Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Suhita Shirodkar

DESCRIPTION

Learn techniques for adding people to your sketches to create drawings that are full of life.

This workshop has something for everyone, whether you are afraid to draw people, or are looking for a fresh way to see and draw them. Participants will start by drawing people at a distance, relying on just the idea of shape.  Next, gesture-drawing will be used to build in more detail and action for people that look alive. And lastly, students will learn to bring together line and shape and put it all in context to draw people in a setting.  

The concepts and exercises in this workshop remain the same whether you are a beginner or more advanced participant, but the instructor will offer stretch goals for every exercise for the more experienced sketcher.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn to draw people through observation, using different techniques combining shape and line drawing
  • get a basic understanding of the structure of the human figure in a non-intimidating way 
  • learn to introduce people into a setting

SUPPLY LIST

  • Drawing tools:  brush pen, 6B pencil, your regular pen and pencil
  • Coloring tools:  anything with which you can add color quickly: markers and watercolor are good examples. The instructor will demonstrate in watercolor, pen and ink.
  • Some cheap paper for quick gesture drawings and also a regular sketchbook

*Keep your sketch kit light and portable, as participants will move around and sketch in this workshop, often sketching standing in a crowd.

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Paul Ingold

DESCRIPTION

Explore Chicago’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood while learning simple techniques for capturing a streetscape scene with pen and ink and a limited watercolor palette, with an emphasis on **GOLD**.  Students will create preliminary sketches in ink and then add light passes of watercolor, experimenting with using at least three different yellow/gold pigments alongside a few other complementary pigments.  

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • key in on a main subject that will be the focal point of the sketch (out of a busy atmosphere)
  • create a simple line sketch with pen and ink
  • apply a limited brush pass to the sketch with a focus on a dominant yellow/gold pigment
  • gain a good understanding about how similar color values can have completely different pigment properties

SUPPLY LIST

  • Sketchbook with watercolor weight paper
  • Pencil
  • Micron pens or similar
  • #6 round watercolor brush or similar
  • 1/2″ flat synthetic stroke or similar

The following watercolor pigments will be used:

  • New Gamboge
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Phthalo blue and/or Ultramarine blue

Workshop Lineup


INSTRUCTOR

Nishant Jain

DESCRIPTION

The urban environment is designed for human interaction and communication. It has no other purpose! By putting people in our work, we give meaning and value to the urban landscape.  Join instructor Nishant Jain as he demonstrates how to put the human figure in context within the environment. Participants will practice a variety of strategies for overcoming common obstacles in people-drawing, using a straight-to-ink style focused on minimal linework and speed.  Nishant will also demonstrate selective detailing techniques for incorporating urban elements to create sketches that look detailed but not overcrowded.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • overcome hesitation in drawing people
  • minimize linework to keep a clean page
  • see the city with respect to its people
  • fearlessly attack the blank page

SUPPLY LIST

  • 3 pens – fine, medium and thick. The instructor uses a Micron 02 fineliner, TWSBI fountain pen, and Kuretake brush pen for these categories.
  • Participants may use any sketchbook of their choice.  The instructor uses a square format Moleskine sketchbook.

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Matthew Brehm

DESCRIPTION

Instructor Matthew Brehm’s approach to creating luminous, clear, fluid, and dramatic watercolor sketches is encapsulated in the mantra “Brush Moves Water, Water Moves Pigment.”  Learn techniques for effective brush and water handling and discover the magic that can occur when the water, and not the brush, is the primary vehicle for applying color and value to a page.  Learn also to approach watercolor as a process of subtraction, reserving the blank page as the only light source in the sketch.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn skills that lead to effective watercolor sketches
  • learn brush and water handling techniques to achieve transparent, luminous washes
  • learn essential wash techniques, including layering washes
  • mix color on the palette and on the page
  • adopt a strategy of subtracting light from the page

