Thursday, February 26, 2015

Line to Color Workshop: Orange County, California May 1st - 3rd, 2015

This workshop just sold out.  If you are interested in upcoming Line to Color Workshops or being on a wait list Contact Gail Wong via the following email address gail(at)glwarc(dot)com.

Join Frank Ching and Gail Wong for a weekend workshop in Southern California to sketch  Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Beach towns along the Pacific Coast Highway of California.

In this intensive workshop, we will walk you through clear steps covering the complete process of making a sketch on location, from the time you draw the first line until you apply the last touch of color. Meeting at various locations in Orange County, California the workshop will consist of a 2- hour keynote pizza dinner, three 3.5-hour work sessions, and a 2- hour sketch crawl conducted over a 3-day period starting Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. 

We will start with a Friday evening keynote presentation at the AIA Orange County office with pizza, beer, and wine. Keynote topics will cover perspective, composition, the process of developing a sketch, and approaches to adding watercolor and value. Ideas introduced in this session will be demonstrated on site and practiced in the following sessions with one-on one-help from Frank and Gail.

Sketching sessions will start on Saturday morning, at a Mission San Juan Capistrano, with two small groups working simultaneously. Each group will have the opportunity to work with both Frank and Gail. Frank will focus on line drawing as the basis for a sketch, considering the selection of a point of view, and establishing the basic perspective structure for a drawing. Gail will focus on the application of color to the sketch, introducing watercolor and brush techniques and adding value and color to capture the quality of light, enhance the sense of spatial depth, and accent the focal point of your sketch.

  On Sunday, we will apply the approaches you learned on Saturday, with Frank and Gail being available for more one-on-one consultations with workshop participants.  We will first start at Lumberyard Mall or Crystal Cove Cottages at Laguna Beach and then move to the Fun Zone at Balboa Beach.

Learning Goals:

The Line:

1. Selecting a point of view: Detail, Fragment, Building, Setting

2. Composing the page: Where to start, how to proceed

3. Establishing spatial depth: Near and far

Moving to Color:

4. Watercolor and brush techniques
5. Values: Seeing and using tonal values to create depth and capture the quality of light

6. Strategies for applying color and limiting your palette

Workshop Schedule:

Friday May 1, 2015

Location:  AIA Orange County office
                 4100 Birch, Suite 300
                 Newport Beach, CA 92660

6:00–-8:00 pm Dinner, Meet and Greet, Keynote Presentations

Saturday May 2, 2015

Location: Mission San Juan Capistrano 

9:00 am–12:00 pm:
Group A, demo composition and perspective structure, followed by directed exercises;
Group B, demo watercolor values, colors, and approaches followed by directed exercises

12:00–12:30 pm: Review

12:30–1:30 pm: Lunch Break on your own

1:30–4:30 pm: Group A, demo watercolor values, colors, and approaches followed by directed exercises;
Group B, demo composition and perspective structure, followed by directed exercises

4:30–5:00 pm: Review


Sunday May 3rd, 2015

Morning Session: Lumberyard Mall or Crystal Cove Historic Beach Cottages
8:30 am–11:30 am: Sketch time applying what you have learned, (one on one help from Frank and Gail)

11:30 am–12:00 pm: Review
12:00–1:00 pm: Brown Bag Picnic Lunch Break
Afternoon Sketch Crawl: Balboa Fun Zone

1:00–3:00 pm: Sketch Crawl Balboa Fun Zone

3:00–3:30 pm: Gallery, group photo and final remarks

Workshop Registration and Cost:
Price for workshop $220.00.
Cost includes entrance fee to San Juan Capistrano Mission and Friday Keynote Pizza party.
Orange County AIA will be sponsoring  Pizza and beer at Friday Keynote presentation.

Contact  for registration forms and space availability.
Send check and registration forms to
Gail Wong, 2609 East Garfield St., Seattle, WA 98112

Contact Gail for Paypal link.

Out-of-country Participants can pay via Pay Pal in US Dollars and email registration forms.

Maximum number of Participants 26 (minimum 18)
All levels welcome

Registration Deadlines:

Registration and payment due by April 3, 2015.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of too few registrations, all monies will be refunded less Pay Pal Fees (If paying by Paypal)
. We are only able to provide refunds for participant cancellations up to April 17, 2015 with a cancellation fee of $35.00.  No refunds for cancellations after that date.

