I will be teaching part II of the sketch journal series, “A Sense of Place.” Learn how perspective works, how to simplify perspective principles, and how to use this understanding to capture a sense of place in your drawings. We will meet at the Montrose Plaza downtown under the covered pavilion on Tuesday, July 11, 4-6 PM. The image above is a winding street in San Miguel DeAllende, Mex. It simplifies a very complex street scene with multiple vanishing points. You do not need to be concerned with the complexities of winding streets, hills, vanishing points, etc. to capture a sense of the place you are drawing. Use this link to register: sketch workshop registration
Please bring a sketch book, pencil, eraser, and fine line ink pen.
If you wish to add color, bring a small portable watercolor set. For those without a professional pleine air travel kit, make a paint kit with the following items:
box of Prang watercolors found in the school supply section. Do not buy Crayola washable watercolors; the paint has no color saturation. They also come in a plastic box which breaks over time. The Prang set comes in a metal box with a palette for mixing in the lid. This can be refilled with your choice of tube watercolors as the original set is used.
watercolor brushes- at the minimum get a very thin round brush to complement the bigger brush that comes with the Prang set. A 1″ flat brush is also handy to have.
a small container for holding water- go to a camping store and purchase a collapsible drinking cup. They are plastic and come in bright colors. They also come with a lid.
sponge- cut the sponge into small pieces that will fit inside your collapsible water cup.
old wash cloth- cut this in half- wrap your paint brushes inside the 1 of the washcloth pieces.
large ziplock baggie or zippered pencil case; small ziplock baggie; paper towel- use the paper towel to blot your paint set when you are ready to put it away. Zip it into the small baggie. Put the whole paint kit into the large baggie: sketchbook, pen, pencil, eraser, watercolor materials.
We met today at Centennial Plaza, Montrose, Colorado for the first session in improving on site architectural sketching. Beginning with pencil, we practiced getting correct proportions in an elevation view of City Hall. After recording big shapes, we added smaller shapes, and finished with architectural details and foundation plantings. Using a fine tip waterproof marker, we refined shapes. Then students were introduced to techniques for adding watercolor to enhance their sketches.
Students learned new skills and gained confidence in their drawings. Said one participant, “I wish I had known this when I went to Durango last month.” We will continue these ideas next month, again focusing on elevation view and proportions. Drawing is a learned skill. With instruction, support, practice, tips, and techniques, you will learn to capture a sense of place in your sketch book.
Join us for the next “A Sense of Place” sketch journal workshop. There is always review of concepts and techniques, so don’t be intimidated if you miss a class. You can catch up in no time! Sign up using this link: WORKSHOP REGISTRATION
We meet monthly on the second Tuesday or Saturday of each month :
I am offering two approaches to sketch journaling this summer. In Montrose we will focus on capturing a sense of place through the study of onsite perspective. In Gunnison we will express our thoughts, ideas, and feelings through visual journaling.
The Montrose Class is designed for those
who want to use journals to record their travels, but have found perspective difficult. If you have struggled with perspective, I will present an easy system to convey accuracy in your drawings with perspective. Drawing is a skill, and it can be learned. Drawing is not just for “natural artists.” If you love to travel and want to make your trips more meaningful, join us at Centennial Plaza at Tuesday, June 13 from 4:30-6:30 PM. Bring a small sketch book, pencils, eraser, straight edge or drafting square, fine line black pen, small watercolor kit with a brush, (like Prang student watercolors), small cup for cleaning the brush, and a sponge. REGISTER HERE $25 We meet either the second Tuesday (4:30-6:30) at Centennial Plaza or Saturday (2:30-4:30) at Backstreet Bagels each month. Dates: TUESDAY- June 13; July 11; November 14; SATURDAY- August 12; September 9; October 14; December 9
The Gunnison Class is designed for those
who have kept journals or want to start keeping a journal with more pizzazz than simply writing about the day. We will use a variety of visual strategies to bring your journals alive with drawings, color, pattern, and text. Classes are held at the Gunnison Arts Center through a partnership with Western State Colorado University. Optional university credit is available for these classes. Classes begin Wednesday June 14, 2017 and run every other Wednesday through August 9th. To register, contact Gunnison Center for the Arts 970-641-4029 or use this link: GAC EDUCATION
El Acuducto, built in 1785 by Bishop Fray Antonio de San Miguel to bring water to Morelia consists of 253 arches and measures 1810 meters. Local stone was quarried from the village of Santa María. El Acuducto was built along the Calle Real, (“Royal Road”), now Madero Avenida.
