Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dizengof Center - the sketchers' heaven

It have been a long time I wanted to set meeting for the Sketchcrawl at Dizengof Center - crazy urban Tel-Avivian labyrinth. Our last Sketchcrawl of the end of summer were needed air conditioned place, we met at the second flour and I saw excited and a bit scared gazes of the arriving sketchers - so many things, angles, subjects... what to start from? how to choose the scene, the tools, the time to invest?
Indeed, the place like the Center, with so many irritations, more than any place, deserves time for loitering, understanding the space, its energy, what attracts us here. While waiting for the other sketchers, I tried to think what I want to start from. I wanted very much to start from the space, black and white drawing which will deal with the monster building. But when I saw the "parliament" - the group of old men sitting around the table in MacDonald's, I couldn't resist! Sketching with markers is something I don't do very often, and I felt that this scene fits to markers graphical qualities.

After this warm up, the entrance to the movie theater attracted me. This place had a more quiet and even mystical atmosphere, and the huge poster of the Almodovar's movie "Julieta" added to the feeling. The perfect technique for this scene would be acrylic, but I were needed to satisfy with watercolor which I had. 

After another  round in the Center, we decided with Nathan and Rachel to sketch the view from the window on the junction outside. This time I stayed with graphite and touches of red, that's how felt for me this place, burning in the heat of the end of August.

The last sketch, before the final meeting - again with markers, wonderful characters in the "Sudoku corner".

Time flied so fast, I felt that I just started to warm up. This place is a real sketching heaven, it has everything you can desire, fits every taste and style, exactly as its many shops full of various products for every taste and budget.
This drawing was done after the sketchcraw, while me and Rachel was waiting for someone. It was in totally different atmosphere...

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Memories from Manchester

One of the biggest questions I asked myself while packing tools for the Manchester USk Symposium trip was which sketchbook to take. I decided to prepare an accordion sketchbook - format I love, but use for special occasions only. This format allows to tell stories in continuations, as if invites you to build narratives. So here it is - two-sided accordion from Manchester and London - some great memories from such a great trip!
It's almost impossible mission - to find the right balance between sketching, socializing, teaching, travelling... I wish I could sketch all I experienced, saw, felt.. Sometimes I felt greedy - "if I only could sketch this building/view/person!", and forced myself to put the sketchbook aside and to enjoy the moment without sketching it. So, here it is, the rest will remain in my memory.

You can see my entire sketchbook on Flickr.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Notes from the USk Symposium Manchester 2016

It was a very hot and busy month! Only now I finally starting to put together my impressions and thoughts and finishing to scan my sketches from the Manchester Symposium's trip.
So, after the long period of preparations, planning and expectations it is over!
Manchester was for me the forth time I participated in the USk Symposium, third time as an instructor. No doubt, it felt like an annual reunion, and of course it was different experience - in different place, different time and many new people.
Being Symposium instructor is a big responsibility - people are coming from all over the world to learn and to get an unique experience, with a lot of expectations and some fears. You never know who is coming to your workshop, the level and the background of the participants is different, the outside conditions are unpredictable, and so is the general energy and the atmosphere of  the each workshop.
This year my workshop was different from my usual people-sketching program. It's true, that people is my favorite subject, but his time I wanted to try to understand the whole process. How it works? What differentiates between the exciting and communicative work and the boring one? What attracts us to a particular subject? How we make decisions? How to create works with impact and meaning? Being by myself very spontaneous and expressive sketcher, I tried to freeze every step in my process and to force myself to analyze my decisions, which wasn't easy at all. Finally, I got to my last workshop, named "What and How" and dealing with two one-million-dollar questions: what do I want to say and how can I best say it?
The process of drawing even the tiniest sketch involves making countless decisions - it's impossible to touch all the steps, so I was needed to choose the most essential. Our first exercise was dealing with "what" - idea, message, feeling. By getting the same list of subjects and trying to find them around, the participants learned to observe their surroundings differently, and maybe to understand that there are no boring spots – it is all about the point of view.

Following exercises tried to touch at different "hows" - composition rules and the tools choice.
choosing the format

trying static and dynamic compositions
limiting the use of tools
all we have is lines and shapes
In the last and longest exercise we tried to apply what we learned in the previous exercises, but didn't forget to improvise, to be spontaneous and to enjoy the process!

After all, the secret is probably in keeping balance between the considering the rules and breaking them in order to be spontaneous, and to leave room for chance and "mistakes", because that's the beauty of sketching from observation!
You can download my workshop's flyer here.
I'll be happy to hear from you - please tell me about your experience!