Monday, April 23, 2018

Tango dancers in Jaffa

Milonga in Jaffa, in the heart of the old city, between churches, minarets and synagogues, hummus and baklava eaters, fitted somehow perfectly to the colorful atmosphere of this place. Last year during our trip to South America, I was lucky to sketch milongueros in the place were tango was born - Buenos Aires. I was surprised to discover that our local community looked not less professional! Dancers came equipped with their dancing shoes, dressed as it supposed from tango dancers, in different ages and origins, but all burning from inside with similar passion, they created magic when they moved together with music.
It's so inspiring to see  a group of people united by common passion. Especially when they so beautiful as tango dancers! It took to me a while to start to sketching - I was fascinated and felt like sketching with my eyes. But after a few clumsy lines, little by little I entered to the pace... It was real fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Face to Face! Urban Portraits That Tell Stories

I'm happy and excited to invite you to my workshop, which will focus on what I love the most - sketching people, and particularly - in portraits and how tell the story through a human face.

April 27, 2018
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Workshop location: 
Tel Aviv, Israel. (exact location TBA)

Space is limited: contact ultramarin71[at] to make a reservation and arrange payment.

Maximum number of participants: 15

Skill level: Suitable for all ability levels.

"Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people - the point where we go inside them - is in the face. It tells all." - David Hockney

For me there is no more interesting subject than sketching people, and of course the most fascinating part is - their faces. When I can't pull out my sketchbook, I catch myself sketching with my eyes - watching the celebration of the human faces that constant surrounds us - men and women, adults and children, faces in all shapes and colors - talking, laughing, crying, telling us about themselves in all sorts of ways.
In this workshop we'll practice drawing portraits, but not in a traditional academic approach.

By doing series of fun and freeing up exercises we will learn:

·         to overcome the fear of drawing faces
·         to free up from automatic approaches and selections
·         to discover what is the essence of "likeness" in portraiture - how to get the real, profound likeness, and not only the external one
·         not to mechanically copy  reality , but to observe the essentials from the artistic point of view, and to sacrifice the secondary
·         to adopt new approaches and understandings
·         to connect to the emotional side of drawing
·         to strengthen hand-eye coordination
·         to improve the ability of observation
·         to enjoy the process without thinking about the result
·         to see personality and story in each character
·         to tell the story with the portrait

Meet and greet - 15 minutes
Exercises, 3 sessions -  30 minutes - 1 hour duration each
Final conclusion - sharing our work and insights - 15 minutes

1. Warming-up  duels
Participants will divide into pairs and draw each other in three different exercises:
1.     Eye-hand connection
·         Blind contour - draw without looking at the paper.
·         From memory - draw without looking at the model
2.     Exaggeration (caricature)
·         Strengthen essentials and exaggerate
3.     Capture emotions
·         Simultaneous sketching - look at each other expressing certain emotions.
Finally, we will share the portraits and discuss what each exercise contributes.
 2. Going out!
After the warm-up, we will sketch fast portraits of people passing by on location.
We'll give a title to each portrait. The title can show what we think about the character or what she/he looks like.
We'll try to apply what we've learned in the previous exercises and pay attention to hand-eye coordination, capture the expressions of emotions and strengthen the essential and what is authentic in each character we sketch.
At the end of the section, participants will display as many portraits as they made in various approaches and will share their feelings during exercise.

 3. Telling a story
We'll tell visual stories based on a portrait of a stranger from observation.
The sketch can include the full figure drawing, but the focus should be on his/her face.
Besides creating an external likeness, we will try to transfer the character's personality and our relation to it. We'll build our subjective story.
At the end of the session participants will introduce their stories and share experiences.

Supply list:
·         A small sketchbook (~A5 size) from chip paper and pages you can tear out
·         A package of chip A5 or A4 sheets and a clipboard.
·         Tools you like for line drawing: pencil, pen, etc...
·         Tools you like for shape drawing: wide marker, paint brush, pastels, etc...
·         Bigger sketchbook of quality paper for the last exercise.
·         Your favorite tools for the last exercise.
·         Courage and good mood :)

Workshop cost
30,00€  (120 NIS)


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gouache in Jaffa again

I'm in Jaffa again, having some sketching time with my friend Nathan. We're looking for the perfect spot, were we can combine drinking coffee and sketching. When we pass near Dr. Narghile shop, the decision comes to us simultaneously. We sat down in front of the shop on the heavy old chairs padded with red and black stripped cloth. I'm starting to sketch three men smoking narghile near me, but they're taking out their wallets and paying - what a pity! I need to wait for a new victim. It comes immediately - young bearded guy, looking for some calm moments and the last rays of the spring sun.
My second sketch - glance to the opposite side, to the busy junction with Jeffet street. There is so much going on all the time - tourists, locals, Arabs, Jews... looks like everybody have enough place and understand each other in different languages. 
I'm looking for the spot for the another sketch, decide to sketch the view just opposite me. It looks boring, big motorcycle is blocking my view, but I want to find a story in what I see. Suddenly interesting couple entering to my frame. Big blond woman wearing long black dress with a big split and red high heel shoes and red bag which complete the look. "Please, stay here for a while!" - I'm whispering. And what a gift - looks like the woman asking her man to take a photo of her, they are staying there for a few minuets, talking one to another and looking for a nice spot, finally leaving the place without taking a picture. But I got my few minuets to add them to my sketch and have the story I looked for!
I decide to do my last sketch inside my new sketchbook, which has horizontal panoramic format. Asian guy, obviously tourist, sitting down near us and ordering narghile. It turns out that the guy is from Hong Kong and he's narghile lover, have one at his home. Everything is global now ;)
Few hours passed like a one minute. Street is full of stories, all you need is to sit down in one place enough time, and all the stories will come to you :)