About the Instructors:

Frank Ching is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, having recently retired after over 35 years of teaching. He is the author of numerous books on architecture and design, all published by John Wiley & Sons. His works have been translated into over sixteen languages and are regarded as classics for their renowned graphic presentations. Awards that Professor Ching has received include the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design from The Nottingham Trent University; an AIA Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement; and a National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. You can see Frank’s work on the Seattle Urban Sketchers blog at and on his blog at


Gail Wong is currently a part-time Lecturer at University of Washington and has taught design drawing and sketching for 20+ years. She was teaching under the leadership of Frank Ching for 16 years prior to his retirement. She is also a licensed and practicing architect in the State Washington focusing on residential design as well as architectural illustration. She is one of the blog administrators/coordinators for the Seattle Urban Sketchers and a blog correspondent on the Urban Sketchers Blog.  She is also on the Urban Sketchers Workshop Committee. Her work is posted on the Urban Sketchers Blog
Seattle Urban Sketchers Blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sketch-it-On: Miami

About the workshops
The proposal consists of three modules or workshops to be held for 3 weekends.
Participants can choose to enroll in one of the modules or take the full course.
The course is designed to meet the basic needs of an urban artist.
The first and second module are basic for all participants, no previous experience is required. The third module is intended for artists with intermediate experience.

How to set a point of view
Location: Lincoln Road
March 27-29
Workshop description:
One of the biggest challenges in a sketch is the drawing's composition. The balance and harmony between shapes and objects are vital.
To achieve the harmonious composition we are looking for we need to know to establish interesting points of views.
The essence of the composition is that all parties should be in a particular place or position and play the role that corresponds favoring them all.
It is almost impossible to prescribe specific rules that allow someone to compose. However, there are simple laws that guide available for an artist manages to be able to create an interesting composition
We will develop the basics to create engaging and thoughtful compositions, starting with thumbnail type schemes. (Frame-work-­figure­-ground, composition and management, framing from the point of view, background vs foreground, an unusual point of view)
Learning goals:
  • The participant can create harmonious compositions in their sketch
  • Be able to know how to use the compositional tools and apply them to their drawings on location
  • You can make sketch with novel and interesting points of view

Maximum number of participants: 35 (all levels of experience)
Minimum number of participants: 15 (Workshop is cancelled unless this number of participants signs up)
Supply list
We do not need a very sophisticated but only that with which you feel comfortable. Basically a feather ballpoint pen of ink, 2B, 4B and 8B pencils and a set of watercolors. Also colored pencils if you prefer
Sponsorship: Stillman & Birn One sketchbook (Gamma Series for all medias) per participant

How to draw entourage in watercolors
Location: South Beach (Beach side park- Art Deco)
April  3-5

Workshop description:
This module focuses on the art of watercolor and especially in working the organic aspect of urban sketch: vegetation, water, integrated into the city landscape, people and architecture style.
It is important to know how to build a sketch and make it alive by integrating the above organic elements. The cities are not empty, have life, color and energy. So we will work with watercolors and learn how to draw these elements quickly and conveniently.
On the other hand, develop exercises where we apply the technique of the 3 colors, creating interesting harmonies without having to record each color found on the site.
The location chosen consists of two components: the beach, the sea, with its palm trees characteristics, people and houses. And the urban area of Art Deco architecture its interesting to working the architecture style and details.
Learning goals:
  • You can draw a sketch level organic elements in various techniques, especially watercolor
  • You will be able to integrate these elements into an urban scene
  • You can draw an urban scene from organic elements.
  • Work on the basics of color and the intelligent use of pallets.
  • You can draw architectural details using Art Decó like reference
Workshop location
South Beach (Beach side park- Art Deco)
Maximum number of participants: 35 (all levels of experience)
Minimum number of participants: 15 (Workshop is cancelled unless this number of participants signs up)
Supply list
We do not need a very sophisticated but only that with which you feel comfortable. Basically a feather ballpoint pen of ink, 2B, 4B and 8B pencils and
A good set of watercolors. Paper to watercolor, block or sketchbook. We need some extra paper to develop the first exercise. Brush for watercolor, 10 to 12.

