Brazil Trip: Symposium Thursday early morning sketching group

September 17, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

Before I get into the serious reports about the symposium… I am going to do a separate post about one of the highlights of the trip for me. (I know I have already mentioned it!) It was the solo sketching group outings each morning. ‘Solo group’? Yes, I think that is the best way to describe it. We were all doing a sketch for ourselves and deeply focused on our on work and yet in great company.

It is really important for me when I teach to carve out some time to produce work for myself – finding this time in the context of the symposium with fellow sketchers everywhere is a real challenge. I was also worried that a few important scenes of Paraty were not yet in my sketchbook… and so the idea of going out after an early breakfast was formed. Thursday morning we went to do the signature view of Paraty from “Marc’s spot”.

Sometimes when you go out sketching with a group there is a desire to sketch and chat – you want to make the most of the opportunity to catch up with your fellow sketchers(the symposium is normally the only chance to bounce ideas off each other)… but this morning we were all focused on our own work (even I was quiet – and that is saying something!) And it was such a rich collection at the end – each person working in their distinct style. A special thanks to Laurel Holmes for taking these photos on my camera. It is great to see in progress work of us all.

In action: Marc

In action: Nina

In action: Suhita

In action: Esther


And here is my finished sketch

Just a word about one of my mottos “We share but we don’t compare”

This is such an important attitude to have at any sketching event – and particularly when you start hanging out with the likes of these people! I mentioned in one of my Rewind! posts a very helpful comment from Isabel on the first meeting I had with other Urban Sketchers…. about each one of us having our own strengths and weaknesses. When you get together on occasions like these there is a danger of only seeing your own weaknesses and others strengths… and comparing in a negative way. This must be resisted every time!

The name of the game is to be inspired,  to pick up ideas from others and to absorb them inside you! To develop your own work! Everyone of us is different – the secret is to have confidence to be YOU.

Doing double page spreads in my A4 moleskine is a lot of fun and certainly great to see in real life. They don’t translate as well to the limitation of a 700 pixel width blog post…

The above ‘in progress’ photo reveals that I was working with paint initially and there are quite a number of parts of this sketch that I like very much – examples of watercolour working its own magic on the page. This seems to happen a lot more often when the paint goes down before the lines… and in fact this would be a theme of the first workshop coming up real soon….

I was working fast this morning and had time to do any other quick sketch of the dredging… the photos might look idyllic but it was VERY noisy! (hey- maybe that is why I was quiet and not talking… because it was too noisy to hold a conversation – ha ha!)

Ok… time of the serious fun to start… the first workshop of the symposium….

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