I had the opportunity
to meet the
man who taught me more than most professors in college, and influenced my drawing style as a free-hand sketcher of the built environment:
Frank Ching. Architecture: Form Space and Order made sense out of the theoretical lectures the Princeton grad teachers (who never built) blathered on about.
When he signed my book (this and another), I made him make it out to the woman
I was then — Debra Beck, a world away, but still in here somewhere!
His class was review for me, mostly because USk had not asked for background or prerequisites. Most people did not know horizon lines, various perspectives, etc. When we were in the field I chose difficult buildings and really we had little time in the couple of hours we actually sketched. When he did his critiques, Frank caught little things I did not see moving so fast.
I find I do feel pushed in a group, time-wise. The difference between the sketch of the painted ladies on Glisan, above right, done alone from the corner across the street, and the row of buildings above left done in a lot less time, shows the difference. I don’t feel I have the time to really look/study, and then lay in guidelines. Possibly if I did more sketching in groups? Then there is the old debate, to use pencil or not to use pencil. I use!
Always something to learn, my takeaway from Frank this weekend was to ground the object in something nearby to give it a place in space and in relation to you. While I have done this with cars and trees next to buildings, he spoke to coming even closer,
and so, the difference in the sketches above and the one left, where I have placed the tree that was near me to give the sketch depth.
Gail Wong is an architect,
Urban Sketcher and water-colorist.
Again, Gail taught a lot which
is not new to me —
color theory using a color wheel (architectural and painting classes
taught me that, and I taught it as well) and mixing your travel palette.
I did that as a matter of course,
always do, see above — don’t most people who love color play with their paints? Gail brought her travel brushes; it was excellent to see brushes in person
I am thinking of buying.
She also spoke to values,
which I am working on, though in a different manner.
I’ve been under-painting (grisaille) with buildups of inks (above) to provide
depth of color/value, thanks to tips from Steven Reddy’sCraftsy classes.
(Much more on great teachers — Marc Taro Holmes, Shari Blaukoft, et all —
on Craftsy, later: it is one of the best sites around!)
She pushed us to capture values in short ten-minute exercises, above. I take longer than that for most things, so doing it all fast was a challenge! The blue is watercolor,
the others I cheated and used diluted inks because that is where my interest lay.
We went to Director’s Park. Again I chose difficult scenes, this time a favorite
undulating wall, and this was more fun for me. I also don’t often use watercolor in the field, but tend to sketch then bring it back to my studio to add color. Cold weather made the whole experience not my favorite, but I was satisfied with results, for the most part! I admit I tweaked it a bit when back in the studio, below.
B&W Sketches in an OE journal with a Platinum Carbon pen.
Watercolors in an Stillman & Birn Beta journal with a Platinum Carbon pen or Platinum Preppie pen and Noodler’s Ink or De Artramentis Document ink,
and Daniel Smith and Holbien watercolors.
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