The third and final day of the Urban Sketching Symposium came, and everyone was excited and exhausted in equal measure. This day was also the day of the 28th Worldwide Sketchcrawl, so Portland was becoming a cauldron of sketchers. Which is how the world should be.
The morning session for me was Urban Architecture, with Frank Ching. We went down to the Saturday Market, and I plopped myself down in the middle of it all and just started drawing away in my new large Canson ‘Urban Sketchers’ sketchbook, one of many wonderful freebies given by the Symposium sponsors. I wanted to try some new things, so a different approach to my drawing as well as different size paper was a good way to go about it. The fact that I was right there in the open, rather than my usual hiding places against a wall, also showed me that I was trying new things, unafraid. Being around so many like-minded sketchers at the Symposium taught me a thing or two. I drew the fountain above.
Prof. Frank Ching explains urban architecture sketching
After lunch, and a mad dash across Portland in which I got quite lost and had a few adventures (if you call having a conversation with a man about Motorhead an adventure – well, it was, he had dropped his hankie – which was bright pink – in the street and I gave it back to him, and he in all his leathers and tattoos looked embarrassed in front of his equally tough-looking girlfriend, and so he started asking about my accent and said he went to see Motorhead in London and was all, yeah rock out, and I nearly said, oh is that where you got your nice pink hankie? but I was in a hurry, so I smiled and ran away.) I went to Frank Ching’s very interesting lecture on perspective for sketchers. At the end I asked about curvilinear perspective, and Gerard Michel (the absolute master of this art) was sitting next to me and gave the class a brief and entertaining primer. One of the highlights of the symposium!
Afterwards, an afternoon of last minute urban-sketchery, I wandered about the Pearl District drawing things such as this car-like bike rack (or I presumed it was a bike rack, but looking at it now it would be hard to attach a bike to it). All I know is that my two-year-old would love it, with that steering wheel. Below, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where the Symposium was hosted.
The first Urban Sketching Symposium was almost over, and we all got together to display our sketchbooks, swap cards, and grab conversations with those we may not have a had time to talk to. It goes without saying that everyone I met at the Symposium inspired me, and I only wish I had time to talk to everybody. So many new artists and online sketchbooks to discover! On the flight back to Sacramento my head was bursting with ideas and creative passions, and I’ve barely stopped drawing and thinking since.
Gerard Michel’s very long sketchbook
Thanks to everyone who made this amazing event happen, and to the inspirational instructors, and to those who travelled from across the globe to be in Portland, but biggest thanks goes to Gabi for founding Urban Sketchers, leading this Symposium and bringing our sketching world together. Keep on sketching folks! See you in Lisbon…maybe…
Me with Gabi and Gerard
See all photos and drawings from the Symposium at the PDX 2010 Flickr group.
von Pete Scully