How to draw with non waterproof ink and watercolors
Location: New World Symphony
April  10-12


Workshop description:
Pens with non-waterproof ink can be an interesting and essential to dominate when we do sketching. Often it is believed that we should use permanent ink before the watercolor, however, non-waterproof ink enhance the richness of the work and can create very interesting artistic effects.
• The line softens and avoids hardness and rigidity.
• Produce fluency and freshness in the drawings.
• When using fine-tipped pens can we control the outflow of ink and avoid losing our
• The tone of the ink (slightly purple, depending on the type of ink) creates a special
• We can simply use water to produce depth or contrast in our work without other
• We work with graphics (stripes and patterns) in combination with stains (water
• Can be used variety of ink colors (brown, blue, black) to recreate special
• This technique is recommended for stroke atmosphere when it makes contact with watercolor. color. touches or watercolor) atmospheres.
o quick sketches and expressive (only need pen and brush with water)
o Mid drawings preparation (when working with limited watercolor palette, using
between one and even three colors) and
o complex drawings (using a watercolor palette beyond)
Workshop location
New World Symphony (Frank Gehry)
Learning goals:
The Participants:
• Will acquire the skill to control the dynamic ink line when applying water or watercolor.
• Will use the dynamic ink to enhance the contrast and recreate the atmosphere of the site.
• Apply this technique in a quick sketch and ink with water only, the second using two or three colors and a third drawing more complex.

Maximun number of participants: 35 (intermedium of experience)
Minimum number of participants: 15 (Workshop is cancelled unless this number of participants signs up)
Supplie list
  • Pen Rotring Art Pen F, Lamy F or similar.
  • Ink black, brown or blue. (or all three)
  • Paper notebook that supports watercolor, but with little roughness. Rather a  bit smoother. The Stillman & Birn sketchbook is especially functional for both ink and watercolor washes.
  • Fibre Marker water supportable 0.1 and 0.2Brush water.
  • Watercolors Set

Workshop Schedule M1, M2 and M3
Meeting point
General welcome, Introduction and groups and Presentation and first exercise 60 min
  • Introduction, theory and demonstration of the technique 20 min
  • Working indoor
  • Exhibition, group feedback and final closure
On location
  • Introduction to the site. Historical and visual tour and Approach
  • Theory and demonstration of the technique
  • Exercise 1 and 2
  • Exhibition, group feedback and final closure 15 min
Meeting point
General presentation. Explanation, How to draw.
On location
  • Exercise 1, 2 and 3
  • Feedback and expo
Meeting point
Theory and demonstration of the technique to the final day
On location
In location Exercise 1, 2 and 3
Meeting point
Final feedback and expo

Sponsorship: Stillman & Birn One sketchbook (Gamma Series for all medias) per participant in all of the 3 modules.
Registration fee: US$285 per module. Online registration or bank transfer.
If you prefer to do all of the Sketch-it-On: Miami workshops pay 2x1 (US$500 for 3 workshops)
C. (561) 294 0798
Cancellation Policy:
All fees are fully refundable if cancelled prior to:
16 March 2015 (M1),23 March 2015(M2) and  30 March 2015(M3).
If you cancelled after:
16 March (M1), 23 March 2015 (M1), 30 March a $120.00 USD cancellation fee will be retained.
The event will take place with a minimum of 15 participants. In case of cancellation 100% of the payment made will be refunded.

About the instructor:
Mexican-born architect and educator currently teaching at the School of Architecture of the University of Buenos Aires. He is the founder and director of Taller Perspective, and also taught at the Society of Architects and other professional associations. He has taught in Mexico City, Lisbon-Portugal, Barcelona-Spain, Bogotá-Col, Santiago de Chile, Paraty-Brazil, Argentina and Singapure (july 2015)
Recently the Fundacio Enric Miralles invited him to collaborate with their academic interchange in the experimental workshops at 2014-15 in Barcelona, Spain and in the program of posgrado in the Faculty of Architecture in the UBA Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He specializes in the architecture design (analog-digital media) and concept drawings for the advertising industry.
Dorantes’ work has been recognized in several competitions in architecture and drawing. His works are in exhibited in Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina.

