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Monday, April 20, 2015

Sketch Virginia

I just returned from a weekend of sketching in Richmond, Virginia. We had perfect sketching weather - the temperature was pleasant, the sun was shining, and the dogwoods were blooming. Sketchers came from around the state, and a few far-off places as well.

Marc Holmes led a two-day workshop on sketching techniques - we focused on building up a sketch from pencil, to ink, to watercolor, working from big, light shapes to small, dark marks as the sketch progresses. I had fun sketching the gargoyles adorning the entryway to the Branch House. Towards the end, we also explored dispensing with the scaffolding, and moving straight to watercolor. I had taken some of Marc's workshops before in Portland and in Barcelona, but he always has something new to offer, and I'm glad he was able to come down to offer this.

After the workshop, we had an open sketchcrawl down Monument Avenue, to which we invited the community. A couple dozen sketchers showed up from Richmond, Charlottesville, and the surrounding area. There are a lot of lovely houses along Monument that were fun to sketch.

At the end we met at a local bar where Marc challenged people to "sketch duels": we'd face off one-on-one, pull our pens and brushes out of our holsters, and sketch each other for just a few minutes, face to face. This was a lot of fun. My duel with Marc is below (check out his sketch of me in the green hat).

At the Virginia Center for Architecture, at the Branch House on Monument Avenue, Jessie Chapman has curated an Urban Sketching exhibit, with sketches from Don Gore, Rich Johnson, and some local Virginia sketchers. It is worth checking out - it was really neat to see their sketchbooks in person.

It was a fun weekend, and it was great to meet so many other Virginia sketchers.

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