There was an open air cafe at the foot of the arches. As I was drawing, a young couple came for coffee after the school day was finished. I couldn’t help but notice the girl tossed all her hair to one side, then in a dramatic gesture, reached for her novio’s arm. It goes to show that drama among teens occurs all over the world.
From Pázcuaro, we took an ETN first class bus to Morelia, capital city of Michoacán. We learned that the ETN fares were just a bit higher than Primo Plus, but were far more comfortable. There are only 36 seats on ETN, the air conditioners always work, (despite the gas crisis), and the bathrooms are pristine.
From my journal, “2/6/17 2:00PM MORELIA, capital city of Michoacán… Lined with well preserved 17th & 18th century Baroque and classical buildings, including MORELIA CATHEDRAL, presiding over the city’s main square, Plaza De Armas. Morelia was named after Mexico’s revolutionary hero, Morelo.”
This sketch was made from the Hotel Viray, overlooking the beautiful architecture that characterizes this city. Morelia is perhaps the most beautiful city in all of Mexico. Morelians are proud of their city; evidence of recently restored buildings and buildings under restoration are found throughout the city. Most of these historic buildings are open to visitors. Note the second beautiful cathedral just down the street from Morelia Cathedral. The building with the large overhanging entrance near the second cathedral is the theatre. Many Mexican cities boast lovely old theatres, as the performance arts have been well regarded in Mexico for centuries. I hope to return soon to Morelia and stay at the Hotel Viray.
(similar composition to Page 10) This is a studio study of Guanajuato for my next painting which I plan to pour. (Stay tuned…) I call it “After School.” I took this photo because the lighting made a good composition, and the flagstone pattern in the sidewalk and street made an inviting entrance into the picture plane. It was only after I returned that I noticed the strong visual connection between the mother and her daughter. Even with her back turned away from the camera, I could see this pair had eyes only for each other. Such a sweet subject.
We had five nights in Guadalajara, staying at the Hotel Dali in Guadalajara Centro. We spent each day exploring different city zones, visiting museums, drawing, and searching out local food. We ate from the markets and bakeries, at restaurants, and even from the street vendors. We rarely at at tourist high-end restaurants, preferring to experience the local color. I was careful to always order bottled water, and I had no trouble with the food as long as I told the server that I was lactose intolerant. “No puedo comer lactose, no queso, no crema, no leche.” The servers were quite accommodating to my needs.
One day we took the tour bus to visit Tlaquepaque, an area famous for its pottery and blown glass. The name derives from Nahuatl and means “place above clay land”. Historically San Pedro Tlaquepaque was a distinct village. During the 20th century, it was absorbed in Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco. In Tlaquepaque, one can find many fine galleries and beautiful native arts.
In Mexico, one sees many pruned and shaped trees. The formal garden in the Basilica Laternensis courtyard features free-standing espalier trees. Just beyond the basilica walls is a large church, almost as grand as the basilica itself.
Even a simple drawing, such as this involved the set up of perspective grids including the layout of formal gardens, courtyard walls, and a church beyond the walls. By the time we reached Guadalajara and were sketching for several days, my brain became entangled with perspective lines and multiple vanishing points.
My husband, artist Kurt Isgreen, and I just returned from a three week road trip to the Texas hill country and Gulf coast. After acquiring a small Hawk popup camper for our pickup truck last winter and taking several short trips last year, we decided we were ready for a more ambitious trip. After three days of traveling and figuring out the logistics of camping, grocery shopping, and navigating, we were ready to begin recording our travels in sketches.
For this trip I took a 6″ square multimedia sketchbook. The size was a bit of a challenge; being quite small, I had to determine what to include and what needed to be simplified. The square format was also somewhat of a challenge, as city scenes lend themselves better in landscape layout. The plus side: the size was ideal for walking and hopping buses; the paper weight allowed for a variety of media, including markers and watercolor.
After leaving the Hill Country, we traveled to the Gulf Coast. We camped at Mustang Island the first night, visited Padre Island National Seashore, then on to Rockport, Fulton, Goose Island State Park, and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Leaving the Coast, we camped a Blanco State Park. We explored the smaller towns of the Hill Country, including Luckenbach, Texas and Fredericksburg. Both Rockport and Fredericksburg are art colonies. The final night at Blanco, a hard rain fell which made national news. I was quite worried about flooding and tornados, but we came through it safely.
The elevation view is when the artist looks straight at a building. Both the horizontal and the vertical lines are straight with no converging lines. For a quick exercise, I sketched the Great Harvest building in downtown Montrose. It was built in the early 1900’s with some classical architectural detail.