By Jean Edwards
On Saturday 6th September I went along to an Urban Sketching event at the Moleskine shop in Covent Garden. I went to workshops led by urban sketchers Adebanji Alade and Olha Pryymak and was also lucky enough to get a free Moleskine sketchbook to try out.
In the morning Ade shared his enthusiasm for sketching out and about, showing us his sketchbook of drawings made whilst travelling on public transport. He also shared his expertise, demonstrating the tools he uses and his approach. It was interesting to hear how he uses something that will make a broad tonal mark such as a thick felt pen or graphite stick, in partnership with as something that will make a fine line such as a biro, pencil or pen. He showed us how using a combination of these he could quickly record his observations from life. He encouraged us all to have a go – bravely being the model! Later he took us out in Covent Garden and he demonstrated blocking in tone then adding linear detail looking at the architecture we could see.
Ade’s enthusiasm and positive commitment to drawing and sketching and especially the idea that everyone should have a go and that if we practice every day we’ll improve were great to listen to. His own work and ideas can be seen on his website Adebanji Alade and his blog.
I went out and about doing some drawing over lunchtime and discovered the lovely garden attached to St Paul Church, Covent Garden, the actors’ church. This is a quiet and calm space right near Covent Garden and a wonderful place to sit, draw and have lunch.
In the afternoon I went to a session led by Olha Pryymak, also an Urban Sketcher. Olha encouraged us all to have a go at continuous line drawing for three minutes. She showed us her own wonderful sketchbooks that were were crammed full of drawings, notes and ideas. Its great to see an artist who has continuously used a sketchbook as part of her work. Olha also set us the task of going out into Covent Garden and capturing something we could see in 20 minutes. By this time it was much busier, but we managed to find doorstep and ledges where we could sit and draw from. When we came back it was so interesting to see all the different snapshots of life and architecture that had been drawn – rickshaws, motorbikes, rooftops and many, many people! Olha’s art can be seen on her website – Olha Pryymak where her paintings on London life really show how her ongoing sketching inform her work.
I learned lots and hope to have a go at some of the approaches and ideas as I continue drawing every day.
More about UrbanSketchersLondon here
More about Moleskine here. Moleskine run challenges that people can take part in. the current one is to draw your town and submit it by September 16th, details on the website.
See her work in latest February issue of The Woven Tale Press.