In the last two weeks, with great help from Kim Nicholas, I’ve been guiding a sketching workshop at LUCSUS – Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, exclusively for the sustainability master programme students. The idea is a simple one, and Kim loved it from the start: to show young people with no direct academic connection with arts that they can learn how to draw!
We held two workshops already and everybody seems to be responding well. The two hours spent focusing on blind drawing exercises turn out to be quite fun and relaxed. All but a couple of all the students don’t sketch regularly, so we were breaking new ground there! After a while the concentration levels go up and from then on the sketching quality improves exponentially. My hopes for these classes is that most of these guys get the notion that starting to sketch is as easy as looking at any given object, and that sketching is indeed seeing reality as it is!
In the end, we did a fun exercise which was suggested by sketcher João Catarino – a frankenstein-making marathon! We faced each other in pairs and had one minute for a blind line portrait which should remain unfinished. When the time was up, everybody would switch partners and continue the portrait with a new face. Some of the results were remarkably recognizable! Here’s my contribution. It’s a frankenstein-portrait of an actual couple that just happened to get merged in my sketchbook. Thanks Theo and Ann.
The last workshop was attended by Teresa – co-founder of local project Fruktsam – and Daniel. Both were really enthusiastic with the blind sketching exercises and in about one hour and four drawings later, their concentration was paying off. Results were showing and they were realizing that drawing has a lot to do with careful observing and that it is within reach. Thus was the mythical wall of talent cracked.
This was my blind portrait of them, while they concentrated on each other.
The time spent at the workshops at Marta’s were peppered with visits from friends and family. Amelie and Heidi gladly took pens and pencils and started producing art – no directions required!
Later, Patrick, Melissa and Liam popped up for fika. Melissa gave it a shot at some blind drawing exercises and was cursing me soon enough. It’s a tough one for starters! That reminds me: I should revise my drawing teaching program one of these days.
During the exhibition, Holger and I were at Marta’s leading informal workshops about our own particular way of sketching. This gave us a chance to get to know how people relate to sketching, how do they feel about it, and if they would consider starting to sketch themselves.
During some of those gatherings, I got the chance to make some portraits. Here’s a chubby version of Patrícia.
Alex is a 10 year old boy that likes to draw sharks! Pity I didn’t get to keep one of his drawings.
My friend Holger Wendt and I just finished setting up an interactive exhibition at Martas Café, in Stadsbiblioteket in Lund.
The exhibition shows some of our work as daily sketchers. It features some original works in watercolor and ink, as well as copies of our sketchbooks.
The exhibition is set up as an analogue blog. Some of the paintings and sketches will be added and some will be removed as time goes by. Visitors will be able to comment on the works by writing or drawing their comment on post-its available on site and sticking it to the picture they want to comment on.
In some days, to be announced, Holger and/or I will be present (we’ll be online!) and talk to people, answer questions, sketch portraits, making sketch-duels with the visitors or leading informal workshops under the themes “Storytelling by sketching“, “Sketching on the road“, “Zen drawing” and “Portraits“.
The results of the workshops may be posted on a wall reserved for the visitors’ sketches.
All are welcome and be sure to comment and participate! Pictures to come soon!