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After-Sketching Sketching

January 7, 2015


There are only a few doodles from the workshop trip to Brazil I haven’t posted yet: The party sketches.

After all the official workshops and stand-and-deliver painting demos are done, it’s an Urban Sketchers tradition to hang out and draw each other over dinner. This is social drawing time, so it tends to be simple pen doodles. Just a Pilot G-Tec 0.4mm ballpoint in this case. It’s a chance for some great conversation, with friends who don’t mind if you draw them obsessively.



This particular day Liz Steel and I had gone out to demo for our friend Rafa and his students from Federal University. Afterwards the gang from the symposium met up, and he took us out for our first taste of Feijoada and then on a sketchwalk through Rio’s historic Santa Teresa neighborhood, (past a big police checkpoint), and down to the Rio Scenarium for a night of sketching and Samba.


These may not be the great artworks that go on gallery walls – but they’re the best memories of a sketchers workshop. I’m just now (20 years on in drawing) starting to feel like I can sketch spontaneous portraits. I’ve been practicing getting likenesses. (More on that in future posts). And it’s a great relief to be able to do it. Drawing people you know personally is kind of nerve wracking. What if they turn out funny looking?

Fortunately everyone I know is already funny looking. No! wait. What I mean is, fortunately fellow urban sketchers are good natured about it. Nobody cares if the drawings turn out odd, because we know that’s the only way to learn – making a lot of odd looking people – until you get the hang of it.




This was the night Laurel captured my favorite USK photo of all time – so here it is again, just because I think these guys look so cool.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2015 5:24 PM

    :) Love those sketches from the scenarium! That final photo is fantastic, it really captures it: sketchers after a day of sketching: off to the after-party to sketch some more.

  2. Mary Warren permalink
    January 7, 2015 11:36 PM

    As a newbie urban sketcher, I appreciate the comments, wisdom and humor you shared in this posting. Now maybe I can relax and enjoy the journey of improving my skills while having a good time.

  3. January 8, 2015 9:26 AM

    I love your line drawings… do you have a video on YouTube of one of these drawings in the making? I would love to watch them come into being. If you don’t, then consider making one and then let me know. ;)

  4. January 8, 2015 10:31 PM

    I love these. I made odd looking people this week.

  5. January 11, 2015 11:03 PM

    Beautiful work. I love the ‘in-the-moment’ feel of them.


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