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July 2016 Urban Sketching : Galway Ireland with Róisín Curé, Shari Blaukopf, and Marc Taro Holmes


Urban Sketching : Galway Ireland

Please note: This workshop is fully subscribed! Thanks – Marc

July 14-16, 2016

Join Urban Sketchers correspondents Róisin Curé, Shari Blaukopf, and myself, Marc Taro Holmes for three days of sketching and painting in scenic Galway, Ireland.

You’ll enjoy two demos per day – seeing first hand how these three artist/educators plan and execute a sketch on location. We’ll demonstrate classic urban sketching skills such as: how to see compositions in the field, sketching with pen and ink, tinting your sketches with watercolor, and even painting directly with color.

Every artist will get one full day with each of the three instructors. We’ll visit a different drawing location for each morning and afternoon. Every demo will be followed by a chance to apply what you’ve seen on your own sketches – with plenty of feedback from the instructors.

Join Roisin, Shari, Marc and your fellow students for a meet-and-greet Wednesday evening before classes begin, then again each evening for a sketchbook show-and-tell, sharing everyone’s work from the day.

Please note: We’ll be travelling on foot, sketching in the charming streets and alleys of Galway. You’ll see lots of sights each day. Be prepared for some moderate walking and for carrying your supplies all day. Pack light, consider bringing a small stool if you’re not the type to sit on the ground.Here’s a page discussing my basic sketching kit: Recommendations for sketching gear. As well as some info on how I pack a small bag.


  • Cost: $US 350 per student: Fees are fully refundable up to 60 days in advance. Non-artist partners may attend at no extra cost.
  • Fee does not include transportation to and from Galway, hotel accommodation, or meals. As well, you must bring your own art supplies.
  • Maximum number of Participants: 45 artists: (Divided into groups of 15 students per instructor).
  • We need 35 students minimum to go ahead. If the class fails to reach the minimum by March 15, 2016 the workshop will be cancelled and all fees will be refunded.
  • How to Register: Please note, the workshop is sold out. Thanks! ~m



Here’s some images and a little tour from our host Róisin Cure. Check out her blog for much more about the area.


RC: The city of Galway is full of quirks and idiosyncrasies, making it one of the most popular and sought-after holiday destinations for visitors from within Ireland and all over the world. Everyone who visits Galway in the summer months is enchanted by its lively atmosphere and legendary charm.

Galway is a very small city cross-cut by a network of waterways, from quiet canals to the River Corrib, which varies from a tranquil river of crystal-clear water to a churning torrent, depending on rainfall in distant Connemara. It passes right through the heart of the city, meaning you’ll spend a lot of time on bridges! Galway’s main thoroughfare is one long narrow, twisting street wending its way from Eyre Square at the top to the mouth of the River Corrib at the Spanish Arch, passing buskers and street entertainers of every description along the way.

Luckily for everyone it’s pedestrianised and closed to traffic throughout the day, but the crowds disappear the minute you leave the main drag. The quieter streets which lead off the main street are full of hidden surprises and a sketcher’s paradise. The River Walk with canal on one side, river on the other, provides splendid views and sketching opportunities, and wildlife is never far away, from the large colony of swans that live on the River Corrib to the seabirds that fly over the city – and the salmon that leap the river!

Galway has a large choice of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Some of the best cuisine Ireland can offer is found in Galway, and the area is famous for its oysters, fresh seafood and top-quality grass-fed beef and lamb, although being a student town those who don’t eat meat are well catered for too.

The nightlife is electric but does require a certain level of stamina! Traditional Irish music sessions can be found in some of the many hostelries across the centre of town, and anyone who can play an instrument is welcome to join in.

This is Kirwan’s Lane, one of the seven medieval lanes in Galway:


Thanks, and I hope to see some of you in Ireland! I’m very much looking forward to the trip.

– Marc

28 Comments leave one →
  1. bostoonz permalink
    November 13, 2015 2:41 PM

    Dream Team!!!

