Pushing How to Look – Sevilla 2018

PYSB_sevilla_cartel_09Pushing How to Look in Sevilla:

Let’s look to the day to day

Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis. It later became known as Ishbiliya (Arabic: إشبيلية‎)[2] after the Muslim conquest in 712. During the Muslim rule in Spain, Seville came under the jurisdiction of the Caliphate of Córdoba before becoming the independent Taifa of Seville; later it was ruled by the Muslim Almoravids and the Almohads until finally being incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III in 1248.[3] After the discovery of the Americas, Seville became one of the economic centres of the Spanish Empire as its port monopolised the trans-oceanic trade and the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) wielded its power, opening a Golden Age of arts and literature. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city’s culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz.

The 20th century in Seville saw the tribulations of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo ’92, and the city’s election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

(Text extracted from Wikipedia)


In this session will look at the space around us, the streets, the squares and the activities, the people and we will capture on the page that sense of space of being present here and now, between the sky and the ground, in Sevilla.

We will look up to the sky to see the contours and outlines of the buildings, we’ll feel their weight and proportions and rhythms to make them present on the ground. We will learn to feel the space, what is free space and was is built up or occupied and transfer this to our drawings.

But space is not empty but occupied with people and activities of interest to telling the story of a place. Urban sketching is about telling stories. We will work in colour to draw both setting and story, drawing out what interests us.  We will work in watercolour and other colour media to show the story in full colour.

Starting with quick watercolour washes, we will play at highlighting the setting or the action within the overall picture. We will start with colour exercises to set the street scenes where we can overlay people’s activities as they happen.EPSON MFP imageThen we will reverse our approach, capturing in colour people’s action on the street, and later outlining the setting/the scene of what they do.MariaMusic_300From there we can progress to more complex scenes of activity or busy architecture. The colour will serve as the background to the drawing scene. Line work and detail can then be selective to help us focus where we want the sketch attention to go.

NationalGalleryThinColour blocks will help us break the scene into manageable areas and to avoid worrying later on about spoiling a neatly drawn picture. EPSON MFP image

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL?  (Inma Serrano)

“I look around me.

I see trees, cars, buildings, people passing by…

I sit down seduced by the idea of sketching everything that surrounds me. I want to try to explain where I am, but also how I feel in this place. I would love to be able to reproduce in my sketchbook all the life around and the joy I experience now.

I stop just to look and analyze but I find really difficult to capture the ESSENCE of this place. There are too many things here. I feel confused, incapable… There are even things I do not know how to draw: people moving all the time, the perspective, the light and shadows…

Wheredo I start? What do I have to draw or leave out? How could I manage all of this stuff inthis little sketchbook? How do I have to structure the page?

The fear of the blank paper is here again.

I don´t want to lose the ESSENTIAL information…


What is really ESSENTIAL?…

pasted image 0“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE. Only children know what they are looking for.” 

(A. de Saint Exupery)pasted image 0 (1)

Less is more…

When I think of my own sketchbook, the sketches I do like the most, I always find three key things in them to be able to say: “This is a bold piece of work”:

– The sketch describes the place where it was made

– I managed to convey my own personal look of this place

– The people who see it can understand my way of looking and give their own opinion.pasted image 0 (2)I prefer to “half-finish” my sketches. That is: to elaborate in detail some parts and to “spoil” others with lines and scribbles . I like it when chance changes  the drawing process and chaos is present.pasted image 0 (3)But I also like to leave place to guess and define what is not drawn in a precise and meticulous way. For that reason, there will always be parts of the drawing that are not well defined, empty places, abstract shapes.

My feelings are sometimes captured in words, rhythms, unreal colours.

