrived at some of her teaching methods through her background in electrical engineering, designing chips for fiber optic communications. There is a strong interplay between the right brain and left brain in engineering. “I look for the most efficient solutions; the simplest, wellconceived designs are generally the most elegant. I feel that the same principle applies to painting; the least color or the fewest brushstrokes are most impactful. A sketch or painting that appears to have the least effort will also have had the most investment from the artist.” NOVEMBER 2018 43


USk Instructor

Uma takes a fresh approach to explaining artistic concepts beyond the marks on the page. “I use examples from other fields, like cooking or physics.” During her workshop at the Porto Symposium, she used the metaphor of a playground teeter-totter to express the compositional balance of light and dark in a painting. Her upcoming workshop Gray Matter (Nov. 3-4, at the UFCU Event Center in Austin, Texas) will expand on the Porto sessions and allow more time for students to absorb the principles of contrast. “Two full days gives students a longer runway to practice their approach.” Students select two colors; one warm and one cool, and harmonize them with gray. The sense of fitting an art practice into a balanced life that is already full with family and work underscores the skill-building Uma teaches. “When there is so little time to focus on making art, less of everything simplifies the process: fewer pigments, brushes, and the use of gray with any two random colors, which can create elegant harmony.” 44 DRAWING ATTENTION

CLOUD BURST


Harmony in Gray

LANDSCAPE REPEATS NOVEMBER 2018 45


USk Instructor

“W

HEN THERE IS SO LITTLE TIME TO FOCUS ON MAKING ART, LESS OF EVERYTHING SIMPLIFIES THE PROCESS...

PORTO 46 DRAWING ATTENTION


Harmony in Gray

MASS MASTS

Uma treats her art practice with as much discipline as a regular job. “We don’t say, ‘I don’t feel inspired to go to work on Thursday,’ we show up because it is part of our workweek. We commit to making something happen.” Excellence is practiced. It is a habit. “You need every one of those 10,000 brush marks.” NOVEMBER 2018 47


USk Instructor

SIX YEARS AGO, WHEN ALVIN WONG FIRST LEARNED ABOUT URBAN SKETCHERS, HE WAS SO EXCITED THAT HE STAYED UP ALL NIGHT LOOKING AT POSTED SKETCHES. SINCE THEN, TO THE BENEFIT OF USK MEMBERS EVERYWHERE, HE HAS PARLAYED HIS ENTHUSIASM INTO AN UNPARALLELED DEDICATION TO VOLUNTEERING. BY LESLIE AKCHURIN

KLERONIA TSING YI SHIPYARD 48 DRAWING ATTENTION


Volunteer with a Vision

NOVEMBER 2018 49


USk Instructor

W

hile many know Alvin as the creator of the Facebook page graphic that explains what an urban sketch is, not everyone realizes that he has been a powerhouse behind the scenes in many capacities: leading and promoting the Hong Kong chapter, which he helped found in 2013, serving on membership and symposium committees, establishing sketching and chapter norms, interacting with sponsors, giving presentations, editing videos, and helping to develop international programs like Asia Link. Even more than all this work, it is Alvin’s passionate sense of mission that distinguishes him. To beginners, he promotes sketching “as a lifetime pleasure you will never regret. Even when you’re too old or sick to get out of bed, you can still sketch.” But to more experienced sketchers he asks the challenging question, “What more can you contribute to society?” Alvin has amply demonstrated what he sees as urban sketching’s unique quality of “giving our things to others.” He was among the 30 sketchers who made over 400 sketches of the 2014 “Occupy Central” protest in Hong Kong, which culminated in the book, “Sketches Under the Umbrella.” And in 2016 he and the HK chapter sketched a local monastery that was slated for destruction and made a video of their sketches to give the priests, an activity that marked the beginning of his chapter’s focus on sketching historic buildings before they disappear. Alvin promotes urban sketching with an almost religious devotion, whether he is working with USk chapters worldwide, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, or various cultural organizations. He believes that “sketching, like other handcrafts, is just good for society, helping people to slow down, observe what surrounds them, and digest the experience of living.”

50 DRAWING ATTENTION


Volunteer with a vision

NOVEMBER 2018 51


USk Instructor

“S

KETCHING IS A LIFETIME PLEASURE YOU WILL NEVER REGRET. EVEN WHEN YOU’RE TOO OLD OR SICK TO GET OUT OF BED, YOU CAN STILL SKETCH” – ALVIN WONG

52 DRAWING ATTENTION


Volunteer with a vision

SHARE YOUR CHAPTER’S NEWS WITH OUR READERS Contact us to share your chapter’s news, special events, joint meetups, and exhibitions with our readers. You don’t need to write the story yourself. We will assign a very cool writer such as Jane Dillon Wingfield to cover your story! Contact us at drawingattention@ urbansketchers.org.

NOVEMBER 2018 53


REVIEWS | ENDNOTES

COOL GEAR: ED MOSTLY’S BAMBOO PEN HACK BY MARK LEIBOWITZ SUBMITTED BY JEFF LEVINE, NYC URBAN SKETCHERS: I tried to use the bamboo pen several times but it was never quite right. I liked the natural feel of the tool, the variation of line thickness, and the spontaneous look of the sketches, but there was one distracting problem: too much dipping! Each dip gave only a few inches of line. One day I came across the blog of a fellow Urban Sketcher – Ed Mostly. Ed uses bamboo pen with an amazing modification that increases ink reservoir in the tip, and cuts down drastically on the dip-dip-dipping.

THE SKETCH BELOW WAS DONE IN SOUTH FRANCE BY ED MOSTLY & DEMONSTRATES THE AMAZING LINE VARIATION YOU CAN GET USING THE BAMBOO PEN HACK.

Ed’s hack was so simple and effective that I was inspired to make a video of the process to share with the Urban Sketchers community, with an old Doo-Wop tune to jazz it up. See Jeff’s Video HERE. CALL FOR CREATIVE SKETCHERS We’d like to feature your creative idea: Send your cool solutions for Urban Sketching to Mark Leibowitz. 54 DRAWING ATTENTION


REVIEWS | ENDNOTES

BRING A WORKSHOP TO YOUR CHAPTER Urban Sketchers organizes workshops taught by our top instructors in collaboration with USk chapters around the world. If you would like to bring an official USk workshop to your chapter, start the conversation with our Education Director, Mário Linhares at education@urbansketchers. org.

PARKA REVIEWS BY TEOH YI CHIE

Teoh Yi Chie is an infographics journalist who joined Urban Sketchers Singapore in 2009 – better known as Parka from Parkablogs. com a website that reviews art books and art products. This month Parka video reviews Sepia watercolor from Daniel Smith. Check it out!

NOVEMBER 2018 55


Our Manifesto • We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation • Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel • Our drawings are a record of time and place • We are truthful to the scenes we witness • We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles • We support each other and draw together • We share our drawings online • We show the world, one drawing at a time.

© 2018 Urban Sketchers www.urbansketchers.org

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Drawing Attention November 2018  

Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...

Drawing Attention November 2018  

Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...

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