Amsterdam – Day 3!





[By Gwen Glotin, 2019 symposium correspondent, in Amsterdam]



It’s already Day 3 and the energy and the buzz are still very palpable despite the heat.
Today started with the workshops again. I went first with the group of Hugo Costa, who was giving a workshop titled “Amsterdam Rooftops”. The location had been chosen accordingly: it took place in café Blue, a café situated at the top of the Kalver tower, opposite to the flower market. It’s not a very high tower, but just enough to have a beautiful view on Amsterdam – and on its rooftops.

After a short introduction about himself, Hugo explained to the participants that the idea of the workshop was to help them learn to sketch from a different perspective and to control the technical concepts (horizon line on an elevated scene, ground line, vanishing points perspective…).

He showed several examples and then gave them a first task: draw a “skeleton view” of the rooftops, with fine lines so that they would be later able to correct and adjust them.
I left while the exercise was still going on.

Next I went to the workshop of Róisin Curé, which was set in the shade on a square right next to the statue of Rembrandt – no wonder about that, as the workshop was focused on “Channelling Rembrandt: Expressive sketching in Fude Pen and Sepia Ink”. The participants were working on sketches of the statue, using only ink washes and ink lines in sepia and focusing particularly on lights and darks (see the sketch above). 

By that time, I was late on my schedule (it’s soooo difficult every time to leave a workshop right in the middle of it!), so I had to run, well, to cycle to the next one, which was by Virginia Hein. Her theme was “Minimal Colour, Maximum Punch! (Focus Your Story With Colour)”. That workshop is based on three concepts: defining what your story is (through trying different thumbnails) and choosing what interests you the most, and then adding colour for emphasis.
I arrived at the end, after the parts about storytelling and linework, while Virginia was adding watercolour on her drawing. 

This is another workshop I wish I could take completely!

Then it was time for lunch, and for a chat with sketchers (one from the UK and from the US), and then the programme continued, with the demos.

I went to Reham M. Ali’s demo and oooh it was another great moment! Her demo was focused on “Fearless Watercolour” – and as someone who is quite fearful with watercolours, I was very interested in her demonstration!


It was wonderful to watch her use watercolours very freely and joyfully – and fearlessly indeed! 

Afterwards, I met with Orling and Mark, my correspondents team colleagues and don’t repeat it too loud, but we took a quite long and relaxed break on a terrace close to the Zuiderkerk, where we were soon joined by other symposium participants and faculty members.
I’m not very fond of that sketch to be honest and was tempted to censor it – but bleh sketches are part of the games and it might be more honest to show them too!

To finish the day, I went to the Sketchwalk number 2, in the Spui neighbourhood. When I arrived on that square, “Spui”, there were many many sketchers there to be seen – both with and without workshop passes. I sat next to a group of three Indian sketchers and had a nice conversation with them while sketching two of them. 

They are all three from India, and members of the USk chapter of Pune and have come to Europe especially for the symposium – without workshop passes, because they were sold out. Lakshman and Shruti, who are here shown sketching, are both architects and “passed” their passion for urban sketching for their friend Subhash, who’s an accountant and lawyer (and who was standing next to me while I sketched, that’s why he’s not included here on paper). They’ve been loving their time here and will write a report on their symposium experience for their USk chapter when they are back.

And… that was it for today!
See you tomorrow for the Big Final Day!

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