Episode 12: Let’s Play

“Let’s Play” June 21, 2020

Just because Urban Sketchers draw from direct observation doesn’t mean we can’t use a creative lens to interpret the world. Be a drama queen, experiment with composition, inject unexpected color, turn all of the rules upside down! There are so many toys to play with to achieve attention-grabbing sketches.

Virginia Hein

Virginia Hein, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, CA (USA), veteran educator, and former toy designer, talked to host Rob Sketcherman about recent experimentation in her sketching. Using a powdered pigment called Brusho along with methods of creating texture such as salt, Virginia is letting intuition and emotion guide her to create explosions of color. She says she feels “like a little kid playing.”

The next part of the experiment is figuring out how to draw on top of the color – how much color to leave and when to add more. She still lets her emotions guide this part, deciding which color experiment to use for a sketch based on the color she is feeling, and the results are moody, atmospheric sketches of her neighborhood and a local park. She’d like for us to give this a try with her challenge.

Challenge from Virginia

Strong Explosive Color: Use a big brush to splash bold colors on a page, then use that emotion to flavor the visual story you draw on top. Virginia recommends starting simple and going with colors that you are feeling, and encourages us to be willing to experiment without worrying about the outcome too much. She says, “the best kind of play is open-ended.”

Post and tag with #USkTalks or #USkTalksChallenge, and tag Virginia @virginiahein.

Follow Virginia on Instagram, too!

Eleanor Doughty

Eleanor Doughty (Seattle, WA, USA) joined us from Seattle, WA (USA), and started by sharing inspiration from animated movies (see her Instagram, @herbcoil, for recommendations). The features that inspire her can all be goals for sketching: color themes, centering of action and characters, stylization, and mood. That inspiration can be seen in Eleanor’s sketches, especially stylization and simplification. She always tries to include a living thing in her sketches, explaining that when you draw a person doing something it becomes a story. The resulting sketches look like part of an even bigger story.

Challenge from Eleanor

In addition to the recommendation of looking to animated films and shows for inspiration, Eleanor asks us to stylize a scene by using simple geometric forms. Think about silhouette and about breaking down objects into simple shapes. It creates the opportunity to do something fun!

Post your drawings and tag with #USkTalks or #USkTalksChallenge, and tag Eleanor @herbcoil.

Follow Eleanor on Instagram, too!

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