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 L: The Decisive Moment



Location
El Conde Street

Instructors
Veronica Lawlor
Jonathan Schmidt

Workshop description
Reportage artists Jonathan Schmidt and Veronica Lawlor take you through the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo and show you how to create a reportage that documents the energy, flavor, and culture of the area. Jonathan is a local artist and teacher who knows the best spots for people watching, and Veronica is an artist who has drawn and documented people from worldwide cultures, east to west.

The decisive moment - what is it that creates an urban sketch that speaks to the individual character of a place? How do you decide what is important to draw? How does body language play a role in communicating meaning? And how do you jot it down? Every picture tells a story, and urban sketching is no exception. But with several pictures you can say so much more!

In the morning session we'll take you to the markets of the Colonial Zone, on Conde Street, to document the hustle and bustle of a Dominican market place. You will work with drawing and deciphering body language, and following the many stories that evolve through continued drawing of a situation. You will draw the hagglers, the shoppers, the con artists and the tourists - all the types of people one can see at the market. Quick studies and portraits as well as longer, more evolved drawings will help you to create a reportage that evokes the feeling of a busy Dominican market place. You don't need to speak Spanish to understand body language and gesture!

In the evening session we'll introduce you to the magic of the Colonial Zone at night - impressions of the culture and of the people at leisure: playing cards, hanging out, laughing, and listening to Bachata music. Graphics and theatrics will be discussed, to help you evoke the mood of a tropical city and it's citizens out on a summer evening. Body language counts here as well - you can read so much about people by what they do. We'll also discuss the pacing of drawing to help you understand how to mix the fast tempo of Merengue with the slow breezes of a tropical evening all on one page.

Topics covered include: use of quick thumbnails to survey the situation and decide what to cover, understanding and drawing body language and gesture of the people, drawing the decisive moment of the situation, following through to continue the story, pacing of drawings, graphic feeling, and design.

Learning goals
Participants will understand how to thumbnail and make decisions about what they would like to cover before sitting down to make their larger drawings – helping them to craft a ‘storyline’ in their reportage work.

They should also walk away with a better feeling of how to draw people in motion, how to draw body language and facial expressions to convey meaning, and how to choose graphics (materials, line quality, marks, color) that will evoke the feeling of place.Picture design and construction will also be part of the conversation.

We will look at examples of reportage artists to inspire us.

Workshop schedule
The beginning of the workshop will consist of a short lecture by Jonathan and Veronica outlining the goals for the next three hours, as well as showing examples of artist’s work to inspire the participants. During the next two hours or more, Jonathan and Veronica will walk around, both together and separately, to work with participants individually as they are out drawing. The last half hour of the session will be devoted to sharing of work and critique.

Supply list
Bring a medium sized sketchbook and a few materials that are relatively easy to use in a crowded situation – such as a fountain pen, graphite or charcoal pencils, brush pen, colored pencils, crayons, pastel pencils, or a small watercolor set. Caran d’ache crayons and a small jar of water can be a great substitute for more traditional watercolor on location.

Bring a portable stool if you like, to sit on while working on longer drawings.

Reference images

By Veronica Lawlor

By Veronica Lawlor
"I love drawing on location and am a strong advocate for its use in education. I was taught through location drawing and I love to pass on the passion and excitement to others the same way in which it was passed on to me. I think location drawing is good not only for visual artists, but for anyone who wants to connect with the world around them in a direct and personal way."
—Veronica Lawlor

By Jonathan Schmidt

By Jonathan Schmidt
"Drawing on location has taught me problem solving and being in the moment on paper. It's one of those tools that becomes a way of life."
—Jonathan Schmidt

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