London Travel Sketching Workshops June/July 2019

London Sketch Workshop Day 1. June 30 '19 copy.jpg

Sunday June 30th, Monday July 1st, Wednesday July 3rd 2019

Arriving in London on a 33 degree celsius day did mean potentially great weather for our series of 2 day Travel Sketch Workshops. The day itself was a lot less hot thank goodness, but to have cad yellow sun and cobalt blue skies was ideal.
DAY1. Cass Art Islington, the flagship of their 13 UK stores was where we started at 10.00AM sunday June 30th. Everyone was keen to pickup the EHS skills to carry on later and enjoy sketching without the worry.

We like to begin with a ‘warm up’ sketch - whatever is on the table will do. The lovely Cass Art staff dug around in the storeroom and found wine, flowers and lots of varying sized objects. So that would be our sketch.
The point of this is to get you observing the still life as pure shape, and we need a sketch to get colour onto .
It’s also page planning actually. You decide where your shapes go on your page, rather than the other way round.

Once we have a sketch we can begin with colour. At EHS we have an extremely simple way of applying colour. Using just 8 -10 colours, we layer one over the other in a particular order. Watercolour or Aquarelle pencil. Same process. Same colours.
We leave whites top and sides of objects. Dark goes down the centre. Different but it works. This is an impression not a likeness.

Pack up our very small sketch kit - people are amazed how minimal it is - and off we go to Islington Green to sketch a couple of the typical townhouses. Definitely London. That’s what we ‘re after. We gave ourselves a time limit of 30 mins to get the main sketch in. That is how our lives are like now. We have limited time so let’s learn to sketch in limited time. Who cares if it not precise. It’s yours and you sketched in your own way.
Everyone was rather hungry by now so we piled in to the very nearby Bellenger restaurant where they’d reserved a very large table for us.
Time now to order your late lunch and prepare your paint ready to apply. Food then arrives so we spend some time enjoying that, then back to work.

The sketches with watercolour were just terrific. First time sketchers showed how well thy could get results alongside the more experienced ones who already know the finishing tricks.

What a great day all round. I get so excited to see the results of the day. I have the best job in the world. I adore sending more sketchers out into the world.

Sketching vignettes, or small sketches scattered over a page to show the character of London

Sketching vignettes, or small sketches scattered over a page to show the character of London

DAY 2. As with all our Workshops, we encourage all levels to join us and everybody progresses at their own pace. Today we had some lovely keen new people and others who’ve been with us before.

Warmup sketch was actually a box of glorious varying chocolate brownies. A mad moment took over as I ordered my morning coffee (in a collapsable travel cup I should add) and I decided brownies would be a perfect sketch to start the day. Seemed not everyone like all those little boxes facing different ways so early in the morning! but of course, what better way to be thrown into some perspective and be rewarded by eating the subject once the mission is completed. There’s always an upside to everything I say.

Completing the vignettes before applying watercolour.

Completing the vignettes before applying watercolour.

DAY 3. This was a make-up class for two sketchers who couldn’t do the Monday class.
I had in mind a warmup sketch but saw these beautiful leaves lying on the ground on my way to class.

This one is such a lovely start to the day and quite stress free. Arrange the leaves on the table, take your pen and do a continuous lines sketch of exactly every shape you see around the edges of the leaves. Without taking your pen off the page at any point! Sketch with your dominant hand.

Swap the pen to your ‘other hand’ and do the same thing. Everyone laughs at this point because they can’t control the lines very well. EXACTLY. That’s the idea. Let your pen take its own course.
This is a very important point. We are advised that using your other hand with give you dexterity if you ever have a stroke etc. We need to do it more.

Vignettes is always fun. Doesn’t matter where you are in the world. This will capture the essence of a place in a very enjoyable way. Loved my students trying to sketch passing London Cabs and hopng to get the characteristics on the move. Its really fun and we laugh at ourselves striding up and down intensely sketching in our books. We must entertain passersby immensely but we never notice.

Into our favourite Creperie along Camden passage to order and continue with colour. Another very enjoyable day with sketchers who feel like friends by now.

Thank you everyone who joined us over the last 3 days. I know some of you traveled a long way to be there, including staying the night. I’m very keen to return and continue sketching with you all. I’ll have details soon.

Thank you to those who have sent high praise. So appreciated when people take the time to do that.
Here is a wonderful testimony from Jade on her Tiggerbird website. Loved the personal style too.

Meantime, Annette ( Tutor and Director EHS France) and myself, are inviting you to spend a weekend or midweek in Southern France to continue your sketching journey.

Erin Hill