Episode 7: Learn Something New

May 17, 2020 “Learn Something New Every Day”

With classes and workshops being canceled for the foreseeable future, how can we continue sharpening our sketching skills and not fall into the trap of repeating the same old mistakes? In this episode two veteran Urban Sketching instructors give us tips and exercises that you can do at your pace, and convince us that whether you are busier than ever because of added family responsibilities or you all of a sudden find yourself with tons of extra time, NOW is the perfect time to continue learning.

Шари Блаукопф joined us from Montreal to share the exercises that she does every day to keep flexing her sketching muscles. If you follow Shari on Instagram (and you should – @sharisketcher), you know that she often sketches the wheelbarrow in her backyard. She sketches this familiar scene at different times of day and different times of the year and with different materials. So she may focus one sketch on trying out a new ink, or she may sketch in monochrome to learn more about values. From these self-prescribed lessons, she learns things that she takes with her when she paints in watercolors around Montreal, or around the world.

Follow Shari on Instagram @sharisketcher

Challenge from Shari: 

Same View Different Hours: Sketch the same view at different times of day. Pay attention to light and shadows and how they change.

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Мэтью Брем joined us from the US, where he teaches architecture at the University of Idaho. Matt approaches teaching as a learning process, and thinks of it as learning together with students. He noted that while students can be distracted by focusing on “originality,” we all need to learn fundamentals first. If you learn fundamental skills from a variety of sources, your own “visual voice” will emerge. Matt suggests looking to the work of others to learn from; he mentioned Arthur Guptill as a big influence but said “each of us decides who the masters are.” Matt suggests finding drawings that you find compelling with elements that you want to emulate, then fill sketchbooks with practice. Spend five to 10 minutes a sketch on a technique such as hatching or a subject such as trees. The repetition and focus on simple techniques will give you a different point of view.

Matt recommends the following books: Sketching and Rendering in Pencil и Drawing with Pen and Ink by Arthur Guptill. (They are out-of-print but often available through used and antique booksellers.)

Follow Matt on Instagram @mtbrehm

Challenge from Matt: 

Multiple Variations of One Element: Find something specific you want to improve, e.g., sketching people or sketching shadows, then fill a few pages with different approaches to that ONE element, trying different techniques until you find a method you like.

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