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.

Sketch it on....Amsterdam-Liverpool

Taking place Aug 13-23

Sketch it on its a caravan of drawing to be held in two European cities. In each city we will draw for three days with a group of experienced instructors.
Learn from world-class sketchers who will enjoy coaching you to new heights with your drawing and obesrvations of the city. 
We all know Singapore is a world-class city as undoubtedly are Liverpool and Amsterdam which have been chosen as locations for this series of European summer workshops being led by a group of highly experienced urban sketching tutors including architect Norberto Dorantes, veteran architectural illustrator Frank Ching, architect and artist  Simone Ridyard and urban designer and architect Climaco Cardenas.

If you can’t make the USK Symposium in Singapore why don’t you join us in Europe…? We’re sketching in two fabulous cities over two long weekends in August and you can join us on one or more of the workshops (discounts available if you book two cities). A detailed programme of events in each city including experienced tuition by enthusiastic and friendly professionals, exciting talks and walks, evening events and Sketchcrawls, all organised with local knowledge and tailored to all abilities.

Whether you're experienced or new to urban sketching, we invite you to join us anyway on our European adventure! Learn from world-class urban sketchers who will enjoy coaching you to new heights with your drawing and observations of the city.

Frank ChingNorberto Dorantes, Simone Ridyard
Sketching tour, interpreter and translator

In Amsterdam we're basing ourselves in the picturesque area around The American Bookshop on Spui. This is a central location close to the University of Amsterdam and home to many antiquarian bookshops and there's an open-air market selling artwork and books in the central square most days. It's also home to Cafe Luxembourg 'one of the world's most famous cafe's' according to the New York Times where we'll meet each morning at the start of our sessions. We do realise that for some participants in our workshop that it might be their first visit to the beautiful city of Amsterdam so our intensive programme of events includes talks, walks, boat trip and some sightseeing - whilst we're drawing of course!
In Liverpool we are basing ourselves on the famous Liverpool Waterfront, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site with its magnificent mix of historical and contemporary architecture as well as breathtaking panoramic views out across the River Mersey. We will divide our studio-based time between the Open Eye Gallery; one of the UK's leading photographic galleries and Tate Liverpool which should need no introduction!And as in Amsterdam we'll be creative tourists in this most stunning of cities!

Workshops Structure:
  1. Architectural Sketching: Composition and Perspective: Frank Ching
  2. Perspective & Drawing Style Simone Ridyard
  3. Urban entourage: Norberto Dorantes

Extra activities:
  • Demostration: Frank Ching
  • Artificial Light (Drawing at night): Norberto Dorantes
  • Sketching tour: Climaco Cardenas-SR
More in Sketch it on

  1. Architectural Sketching: Composition and Perspective 2: Frank Ching
  2. Perspective & Drawing Style  Simone Ridyard
  3. Dynamic Ink (non waterproof ink and watercolors): Norberto Dorantes

Extra activities:
  • Demostration: Frank Ching
  • Artificial Light (How to draw interiors): Norberto Dorantes
  • Sketching tour: Climaco Cardenas- ND

PLEASE GO TO our web Sketch it On web for all the complete schedule


A. Architectural Sketching: Composition and Perspective
(Frank Ching)

Workshop description
One of the challenges in urban sketching is overcoming the flatness of the pages we draw on and capturing the three-dimensional qualities of spatial environments. This workshop therefore focuses on the following three aspects of drawing architecture on location.
1. Framing the subject
        Selecting the subject
        Deciding on a viewpoint
        Establishing foreground, middle ground, background
2. Placing the composition on the page
        Realizing the directional qualities of a composition
        Visualizing the image on the page
        Drawing the first five lines
3. Developing the perspective structure
        Understanding geometry
        Determining the eye level
        Sighting for convergence, scale, and proportion
Learning Goals
The goal of the workshop is to develop an approach that will not only improve the spatial qualities of the work of advanced sketchers but also provide a sound foundation for beginners upon which they can grow their abilities.An advantage of this approach is that it enables one to work more quickly, the idea being that drawing multiple views can be more instructive than spending a lot of time on a single drawing.
Workshop Schedule
A 20-minute demonstration to illustrate the above principles and process would be followed by three sketching sessions. The first 30-minute session would focus on framing, composition, and the first five lines of a sketch. The following two 60-minute sessions would each focus on a different scene, build on the first experience, and provide more time to complete a sketch.
Each session would end with a sharing period and brief critique. During each sketching session, I would work one-on-one with each participant to discuss and demonstrate how each individual’s process, style, and technique of drawing might be improved.
Supply List
Nothing fancy, just a free-flowing pen or very soft pencil and paper.