I love to join reality and imagination as a part of the game of guessing, not only where I am but also how I feel or what do I have to say about that place. Señora POPIn my sessions, the focus will be on:

  • Studying open and closed lines and how can each one contribute to our sketch.
  • Practicing with colour and lines as elements that can set the view.
  • Understanding internal rhythms, force and dominant lines in the shapes.
  • Look for the synthesis and understanding how “less is more”
  • Experiencing the colour balance.
  • Light and shadows and blocks of colour for composing.
  • Learning to stop before it´s too late.
  • Use all these tools to develop our own style of drawing and expression.

pasted image 0 (4)


The best way to capture moments is to pay attention.42_quadern_seawhite_044

What captures your attention

Always, when we arrive to a place we first filter all the information through ourselves. Visual information is right in front of us: colours and shapes. Nevertheless a place is not only this it is also felt through sounds, smells and sensations that we perceive a place. 42_quadern_SeaWhite_008All along the first session we are going to experiment the place taking our feelings as a starting point and also being conscious of the whole experience from us. 42_quadern_seawhite_054What we know

Second session is devoted to the ideas, to the information, that part which gives an extra point of view to he places, then we qualify and make a combination with feelings and information, always through our “eyes”.42_quadern_SeaWhite_010
swasky_miro_PAG_26_27_swasky_miro_PAG_18_19_In my sessions, the focus will be on:

  • Working on the idea of storytelling following the classic rules as a starting point.
  • Training on developing threadlines, paying attention to details and those insignificant matters.
  • Bringing together our look and others.
  • Gaining knowledge from the experience on site and with later information.
  • Sorting out the whole information changes our approach and viewer’s/reader’s.
  • Storytelling and development of ideas.

Overall Learning goals

  • Pushing participants out of their comfort zone, at their own level. From beginners starting to sketch to more confident participants, we aim to teach you something new and push you outside your boundaries, helping you experiment.
  • Looking and finding stories of everyday life
  • Losing the fear to draw people, drawing people on the go
  • Gain confidence drawing buildings, feeling the space in the city
  • Understanding what is essential for you when starting to draw a new place
  • Improving watercolour and drawing technique from basic principles.
  • Using and trying different approaches – line drawing with pens and pencils,watercolours and colour in different media.
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketch situation, helping you find your own self expression.

Workshop Schedule:

Course runs from 11 to 13 October 2018 with a welcome meeting on Wed 10 evening and a sketch meet with the local urban sketchers on the Sun 14

WED 10 Oct
8 pm Welcome at our base Tramallol
9,30am -10,30am Welcome and get together at our base Tramallol
10,30am-1,30pm Morning workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
1,30pm – 3,30pm Lunch
3.30pm – 6.30pm Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
7.00pm Evening all groups meep up and share
9,30am -10,30am Morning get together at our base Tramallol. Pin up exhibition from previous day’s work
10,30am-1,30pm Morning workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
1,30pm – 3,30pm Lunch
3.30pm – 6.30pm Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
7.00pm Evening all groups meep up and share
SAT 13 Oct
9,30am -10,30am Morning get together at our base Tramallol. Pin up exhibition from previous day’s work
10,30am-1,30pm Morning workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
1,30pm – 3,30pm Lunch
3.30pm – 6.30pm Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel
7.00pm Evening all groups meep up and share
SUN 14 Oct
10,00 am to 11,00 am Meet at Tramallol from 10 for coffee and open exhibition

Sketch meeting – open to all

11,00 am to 1,00 am Evening all groups meep up and share


30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum. Any level of drawing experience is welcome

Travel and accommodation

You need to arrange your own accommodation. To help you decide area, see the map of hte workshop here. Suggested sites to look for a range of accommodation: booking.com or airbandb.com


A list will be provided for participants – we will be working with water soluble media, ink, watercolours and pencils. Generally bring what you draw with normally.

Registration fee

£ 250 – (£200 concessions – 20% discount for students or unwaged -with proof of concession status) or if paying in Euros 285 (225 euros for concessions).

To book – e-mail Isabel: isabel@pushingyoursketchingboundaries.com for a registration form. (Payment can be via cheque, internet bank transfer or paypal)

Cancellation policy: All fees are refundable if cancelled more than 6 weeks prior to commencement of course (up to 29 August 2018). Bank charges will be deducted for the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after the 29 August  up to to one week before the start of the course, a cancellation fee of £50 (60 Euros) will be retained. No refund will be possible one week before the course.In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.

Workshop map:

Sevilla workshop map is here.

About the instructors

This workshop combines the abilities of:

Isabel CarmonaInma Serrano and Victor Swasky