Workshop 8: Cars in the City

Instructors: Lapin & Gérard Michel

Workshop Description

Drawing cars has become a very popular topic in the
urban sketching activity. Many portraits of cars and vintage vehicles can be
seen on different urban sketching blogs, pages and groups. Even in some recent
publication as “Carnet de Bagnoles”, sketching cars became a real topic in the
sketching on location field. Both of us have sketched hundreds of it, and we
became specialists.

On the one hand, the workshop is about focusing on a
car portrait from a very narrow point of view. It’s an intimidated subject, and
we will explain how to approach it in both an intuitive and a rational way. 
On the other hand, the workshop is also about cars
as a part of the city. We will use cars as a foreground of a street view,
giving scale and deepness to the scene. An urban sketch of a lively road
wouldn’t look complete without the presence of cars.

Learning Goals (What are a few of the most important
skills and concepts you’d like your participants to learn from their

Car portraits.

Within this chapter of the workshop, we will be
teaching perspective techniques (measuring and comparing distances, wheels in
perspective, begin with what’s close to the sketcher etc.) and drawing
techniques (keeping in mind the visual focus, handling car proportions etc.).

We will show how important the distance is that you
sketch the subject from, in terms of the workshop participants perception.
Sketching from very close will turn your sketch into a fisheye drawing!

Additional relations of this workshop chapter:  

  • volumes (hatching and mass techniques)
  • colour (water colour, coloured pencils)
  • reflections, light and shadow. It’s fun to
    sketch your own reflection in the car, or some elements of your surrounding in
    a shiny chrome, or a clean door 
  • learning to see & perceive: the
    transformation of the correct car proportions

Cars in the city:

Within this chapter of the workshop, we will be
teaching handling techniques of cars in the foreground, middle ground and
background, cars as a decor and a layer of sight.

Additional relations of this workshop chapter:

  •  level of abstraction (comes with the car’s
    distance to the sketcher)
  •  shifting the focus away from the car to the
    complete scene (simplification)

Workshop Location

No matters
to go in a museum, cars are everywhere in town. Any quiet area near by the
Manchester Urban Sketching Symposium host – except a pedestrian area – with
some urban context, will be fine. The workshop can happen in any street with
standing cars.

If some old timers could be organized, that would be guaranteed fun…

Workshop Schedule (How will the
workshop be organized over the 3.5 hours?)

(20 minutes)

chapter 1: Car portraits (90 minutes)

  • Every
    participant will choose one car to sketch from far (more than 5 meters) and
    from very close (less than one meter). 10 minutes each.
  •  The
    participants chose a car to draw and will realize a very detailed car portrait,
    starting by the closest part, till the complete subject. One-on-one consultations
    by the workshop teachers. (60 minutes)
  •   All the participants are invited to
    show their sketches and to talk about this experience. 
    (10 minutes)

chapter 2: Cars in the city (90 minutes)

  • Demo of
    drawing cars in the foreground, middle ground, back ground of the two workshop
    teachers. (10 minutes)
  •  The
    participants draw a particular scene with cars in front of an urban context.
    One-on-one consultations by the workshop teachers (70 minutes)

with a little exhibition of all drawings done in the workshop (10 minutes)

Supply List (Are there any supplies that you feel
are important for participants to bring with them for the workshop?)

  • Any supplies participants normally
    use are fine, sket
    chbook and loose papers included.
  • We’ll use inkpen, pencil, coloured
    pencils, brush pen, brushes and watercolors.
  • Folding chair highly recommended.
  • Paper size: at least A5

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