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Back from Barcelona – and gearing up for the next workshop

July 30, 2013

We’ve actually been back just over a week, but of course coming home from a sketching holiday means returning to a huge inbox and a set of onrushing deadlines.

Here’s one of the reasons I’ve been quiet for awhile. Archiving all the sketches from the trip:


On past sketching trips I’ve tried to paint on location as much as possible. That’s the dream – painting en plein air from sunrise to sunset. But often, the sad reality is I come home from a week in the field with 8-10 watercolors – and out of that I’ll only really love three. (No matter how good the work is, I never really like more than the top three). This time I knew there was too much I wanted to see in BCN. That just wasn’t going to cut it.

As well, there was the deal with the pickpockets. We’d heard many stories about petty theft – which I was ready to disregard as tourists’ exaggerations – until one of our friends on the ground was robbed just a day before we left.

Suddenly I’m all paranoid, and I start reading on the web about the famous bird-poo pickpockets. “Here let me clean your jacket and that pocket lint-y wallet!”. My favorite pieces of tourist advice: “Don’t allow anyone to come within arms length. Shout ‘Stand Back! in a loud voice.” And this good one: “Especially don’t trust anyone in a police uniform. They are probably fake”.

So I was persuaded to travel with the the lightest possible kit. Just a pencil, blob of kneaded eraser, and loose paper carried around in my trusty leatherette ‘presentation portfolio’. I’ve been using it for the last 10 years as a sketchbook slash drawing board. I was asked more than once if I was carrying around a menu.


I was running out of paper during our “Drawing People in Motion” workshop, (burning through examples, plus giving away all demos to students). Somewhere in there we passed an office supply store and grabbed a new block of cover stock. I had about 10 sheets of euro sized A4 left when we got back – so that means this is a shot of about 90 pages of BCN sketching goodness (minus false starts left in trash bins all over the city). Plus a little tease of the latest paintings. I’m using the location sketches printed onto 140lb watercolor paper as the basis for color works. More on that later.

Meanwhile, I’ve been cramming for our upcoming Montreal Workshop THIS WEEKEND! Neck deep right now in the final arrangements. Had to reserve a classroom in case of rain. Still making maps and handouts for the students. Have been going down every morning and scouting locations – finding the best drawing spots. Really looking forward to meeting artists Thursday night. This is going to be our best workshop so far, just because of the home field advantage.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2013 7:09 AM

    It is a very cruel tease Marc … I want to see them in full glory … asap They look great!

  2. July 31, 2014 11:34 AM

    Thank you for sharing you knowledge and beautiful sketches and paintings with us.


  1. Finally I can show these! | Citizen Sketcher

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