SUPPLY LIST

  • Any sketchbook containing reasonably good watercolor paper will work (Moleskine, Hahnemühle etc.), as long as the size is at least A4, as will any standard watercolor block or pad (Arches, etc.)
  • Watercolor Brush: a Round #8 or #10, preferably with natural fibers, or a synthetic that will absorb and hold a good amount of water (at least several drops, if not more). Please note that a “water brush” will not be useful for this workshop, as they don’t allow for moving large, wet washes across the page, they don’t readily pull excess water from the page, and they make it very difficult to achieve consistent or smoothly-graded washes.
  • Watercolor Pigments: any group of three primary colors (yellow, red, blue) that are fairly transparent, such as Azo Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, and Ultramarine Blue

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Mario Linhares

DESCRIPTION

What if the art technique was not about the way we use a pencil, pen or brush, but about using a sketchbook as a tool for experimentation? In this workshop, you will be challenged to use the sketchbook not as a paper pad, but as an artist book, where the most precious things will happen.  You will be invited to fold one page and, from that moment, you will be able to create three different sketches from one!

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • improve drawing skills
  • learn how to use the sketchbook as a laboratory for experimentation
  • combine different perspectives of the city in only one drawing composition
  • experience the advantages of group learning and seeing the many paths to success

SUPPLY LIST

  • Sketchbook with sewn sheets of paper, not metal rings
  • Black waterproof pen
  • Sepia pen (other colors will work as well)
  • Watercolor pan set and water brush or watercolor brush.

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Marek Badzynski

DESCRIPTION

Learn to draw complex urban subjects the “Fast and Furious” way, using ink, water soluble graphite, and watercolor pigments that combine to make tones of grey.  This quick and loose approach favors value over detail; learn to observe tones, simplify shapes, identify patterns and draw only necessary elements. Students will produce a large-size artwork using ink & water soluble graphite (greyscale), and a second artwork using ink & a watercolor palette limited to just two pigments: Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • compose a scene view
  • establish page composition
  • identify masses
  • concentrate attention on a focal point
  • decide on elements to exclude
  • assess values according to light conditions
  • link shapes of similar value
  • simplify patterns
  • draw lines with rapid, expressive strokes
  • paint with quick, single stokes
  • critically assess artwork while it’s being created

SUPPLY LIST

  • 2 loose sheets of watercolor paper size 11” x 14” or larger, or 1 watercolor block same size or larger – cold press
  • 1 support board with bulldog clips to hold paper if using loose sheets
  • 1 or more watercolor brushes (whatever you have), especially large ones

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Ken Czech

DESCRIPTION

Bring a novel approach to your sketches by learning to combine markers with a secondary tool such as fine-line markers, Sharpies, Micron pens, ballpoint pen, colored pencil or standard art pencils.  This “No Erasers Allowed” workshop will help you eliminate nervous, timid, unsure handling of the medium and inspire you to boldly attack the paper with confidence.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • use marker techniques to render different surfaces (glass, wood, foliage, concrete, fabric etc.)
  • learn a variety of approaches when using a secondary tool (pencil, pen, Microns)
  • learn to apply the mashup approach to any subject

SUPPLY LIST

  • Broad-tip studio markers in a variety of values: light, medium and dark. Can be grays or colors, your choice.
  • Secondary tools: Can be fine-line markers, Sharpies, ballpoint pens, colored pencils, standard art pencils
  • Sketchbook – whatever you like to use

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Katie Woodward

DESCRIPTION

Sketching small has a number of advantages: it’s quick, it’s portable, and can give you concepts that will help you in your larger sketches! Fitting a large view into a tiny space teaches you to boil down lots of detail into just a few strokes.  Join instructor Katie Woodward as she teaches students to learn which details to include and which to leave out, and how to develop a shorthand to create visual noise for maximum impact.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn to scale down from larger sketches
  • learn what to cut out and what to leave in a tiny sketch and still make a subject recognizable
  • learn to create visual noise to give the illusion of detail
  • learn to use tiny sketching to improve understanding of composition

SUPPLY LIST

Workshop can be completed in graphite, pen, or watercolor, as long as the tools are scaled down.

