For the last two days I have been running a 2 day sketching workshop in the Rocks… and it seems that every time I teach it, I enjoy it more. I always have a good group – but the quality of the work and the connection between the participants and their work was extra special this time. And of course the staff at the Tea Cosy were amazing yet again!
I just had to take a photo of the table all ready for us this morning… what kind of art class is this that the table is lined down the middle with an assortment of fine china tea cups?
This workshop is a summary of my upcoming SketchingNow Foundations course – so it was wonderful for me to get the chance to test the content out one more time. As much as I love my tearoom classroom it is being out on location that is the real highlight – putting these foundational concepts into action out on the streets and in the context of quick sketches.
And oh! in case some of you are wondering there will not be ANY teacup assignments in the Foundations course – I will have some images using teacups to explain some concepts but we will be drawing a huge range of subjects!
I am very much looking forward to stretching this content out over a 12 week period and being able to take one concept at a time and let it sink in. The 2 day format is really just to explain the framework of my approach.
Both days we start in the tearoom for the morning – explaining some concepts and applying it to the teacups (and other objects) on the table in front of us.
This is a group shot of the work from the first morning when we were looking at edges, shapes and volumes – this was the shape exercise.
The afternoon we went out to Foundation Park . This is a lesser known part of the Rocks – the ruin of 8 houses from the 1870s that were built into the sandstone cliffs with outside sculptural remnants of household furniture made of steel. It is a perfect place to sketch – a variety of subject matter to choose from – either individual elements (chairs, tables, grandfather clocks, mantelpieces) or the interesting angles of the partial walls and steep staircases or the magnificent views over the buildings of The Rocks below us to the harbour beyond.
The variety in what people choose to draw makes the workshop so rich. I rush around everyone … getting them to tell me first of all what it is about the scene in front of them that they like. Then I help them strengthen the design and composition of their work.
I have never shared these pages before… but I fill up my ‘class sketchbook’ with pages like these. Thumbnails that explain and highlight the main shapes and angles of the lines and various options that they have to explore. I really love this design work (it is the architect in me coming out)
These pages form my handouts from the workshop (people have a visual record of what we were talking about for their own work and others) and at the same time they are a lovely record for me of the day (which is important as well!)
Day 2 – more teacup sketching – some people were ready to move on to other subjects.
We looked at various options for setup (which seems to be a VERY contentious issue with some people) Last we explored some different ways to play with line and colour.
I was so impressed with the work done… and of course the subject matter is so bright and colourful.
I did a full demo – talking non stop – including a random conversation about my high school. Two others in the workshop attended/work at the same school – the topic came up because I casually mentioned my aversion to a certain shade of pink that was the colour of the uniform.
And then after lunch – putting it all into practice out on location. I became a bit of a spectacle and the members of the workshop were losing their viewing spots to the pushy tourists! Ah fun!
The afternoon session goes so quickly and some people didn’t quick finish their work… but all were happy (or happy-ish) with their sketches. There is no better way to finish a workshop than with a happy group and with them keen to develop some ideas into their own way of sketching.
So a huge thank you to all that attended – especially to those that traveled distances – from Goulburn, from Orange and from Singapore! Normally I only have 1 man in the group – labelled ‘the token male’ – so I was very pleased to have 3 men this time.
If you are interested in joining my online class which will be an expansion of this workshop – sharing my core concepts from working in a fast and spontaneous way on location – please follow this link to read more.