This was our second workshop in Oxford where we combined our skills to provide a great variety of insight on the breadth of urban sketching, Swasky focused on people, Isabel on colour and Miguel on line. This year we had our base at the Museum of Oxford within the Town Hall complex right in the centre of Oxford. Not only did we meet there at the beginning of each session but we put together an exhibition from with the tutors and students work that was displayed in their gallery space during July 2015
Each tutor explored element of their own expertise:
Isabel worked in watercolour: She asked participants to look at colour first, lose the fear of doing it wrong, think about contrast and look at colour in relation of light and shadow and not colouring in or paint a “pretty” picture – e.g. one of the exercises restricted the colour palette to one colour and its complementary, and/or primary colours.
Swasky focused on people and stories: Drawing people is probably one of the most scary subjects when we are practicing drawing. Nevertheless if we want to get a full idea, or a least a really interesting drawing, we have to pay attention to people. We have to face them being reckless and working in a three days workshop is the best way to get over all our fears drawing people. Of course we worked drawing life, we went to the Covered Market St and we paid attention to all the stories that people might tell to us and we might draw.
Miguel looked at line: He provided tips to lose the fear of putting pen to paper, and asked each participant to discover their own calligraphy, forgetting the set up or composition of the whole and just adding little details one beneath each other as letters composing words and words composing the drawn tale of the scene.
As the images show the participants pushed themselves but enjoyed the experience. The impressive exhibition was witness of it and the Town Hall occupants gave it a very positive reception.
From their own comments, participants enjoyed:
“Learning new things and doing them immediately”
“[that it] took me out of my comfort zone, explained and practised techniques new to me, everything explained clearly and enthusiastically”
“Learning to try new things and being inspired to do so.”
“Taking knowledge away that I shall definitely use again.”
“Being definitely pushed!”