Rewind! Barcelona Symposium July 2013

September 9, 2014 | 2 Comments

As it is too hard to post to my blog while I am in Brazil, I thought it would be a good chance to revisit the previous Urban Sketchers (USK)Symposiums – I have been to all of them. These Rewind! posts are my own reflection on what I got out of the events at the time and/or the impact on my work now. It is not a full description so please excuse the lack of links to the names referred to. Please look up the Archive section on the side bar to read the full descriptions that I wrote at the time 

Last years symposium in Barcelona was crazy! So much fun but overwhelming in a good sense! Way too many people from previous symposiums to catch up with and new people to meet! Crazy busy city…but oh! love it!
You can read my reflections about this fortnight of insane socialising and sketching here


It was very special  for the first time to have some Australian support. My 3 best sketching buddies there – Alissa and Chris from Sydney and Eza from Edinburgh (the friend that started me on watercolour)

I dedicated 2 weeks to Barcelona – the symposium being in the middle. Those 2 weeks where the most non stop travel I have ever done. So many sketchers around to hang out with day and night. In particular I have fond memories of a beautiful day in Girona (hosted by the local sketchers) and numerous very late night meals at the best vegetarian restaurant I have ever been to!

I carefully chose my workshops based on specific things that I wanted to incorporate into my work. It is very interesting that now when I review these goals, I see that I have indeed absorbed them in some measure. This is very satisfying!


Veronica’s workshop: the big thing here was the use of marks (rather than just thinking about lines)
I have started using marks, breaking my lines more but I still have a lot to go developing this. BTW Ronnie said about this sketch that it was “very chatty – very Liz”


Marion’s workshop: Working with watercolour shapes no lines. I am doing this a lot these days – but once again there is still more from this workshop that I would like to explore.


Norberto’s workshop: Water soluble ink. The workshop that had the most impact on me at the time – I used water soluble pens extensively in my travels for the 2 weeks after the symposium. They are great as a fast tool when travelling!


Inma’s workshop: Her  spontaneous approach to sketching buildings “Drawing Monsters” so totally clicked with what I had been playing with in the previous months. Doing these two sketches were the highlight pf the symposium for me – I was having so much fun (hard to put into words the feeling)!

For me it was not so much the disregard of perspective and a degree of distortion (I know of others that have really taken on this idea) but it was the way she was responding instinctively to the building and changing materials in a totally random way as she explored it with her eyes. Seeing her demo just pulled a lot of ideas together for me!


Omar and Joao’s workshop: Negative space. Although I have understood the concept of drawing the negative shapes, seeing the way O&J use it in urban scenes was fantastic. In particular, I love Omar’s white space. Whilst I still want to explore this use of white space further, I am certainly painting architecture negatively a lot more.

This is the last in my rewind! series. I hope you have enjoyed them. I will be back home soon with lots of sketches from Brazil to scan and post!

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