If working in pen:

  • Mechanical pens (005, 02, 05, 1 are recommended)

If working in graphite:

  • 0.3 mechanical pencil, and pencils in varying degrees of hardness
  • Mechanical eraser, kneaded eraser

If working in watercolor:

  • Watercolor palette (colors of your choosing)
  • Pencil (0.3 mechanical pencil recommended)
  • Mechanical pens (005, 02, 05 in black, and a 01 in sepia are recommended, but you can get by with just one or two small ones)
  • Water container
  • Watercolor brushes (rounds 6, 4, 3, 0 but small flats can also be useful)

For all media:

  • Paper of your choosing (can be small or you can draw boxes to crop in areas to work on a larger page)

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

John A. Hancock

DESCRIPTION

Join instructor John A. Hancock as he shares techniques for quick sketching on toned paper and choosing a subject and point of view. With the goal of balancing visual excitement and simplicity, participants will explore both light and dark dry media as well as inks to create engaging sketches using line, texture, and value. Participants may also choose to add dry or moist color.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn to choose and edit a view from the location and start a sketch
  • learn basic techniques for using both dark and light media on warm and cool toned papers
  • learn strategies that balance exciting use of value contrasts with simplicity in sketches of the urban environment 

SUPPLY LIST

  • Dry dark drawing media:
    1. – a favorite standard or mechanical pencil
    2. – a 4B-8B pencil (optional: water-soluble graphite)
  • Dry white or light drawing media:
    1. – your favorite white pencil or crayon (e.g. Prismacolor, Koh-i-nor, Conte, or china marker)
  • Wet dark media:
    1. – a favorite ink pen with black, dark grey, or dark brown ink, either permanent or water-soluble (e.g. P: Pitt pen, Micron, even a fountain pen with a permanent ink like Platinum Carbon Black or Lexington Grey) or (e.g. WS: Pilot Varsity, Platinum Preppy etc.)
    2. – optional:  a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (or other brush pen/marker)
  • -optional:  a water-brush (round tip – perhaps pre-loaded with an ink or watercolor wash) or a round watercolor brush and water
  • Wet white/light media:
    1. -Uniball Signo white pen (or a white Gelly Roll)
    2. -optional: white gouache or Chinese White watercolor
  • Toned Paper:
    1. -toned paper sketchbook or sketch paper that can handle moderate applications of blending
    2.  or water (e.g.Stillman & Birn, Stonehenge, Strathmore) 
  • Color:
    1. -optional: wet or dry color to add to your ink sketch 

Workshop Lineup


INSTRUCTORS

Joann Harling Larsen and Anna Rappaport

DESCRIPTION

Part of what gives urban landscape energy and vitality is the people. But ironically, drawing people is always intimidating. Let’s “face” this! Let’s look at people not for the specifics but for their energy and gestures. The instructors will start with an introduction to different materials and to the basics of drawing people. After warming up with quick gesture drawings, students will explore the ways in which various approaches can bring energy to a sketch, with an emphasis on the figures within the composition. 

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn how to bring energy into a drawing by capturing movement in the environment
  • learn basics of sketching people who are moving
  • focus on the narrative aspects of the drawing rather than just the subject
  • experience a range of drawing materials starting on a page with color washes

SUPPLY LIST

  • Three pieces of paper with a wash that will become the background for the drawing (2 or 3 colors –  water soluble ink or watercolor – suggested light in value) painted in before the workshop
  • A pen with water soluble ink, one pen with permanent ink, a brush pen and a water color pencil, whatever colors the student is comfortable with
  • Pencil and vine charcoal

Optional: watercolors

Workshop Lineup


INSTRUCTOR

Jingo de la Rosa

DESCRIPTION

Sketchbooks can be used for a lot of things: for creating concepts, for experimentation, and for play, among many others. In this workshop, attendees will learn to turn their sketchbooks into visual journals, while also incorporating urban sketching techniques.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • use urban sketching as a means to document in-the-moment experiences, from the mundane to the grand
  • utilize strengths while incorporating one’s weaknesses
  • find a unique voice in urban sketching
  • learn the value of play in sketching

