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Urban Sketching Summer Retreat

Genre: Plein Air Painting
Location: Madeline Island

Urban Sketching Summer Retreat

Spaces Available

Instructor: This Course has 4 Instructors
James Richards
Shari Blaukopf
Uma Kelkar
Paul Heaston

About This Workshop

This is the inaugural Urban Sketching Summer Retreat! The week will provide a full immersion workshop experience, on the finest Island campus and at the historic port town of Bayfield. Both locations are known for their extraordinary light and color, with unlimited sketching locations.

Each day students will learn sketching techniques with one of the country’s four top urban sketching instructors. You will work with them from breakfast into late afternoon. In the evenings there will be critiques, demos and open discussion over gourmet dinners and wine.

Instructor: James Richards
Topic: The Goods: Keys to Lively Travel and Urban Sketches

Join award-winning travel artist, designer and educator, James Richards as he shares his key lessons and techniques from decades of travel and urban sketching across the globe. You’ll learn the ideas and methods behind Jim’s less rigid, more accessible approach to on-location sketching that goes beyond technical accuracy to capturing the essential character, life and energy of a special place. This is a rare opportunity for in-depth immersion and light-hearted instruction that will expose you to new ideas, attitudes, and skills to take your urban sketching to the next level.

Participants will learn:

  • Jim’s techniques for capturing trees, landforms, buildings and entourage
  • A 5-step approach to creating lively eye-level perspectives
  • Six techniques for enhancing the illusion of realism and depth
  • Techniques for heightening the drama, energy and exuberance of your sketches
  • Developing confidence and speed

Instructor: Paul Heaston
Topic: Point of View Sketching

You might have noticed a trend in urban sketching over the past few years: curved and leaning buildings, wide angle “fish eye” sketches, scenes that include the artist’s hands and sketchbook–sketches where the viewer seems to be placed right behind the eyes of the artist. How is this accomplished? In Paul’s workshop you will work on capturing one’s point of view in a sketch by learning a little bit about perspective, a little about composition, and a little about how to confidently record the information around you without being overwhelmed.

Participants will learn:

  • Intuitive perspective concepts, as well as using curves to create wide angle perspectives
  • “Seeing” relationships between objects versus “naming/defining” objects
  • Understanding scale relationships and proportions
  • Foreshortening and angle-finding through “sighting”
  • Economizing visual information and selecting detail

Instructor: Uma Kelkar
Topic: Elegance in Watercolors

Participants will learn how to employ just enough shapes, colors and strokes to achieve maximum impact. This is Uma’s definition of elegance. Exercises during the day will build up towards a final painting. We will focus on the technical skills at the beginning followed by discussion of elements of design and Uma’s philosophy of painting. If you’ve always wanted to overcome the fear of wet on wet painting, rest assured that at the end of the workshop, you will feel more confident about approaching it independently. Group time is a great opportunity to experience different perspectives within wet-on-wet style of painting. There will be 1-1 discussions at least twice a day and a critique at the end of the day.

Participants will learn:

  • How to overcome the fear of wet on wet painting
  • Watercolor design elements
  • Watercolor technical skills

Instructor: Shari Blaukopf
Topic: Exploring Color: Limited Palettes in Watercolor

You never know where accidents will take you. Recently some Cobalt Teal pigment leaked all over Shari’s palette, and the next time she went out to sketch she was determined to use it up. It made its way into all her sketches for quite a long time, and in the process it led her down a new path with colour. Most of us tend always to dip into the same wells: green for trees, blues for sky. But what if the sky is yellow? Or the trees purple? The idea for this workshop is to open participants’ minds: to give them fresh ideas and options for using vibrant and luminous combinations of colors, as we explore two and three-color combinations of pigments.

Participants will learn:

  • To move out of their comfort zones and explore limited color palettes using bright, neutral and opaque mixes.
  • To see how painting the same scene in different ways changes our perception of the place.
  • To create luminous and harmonious sketches by limiting color.
  • To define value relationships and create lively darks through a wet-in-wet approach and modifying viscosity of paint.

Workshop Details

Dates:08/16/2021 to 08/20/2021
Level:All Levels
Materials List: Download




Tuition: $0

Lodging and Meal Options: $0

Total: $0 (plus tax) - Just $25% Minimum Deposit Required

Arrival Date: 08/16/2021

Departure Date: 08/20/2021

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