My home town seemed a good place to start our walks. This will be a very
short walk up about three blocks on the Pacific Coast Highway, starting at the
historic Main Beach Lifeguard Tower, shown in black on the map above.
WE WILL TAKE WALK #1 AS OUR FIRST GROUP WALK
I knew where I wanted to take you, but with the Google Streets you can
view the walk you want to take and make choices about what you want to “see.”
The latter is what is such fun about doing a walk together as a group,
because as the the group gets comfortable, what each person’s eye is
drawn to is different and so, the walks are all different!
Yours can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Before we go to specifics, I want to give you a bit of an explanation about what you will see from those participating who have a background in architecture, so you understand the basics of how they do what they do — take the mystery out of it, so to speak. AND, you don’t have to do this.
Or you can begin to incorporate some of the elements into your own art. . .
BACKGROUND FROM A DESIGNER’S POINT OF VIEW
Architect and urban planners learn to
“walk” their real or imaginary sites and buildings, thinking about how the public will experience the three dimensional spaces. Gordon Cullen wrote a book every architect has read, “Townscape,” where he describes, among other things, this process of both looking and presenting for future designers of both buildings and urban spaces.
Architects and urban designers are
presenting the experience of their world and vision and probably forcing you,
the unsuspecting visitor, to experience
what they want you to experience.
A great designer presents the spaces in such a way as to be an art form,
and maybe the visitor never even knows what is happening, but s/he had the delight
of the experience nonetheless. Next time you visit a cathedral or public building
think about how you enter, and what you are seeing.
What might be different if you came through the back door? Side entrance?
For an bit more about this artful manipulation, there is a nice bit of writing (but it may bore you or be over your head and it NOT necessary — but you might want to look at the images! (BTW, I do NOT recommend you buy Townscape. It will probably bore you to death as this is not your focus.) Links:
One thing that architects, urban planners, and graphics people know are tricks about unifying diverse elements. Line, shape, color, and graphic style are all simple possibilities. As we walk together you may see some of this in my or another artist’s work. Examples:
First up, my walk through Amsterdam I used
size (all of my images fit into a gridded format) and
linework (notice I outlined them with the same broken line
that is distinct from the other drawing lines) and
uniformity of color (in this walk I just happened to want to do that — I don’t always!)
In the next published walk I wanted to play with two elements:
colored inks and pushing the boundaries on depth of watercolors.
I pulled them together by choosing three ink colors and spatially having a format.
I was able to change my style and color as I wanted and the pages still looked cohesive.
It isn’t necessary to do any of this, but I want everyone to be able to if they want to do so!
You can also create separate journal entries for each view on your walk:
I went completely free form and used each page to explore styles and storylines in my month long walk through Italy and France for the International Fake Journal Month.
(Such fun, I highly recommend this happening in April. See the side bar for a link to Roz Stendahl’s page — you also make up a storyline as Carl is doing on our Facebook page.)
I am using an A4 moleskin, and my basic layout is about like the one below top left.
I leave a 3/8-inch border, then divide the page into six squares with a 3/8-inch division between squares. This basic format allows me endless possibility:
An occasional double square created vertically or horizontally, or even a huge
4-square if I want to create an awesome detailed image of the final destination.
The format does not have to be squares (I have always been a nut for the square shape). If you happen to have a sketchbook like shaped more like a letter page, the same border then division inside can happen, but the resulting format will be a derivative of the page shape.
MAKING CHOICES, OR SEEING WHAT YOUR EYE
IS DRAWN TOWARD (PUN INTENDED)
As you look through the virtual
images on a Google streetmap, your eye can choose what it wants to draw or emphasize. We are starting at the icon and historic Main Beach Lifeguard Tower, so maybe you want to crop in and draw it without the street view.
On my walks through Europe, I
focused occasionally on statues or
some small detail that thrilled me.
Above, the unedited version of a street view, what the camera records.
But I want to choose the view I want to draw.
I do this with my camera imaging program, but am showing it to you in a
sketch on a printed view. I looked at a corner first that had nice memories for me,
but in the end I liked the second image, incorporating two street-corners.
This is the one I will draw, and you can too.
Then I looked at cropping it to a square as I am fond of squares,
and realized it might also look cool as a vertical double square.
I’m not sure which I will do.
Now you have the hang of it, I will show you the last two as i will do them.
Feel free to simply do the squares I am offering this first time, or look for your own view.
Be sure though, to start where we all are starting on Pacific Coast Highway,
and roughly travel south for about three blocks.
Other pages on the internet with great examples of styles walking through cities:
- Sander Hermes from the Netherlands Flickr images especially Hermes city walk and country walk as examples. . . .
- Jose Maria Lerdo de Tejada’s wonderful Flickr images, especially this one and that one!
- Or my own VSW album!
I started a Facebook group page to allow everyone to comfortably post their virtual sketches, and also where we will, from time to time, take virtual sketch walks. If you want to know more about what a virtual sketchwalk is review my first post.
I also created an accompanying Flickr group!
Come join us if you are inclined!
All my International Fake Journal Month posting are copyrighted.
It is unusual for me to not do Creative Commons but there is a reason.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.