SUPPLY LIST

  • Sketchbook, and any supplies the participant is comfortable with

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Jenny Zhang

DESCRIPTION

In this workshop, Jenny Zhang applies the minimalist “less is more” approach of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to Urban Sketching.  Do you ever feel you don’t know when to stop with a sketch, or add too much and feel you shouldn’t have? The demonstrations in this workshop will help you simplify your sketches and learn when to stop.  While the focus is primarily on linework, some watercolor will also be used.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn the strategy of what to draw/not draw
  • learn how to compose a drawing
  • learn how contrast can help drawings
  • cover a few watercolor skills 
  • achieve 1-2 Sketches with different line densities

SUPPLY LIST

  • Pen – Micron 05 or fountain pen with waterproof ink
  • Paper/sketchbook – watercolor papers are recommended
  • Watercolor and watercolor brush are optional

Workshop Lineup

4 BrianWright

INSTRUCTOR

Brian Wright

DESCRIPTION

This workshop will focus on how to enhance your story by creating a believable perspective for urban sketching.  Participants will learn terminology and practical, useful tips for “on location” methods to create one point, two point, and three point perspective.  This course is excellent for beginners as well as those frustrated with inaccurate depictions of subjects in their drawings. Urban sketching is about capturing the scene in a particular moment while you are there, so we’ll practice how to simplify the process so you can spend more time on developing your narrative and less time worrying that the view is accurate.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn the terminology associated with perspective drawings
  • learn practical tips for constructing a one, two and three point perspective
  • learn basic compositional techniques to employ with the types of perspective

SUPPLY LIST

  • A larger format sketchbook – 8.5” x 11” or 9” x 12” is ideal so you can craft the perspective guidelines
  • A lighter pencil for guidelines (4h)
  • A darker pencil for outline shapes (4b)

Workshop Lineup

INSTRUCTOR

Barbara Weeks

DESCRIPTION

Figures add energy and interest to urban sketches.  Even when they’re not the main focus, when we add people to the scene, we add an element that can make it easier for the viewer to connect with our visual story. In this workshop we’ll explore ways to add life to our figures. This is a workshop for beginners and intermediate sketchers.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn to quickly sketch and capture the “life” in people 
  • learn to decide how much detail is necessary to make a figure sketch work
  • learn to distinguish between people as subject and people as accent in our sketches 
  • focus on enjoying the process – a few simple tricks to ease the approach 

SUPPLY LIST

  • Mixed media sketchbook at least 5.5 x 8.5 in. 
  • General Pencil Sketch and Wash pencil
  • Pencil 2B or 3B 
  • Pencil Sharpener 
  • Color medium of choice (watercolor, colored pencils, ink, etc.)

Workshop Lineup

2 Alex_MJ

INSTRUCTORS

Alex Zonis  and  MJ Ernst

 

DESCRIPTION

Learn how to use fountain pens and soluble inks to make vibrant and impactful drawings with minimal supplies and setup.  In this beginner to intermediate level workshop, students will become proficient in using a fountain pen for line drawing, building value by various techniques, as well as painting with ink and ink washes. Students will create both monochromatic sketches and drawings in two or more shades of ink.  In addition to discussions on ink color and paper choice, participants will learn the basics of fountain pen maintenance and see a nib tuning demo.