B. Urban Entourage
(Norberto Dorantes)

Workshop description
When drawing the city it’s really important to record organic elements (trees and people), street furniture, cars, etc.In this workshop you will learn how to draw these elements to harmonize with the architecture.
Often first we draw buildings, then the rest. Have you ever thought that you can start a drawing based on such elements?
The workshop will develop these three topics:
1.     Drawing organic. The basic idea is to create strategies to quickly draw a person, a tree, etc.
2.     Drawing street furniture. A lamppost, a fire hydrant, a bench, etc. You will draw expressively and in the correct scale in your scene.
3. Boats,cars, bicycles.
We will work as follows:
     To choose an object from the foreground.
     We will explore relationships between that plane and different planes until the background.
     The expression is fundamental. We will include color, texture and shadows.
Learning goals
The Participants:
    Will acquire the ability to build their sketches of urban space through an object and other urban entourage.
    May easily find the proportions of buildings, objects, people and other environmental elements.
    Will also explore the possibility of drawing complex structures or details (eg a boat or an architectural style)
    Will learn to find a balance between the architecture and entourage
    Will use colors, textures and shadows as protagonists of their drawings.
Workshop Schedule
    Introduction, theory and demonstration  about 20 min
    Exercise 1    about 40 min
    Explanation about 10 min
    Exercise 2    about 40 min
    Explanation about 10 min
    Exercise 3    about 50 min
    Exhibition, group feedback and final closure about 15 min
Supply list
We do not need very sophisticated materials, just use what you feel comfortable with; for example fine-liner pens or ballpoints in different colors of ink and a set of watercolors and / or colored pencils.

C. Perspective & Drawing Style
(Simon Ridyard)

  • An introduction (or reintroduction) to the principles of perspective
  • Understanding of one and two point perspective; how they work in real life rather than just as a technical exercise. How to set them up, where to find eye level and the elusive vanishing point
  • A nod to birds eye and worm’s eye perspective
  • Improved understanding of scale, massing and context
  • Understanding when to add the detail and when to leave alone
  • Working within an allotted timescale…no pressure!
  • Using colour and own personal technique to add drama
  • Increased confidence when drawing challenging architectural views…the more challenging the better!
  • Introductions, theory and discussion about perspective, a hand-out will be provided that gives information about each exercise (approx. 20 minutes)
  • One point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (30 minutes)
  • Two point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (30 minutes)
  • Quick context studies…capturing the view in thumbnails and review (20 minutes)
  • Skyline sketch, concentrating on the city context and review (30 minutes)
  • Final drawing which brings it all together (60 minutes)
  • Review, final feedback (approx. 20 minutes)
No specific requirement, but suggest fine liner pens (0.1-0.3mm) or pencil (B-2B) for Part One. Colour, mixed media; whatever you prefer for second part of the session welcomed...and encouraged! Also a sketchbook, in which you can draw in panoramic format (across 2 pages) so preferably not spiral bound. Folding stool would be helpful.

Learning Outcomes:
·         An introduction (or reintroduction) to the principles of perspective
·         Understanding of one and two point perspective; how they work in real life rather than just as a technical exercise.   How to set them up, where to find eye level and the elusive vanishing point
·         A nod to birds eye and worm’s eye perspective
·         Improved understanding of scale, massing and context
·         Understanding when to add the detail and when to leave alone
·         Working within an allotted timescale…no pressure!
·         Using colour and own personal technique to add drama
·         Increased confidence when drawing challenging architectural views…the more challenging the better!

D. Dynamic Ink

(Norberto Dorantes)

How to draw with non waterproof ink and watercolors


Workshop description:
Pens with non-waterproof ink can be an interesting and essential to dominate when we do sketching. Often it is believed that we should use permanent ink before the watercolor, however, non-waterproof ink enhance the richness of the work and can create very interesting artistic effects.
• The line softens and avoids hardness and rigidity.
• Produce fluency and freshness in the drawings.
• When using fine-tipped pens can we control the outflow of ink and avoid losing our
• The tone of the ink (slightly purple, depending on the type of ink) creates a special
• We can simply use water to produce depth or contrast in our work without other
• We work with graphics (stripes and patterns) in combination with stains (water
• Can be used variety of ink colors (brown, blue, black) to recreate special
• This technique is recommended for stroke atmosphere when it makes contact with watercolor. color. touches or watercolor) atmospheres.
o quick sketches and expressive (only need pen and brush with water)
o Mid drawings preparation (when working with limited watercolor palette, using
between one and even three colors) and
o complex drawings (using a watercolor palette beyond)
Workshop location
New World Symphony (Frank Gehry)
Learning goals:
The Participants:
• Will acquire the skill to control the dynamic ink line when applying water or watercolor.
• Will use the dynamic ink to enhance the contrast and recreate the atmosphere of the site.
• Apply this technique in a quick sketch and ink with water only, the second using two or three colors and a third drawing more complex.
More in Sketch it on

Live demonstrations by Frank Ching with the whole group

Extra Activities
Activities in which the instructor-coordinador provides general guidance about the chosen theme


Sketch it On


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Test USk Blog: Sketch it on....Amsterdam-Liverpool
Sketch it on....Amsterdam-Liverpool
Test USk Blog
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