  2. November 13, 2015 6:17 PM

    Hi, can I register an interest in your Galway event?


    • November 14, 2015 9:06 AM

      Thanks Paul, we’ve send you a message!

  3. Toni permalink
    November 14, 2015 2:53 AM

    Please explain how each artist will get one full days with three instructors on a two day course, tanks !

    • November 14, 2015 9:05 AM

      Hey Toni – slight misunderstanding – The course is July 14,15,16. We will actually meet up on the evening of the 13th to get to know everyone. Then we’ll organize groups of 15 and go sketching for the next three days. Each day, your group is with one of us all day, changing instructors the next day. So everyone sees six demos and sketching spots from three artists! Just like a miniature version of the larger symposium in Manchester later that month. I think it’ll be a fun way to explore a real Irish town, and get a cover a wide range of sketching situations. Thanks~ ~m

  4. Bill Fagan permalink
    November 14, 2015 10:20 AM

    Great sketch event. I would like to register. Bill Fagan urban sketchers Chicago.

  5. November 15, 2015 11:04 AM

    Sounds great. I would like to participate! I would combine it with manchester. but cant find the date of the symposium. do you know it?

    • November 15, 2015 11:42 AM

      UPDATE: in fact they dates are official – the international USK event in Manchester is July 27-30, 2016.

      They haven’t made an official announcement for the symposium – I hear they are trying for July 28-30th, but of course there are major elements that have to be confirmed before they can say. That’s what we’re planning for – to be in the UK near enough that we can sketch straight through from Galway to Manchester :)

      • November 15, 2015 2:17 PM

        I assume the dates are confirmed for July 27-30. Check out the FB page, “2016 international Urban Sketchers Symposium – Manchester”.

        And please put me down for the workshop Marc, as I too am planning on going to the USk Symposium. What great combination!

        • November 15, 2015 4:07 PM

          You’re right – those dates are official! Ok good!
          So yes, that timing is great for us – we hope lots of people will want to come out and see a bit more of the UK with us :)
          Ok – we’ll be in touch Yvonne with the registration info!

  6. November 15, 2015 12:17 PM

    Hi Marc, I’d like to register. I emailed Laurel Anne. What an exciting workshop – bostoonz said it: a dream team in a fantastic location!

    • November 15, 2015 12:53 PM

      Excellent – we’ll be in touch! Exciting!

  7. cathy mcauliffe permalink
    December 10, 2015 12:42 PM

    How many places do you have left in the workshop? Marc can you send me registration info? Sounds like a great addition to a Manchester trip!

  8. December 26, 2015 12:58 PM

    Hi Mark. I would love to participate and am trying to arrange time for those dates. I have a few questions that I sent to your wife via email.

    • December 27, 2015 9:48 AM

      Thanks Marissa – we’ll get back to you by email! ~m

  9. Mary permalink
    January 1, 2016 4:50 PM

    hi Marc,
    I’m interested in joining the workshop. Could you please send the registration info to me too?

    • January 1, 2016 4:58 PM

      Thanks Mary, I’ll forward you to Laurel, and she’ll get back to you by email!

  10. Debbie Thornhill permalink
    January 3, 2016 10:10 PM

    Hi Marc, If this is still open, I would like to register! Please ask Laurel to forward me registration information ! I registered a few months ago, had to cancel, but worked out the logistics and am very much looking forward to participating!

    • January 4, 2016 7:42 AM

      No problem, we’ll get you set up! Looking forward to seeing you there!

  11. NicolasC permalink
    January 11, 2016 4:32 AM

    Hi Marc Taro, I’m interested in joining the workshop with one perhaps two friends, It is still open? We are French but we are able to understand English pretty correctly most of the time ;)

    • January 11, 2016 9:38 AM

      Hey Nicolas! We will get back to you at your Hotmail – Thanks :) ~m

      • NicolasC permalink
        January 11, 2016 10:44 AM

        Thanks ;


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