 

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • gain confidence using a fountain pen and soluble ink for sketching
  • learn to understand value relationships as a fundamental structure for a drawing and how to achieve it using ink
  • learn to understand color selection and pairings based on Color Theory and also how to let go of Color Theory and still make beautiful ink choices
  • learn to maintain the fountain pen in good working order

 

SUPPLY LIST

  • There will be a fountain pen for every student at the workshop.  You are encouraged to also bring 1-2 of your own fountain pens (empty of ink).
  • Waterbrush
  • Small plastic or metal palette for ink washes
  • Sketchbook with smooth watercolor weight paper or loose smooth watercolor paper
  • Pencil – optional
  • White gel pen – optional

Workshop Lineup

Workshop 1: Aaron Elswick – Fake It Till You Make It 3.0

INSTRUCTOR

Aaron Elswick

DESCRIPTION

Aaron returns for a third year with an updated and revamped version of his popular “Fake It Till You Make It” workshop.  If you have ever wondered how to improve your confidence in your ability to capture the urban setting, then this workshop is for you.  This crash course drawing workshop is designed for all skill levels and will focus on capturing complex urban scenes with simple lines. The goal of this workshop is for each artist to learn how to accurately and quickly capture an environment while embracing all mistakes that may or may not occur along the way.  “Fake It Till You Make It” requires confidence, fearlessness, and a hint of madness, but revolves around feeling your way through a drawing with confidence and aims to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with sketching in public.

LEARNING GOALS

In this workshop, participants will:

  • develop an understanding of the basic principles or rules of perspective drawing
  • develop a basic understanding of common architectural rendering views and techniques
  • learn how to view the urban environment as a line drawing and how to break down complex scenes into simple forms
  • learn how to save time and build confidence by not using an eraser
  • learn how to create depth with the use of line weight and textures
  • learn basic techniques for sketching the urban entourage

SUPPLY LIST

  • Sketch book
  • Pen of choice 
  • Rendering medium of choice

INSTRUCTOR’S SUPPLY LIST (optional)

  • Canson Mix Media Art Boards  9” x 12”
  • Canson Watercolor Sketchbook 7” x 10”
  • Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook  5” x 8”
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketchers Pocket Box (12 colors)
  • Niji Waterbrush – Medium
  • .01 mm Micron pen
  • Standard Uni-ball Vision Fine Pen

Patience is a Virtue

And It’s About to Pay Off!

We’ve announced the workshop lineup for 2020 and starting on Monday, March 2, we’ll be posting information on the individual workshops; two a day, every other day. You’ll have details on all sixteen workshops before registration opens on April 11.  It probably won’t make the job easy but it should help you decide what’s best for you! 

Follow us here and on Instagram @uskchicago too!

USk Chicago Seminar 2020 is proud to announce our workshops lineup!

  1. Aaron Elswick – Fake It Till You Make It 3.0
  2. Alex Zonis & MJ Ernst – Chicago with Fountain Pen and Ink
  3. Barbara Weeks – People Who Need People
  4. Brian Wright – Practical Perspective for Urban Sketching
  5. Jenny Zhang – Less is More
  6. Jingo de la Rosa – Dear Diary: Sketchbooks as Journals
  7. Joann Harling Larsen & Anna Rappaport – Surprising stories, fleeting energy: bringing life into your sketches
  8. John A Hancock – The Value of Toned Paper Sketching
  9. Katie Woodward – Tiny Sketching: Big Impact
  10. Ken Czech – Marker Mashup
  11. Marek Badzynski – Fast and Furious: Urban Sketching in ink, wet graphite & watercolor the Quick Way!
  12. Mario Linhares – Folding Pages = Unfolding Sketches
  13. Matthew Brehm – Brush Moves Water, Water Moves Pigment: A Mantra for Achieving Clear, Luminous Watercolors
  14. Nishant Jain – Drawing the Graphic Novel of Urban Life
  15. Paul Ingold – Compelling Gold Coast Watercolor
  16. Suhita Shirodkar – People Alive!

Full descriptions and instructor bios will be added soon. 

Registration will open on Saturday April 11, 2020.

Announcing USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2020!

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2020 will take place in July 17-19, 2020!! 

Once again our lovely friend Palette & Chisel will host Seminar 2020 in their historic building and grounds!

It is a good idea to subscribe to this blog and get all news and updates as soon as they are published!

Open your calendars and start moving things around – Seminar 2020 is coming to town!!