SketchingNow Foundations Course Update

December 6, 2014 | 8 Comments

Yesterday I was out for my weekly SketchingNow adventure – but with an extra element. Local sketcher Chantal Vincent came with me to help do some filming for a special lesson coming up. It is quite amazing to see the footage of what goes on around me while I am sketching – I am glad the guy in the white shirt didn’t run into someone – he certainly had his eye on me!

We are in Week 4 of the 12-week course and I am having a ball! 

Foundations is now available as a self-directed course. Start anytime you want. Find out more here.

Anyway, I thought I would give you all a little summary of what has been happening so far…

Each week I share a concept that I develop in a number of ways. We have looked at materials, at seeing edges and shapes and volumes (this week’s lesson) and although these are a standard way of teaching drawing, I have been showing how I apply them specifically to location sketching. I do believe that to work spontaneously on location there needs to be a slightly different emphasis to studio based drawing lessons.  I also have an architectural background which means I love getting to the core conceptual base of things – I what to know why or how a specific exercise will help your work! I further expand the concept through examples from my own work over the years and in different situations.

All the content from the weekly lessons are in a PDF handout (as well as online) – these have become a little longer than I initially expected them to be! What a surprise!

Each week I explain the concept by an exercise with objects from around the home which I do as a video demonstration (I could explain every week’s concept by drawing teacups but I have branched out!).

The video part has been the steepest learning curve for me – but it is a lot of fun! I have developed a new awareness of what my neighbours are up to (mowing lawns and music lessons) and the early arrival of guests can be a little bit of a problem when you are in the middle of a film shoot.

Filming each week means that the course will be a record of the state of my bookcase – between week 2 and week 3, I rearranged my shelves to make more room for my sketchbooks!

And this week I learned that there are numerous people in the course who are watching the video a number of times… not to listen to my content again, but because they have been distracted trying to work out what books I have on my shelf! I have promised them a few detailed photos… which I will share here on my blog as well.

Each week we have an outdoor exercise as well and I have been so impressed by those in mid-winter braving the elements – we have a truly global group doing the course. It must be hard for some of them to see me out at the beach – This is a post-swim sketch!

If you have been following my blog, you have seen my SketchingNow adventures around Sydney. Each week I have recorded step-by-step photos of one of the sketches as part of the lesson. Not only has it be GREAT for me to make a commitment to get out sketching and exploring my beautiful hometown (one of the major reasons I promised this component of the course!) but it is just so helpful from a teaching point of view to be implementing what I am teaching. I am feeling that everything is tying together better because of these outings.

It has been incredibly exciting to see the work in the Class Flickr group each week. I really LOVE seeing it all and in particular reading the descriptions of the process. While nothing can beat real-life teaching, I am feeling  truly part of everyone’s work through these descriptions… and I feel tears building up at times when I read and see people’s light bulbs moment such as “I am really seeing shapes now!” Ah! I love teaching and I am just blown away by this chance to be connected with so many of my blog followers in this way!

I review everyone’s work and instead of individual comments, put together a feedback post on the last day of the lesson. This brings together answers to questions and comments on the work done by the group and pulls the whole lesson together again just in time to move onto the next. Whenever appropriate I am answering questions visually! Here is a little sketch of adding and subtracting volumes.

I am so loving the chance to work through these core concepts slowly and really build on each concept week after week. The group doing the course is fantastic and just so so exciting to see the development of the beginners and hear that the seasoned sketcher’s are discovering new things as well, We are all learning SO much together.

Anyway… I better get back to lesson preparation – it is a more-than-full-time job for me at the moment… but I love putting it together as we go along – it is just like my weekly classes and I do seem to thrive on interactive and high energy projects.

Foundations is now available as a self-directed course. Start anytime you want. Find out more here.


Leave a Reply