Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

"Since I was a child, I have always loved drawing. As an architect, I was trained to sketch on site in my first year of my studies. I have always considered sketching a wonderful tool in my job to understand things, more in the field of spatial relations than in their material aspect. On the other hand, I have always brought a sketchbook with me in my travels as a much more effective way of keeping a memory than a photograph. But lately my travel sketches tended to be too few and too quick. I have recently found Urban Sketchers, and then discovered the immense joy of sketching outside with no particular task. Reading Usk’s manifesto, I feel especially sensitive with the point of keeping a record of time and place, and I’m changing from sketching just architecture to understand the city as a big scenario for human activity. I live in Málaga, a city in the south of Spain with more than half a million residents and 2,500 years of age; but also the center of a busy and lively metropolitan area, home of an active harbour and a big tourist destination. Now that I have two small children and I do not travel as much as before, I’m trying to show this mixture of old and new in my drawings. It is so rewarding to share my work with so many excellent artists and receive continuous feedback from other members! And, last but not least, to learn from other parts of the world. I'm delighted to join Urban Sketchers." • Luis' art on flickr.

Workshop A: Caribbean Panorama in Four Steps


Location
Plaza de España and Alcazar de Colón

Instructors
Simo Capecchi
Claudio Patanè

Workshop description
A panoramic view is an excellent way to capture the character of a place, a passion shared by both of us, even if Simo often uses watercolors and Claudio mostly ink pen.

After a brief historical introduction on panoramas with examples from our most beloved painters from centuries past, we'll show some of our recent panoramas, from 180° to circular 360°.

Participants will be then guided to draw their panoramas, tracing the horizon line and a general layout according to our cone of vision, our distance from the subject, page size and time available.

We'll focus on four main aspects of drawing applied to our panoramic view: how to be synthetic without loose attention to details, how to give depth's illusion with aerial perspective, how to represent lights and shadows and finally how to give a storytelling value to our drawing.

  • STEP 1 A matter of synthesis. If drawing normally leads us to be selective, in a panorama we must be even more synthetic for we have to choose among a great amount of visual informations. Drawing a panorama in four hours, we cannot include all details we'd like to and we also have to be as fast as we can, which is a very good exercise. In a panorama we won't draw every element at the same level of definition, like in a photograph. What can be emphasized and what can be drawn in a more standardized way? Monuments can obviously be underlined but our attention may be captured even by a small detail, like a ship, a colored spot, a person passing by. With practice, we develop a personal way to draw fast repetitive elements like windows, chimneys, roofs or trees.
  • STEP 2 A matter of depth. In a panorama, the most important thing is to create the illusion of depth. We divide the scenery into layers, from foreground to background. The further objects are, the lighter they should appear in our drawing. The aerial perspective consist in drawing differently according to distances, in order to suggest depth. Including foreground elements in front or to the side of us, will help us create this illusion of depth and to give the image a frame of sorts, which involves the viewer into the panorama.
  • STEP 3 A matter of light. The sea reflects the sky and its changing light casts differently on buildings and natural elements. Colors change along the day in relation to sun position. The Caribbean light will create dramatic shadows and colours contrasts, perfect to be represented both in ink or watercolors.
  • STEP 4 Telling a story. A panoramic drawing can gain a narrative value if we add written notes and report little stories that happen while we are drawing. Names of monuments and places are usual on annotated panoramas but those are not the only things to be underlined. Adding details and personal notes will complete the panorama with our individual style.

Reference images

Panoramas of Lisbon by Simonetta Capecchi (above) and Claudio Patanè (below)

"In my panoramas I try to give a feeling of details, without really drawing them. I paint a few far away elements that capture my eye, here and there. There is a general impression of exactitude but, looking closer, details are almost non-existent. Little dark dots are my way to suggest buildings, with their shadows. A detail in foreground usually helps to give an idea of distances or to add a little story about the day."
—Simo Capecchi

"After my experience during the 1st InternationalUrban Sketching Symposium in Lisbon and after having organized two workshops on drawing Lisbon panoramas last January, I'm still thinking about objectives, tools, techniques and points of view related to drawing a panorama. Panoramic views have been used since long time by painters, architects, photographers, filmmakers, writers and travelers in different forms and with different intents. All of their works share a desire of knowledge, exploration and discovery."
—Claudio Patanè

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