“I have been professor since 1988. I taught perspective, watercolours and representation techniques at the National University of Mexico and in the University Motolinia Pedregal in Mexico city between 1988-1993 (out door and indoor classes).
At present my teaching experience is focused on the architectural projects in the University of Buenos Aires and drawing by hand, in societies of architects and in my own workshop Taller Perspectiva
I teach drawing on-site in courses and outdoor workshops, such "en plein air" (historical lecture and workshop drawings)
In my workshops attended by professionals and students of architecture, interior design, set designers, publishers and artists in general”

Event coordinator:
Although Climaco Cardenas brings more than 25 years of Design experience in the fields of Architecture, Urban, Interior and production design to Sketch-it-on, his Postgraduate Studies in the University of Pennsylvania in Architecture and City Planning formed him as an urban scholar, researcher and thinker at heart.  Climaco states: “Cities and Urban settlements are the physical expressions of cultural, political, economic, environmental and artistic intentions, ambitions and desires of the human creative power over time. The City must be studied historically and experienced and detailed through observation, analysis and drawing.”
He will be responsible for the tour and historical information of the city and locations visited during the workshops. As well as facilitating all event details on the ground in Miami.
Climaco currently works in his own practice Metrika Design, located in Palm Beach Florida. An architecture and planning firm working in the residential, urban, commercial and event production space. In the past, Climaco worked for the City Planning Department of Bogota as assistant to the director and was consultant to the Local government of the City of Cota for an Industrial Zone. In working with the Coffee Federation in Colombia as Technical Coordinator he managed the Taller de las Americas for famed Barcelona architect Ricardo Bofill.
He is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Freedom Revolution Workshop! Capture the city through its “heroes”

Saturday, April 25, 2015
The 41st Anniversary of Portugal's Carnation Revolution

Overcome the fear of sketching people, and discover fun and expressive ways of capturing the city's inhabitants in action!

The workshop will take place on April 25th, a very special date for the Portuguese people - the 41st Anniversary of Portugal's Carnation Revolution.

Special dates and celebrations are wonderful opportunities for a sketcher to capture the essence of a city.
All the streets will be decorated in special ways, but the thing that best characterizes the event, and tells the most interesting stories, will be of course the people - marching, singing, laughing, shouting, eating, drinking - celebrating their freedom!

Drawing people has always interested artists the most and been considered to be the hardest to do. Drawing people in their natural surroundings, moving, interacting, is even more challenging. People change their postures all the time, often leaving in the middle of a sketch.
So, how do we go about it?
The workshop will help the participants to overcome the fear of sketching people, and to discover fun and expressive ways of capturing the city's inhabitants in action, caught up in their daily routines. We will try to show in our sketches the city through its main heroes – people!

In two sessions through the all day (6 hours) workshop we will try to give participants the skills to approach people-sketching and urban storytelling with confidence.

The workshop will take place at very busy and full of people places in Lisbon:

Morning session (10:30-13:30):
Largo do Carmo

Afternoon session (15:00-18:00):
Terreiro do Paço

The workshop will include three exercises, each of them will begin with a discussion and quick demonstration of possible approaches.

1. Capture emotions
A series of fast sketches studying people’s faces through their emotions.

2. Capture action
A series of fast sketches capturing the figure in action, the body language.

3. Put your "heroes" into the scene
Longer sketch of people in their surroundings.

Learning goals:

  • To overcome the fear of sketching people
  • To discover fun and expressive ways of capturing the city's inhabitants in action, busy with their daily routine
  • To improve their observation ability
  • To study people's faces through their emotions
  • To capture the action, the body language
  • To learn how to find stories in everyday situations
  • To demonstrate techniques and approaches to sketching people
  • To show how composition and use of the page’s space/spread helps us to tell our story
  • To enjoy an activity that gives us the possibility to experience urban life in a very deep and authentic way

Supply list:

  • Small sketchbook with cheap paper for the two first exercises.
  • Bigger sketchbook with quality paper for the last exercise.
  • Some line-drawing tools you like - pencil, pen, marker, etc...
  • Some shape-drawing tools you like - brush marker, paint brush, crayons, etc...
  • Your favorite tools for the last exercise.
  • Good mood :) 

Registration fee

50.00 € for the all day
45€ for USk Portugal members

Payment can be via internet transfer or PayPal.
email - for the registration form

Meet the instructor

Marina Grechanik was born in Belorussia and graduated from an art academy in Minsk. She now lives in Israel and has been working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for the last 15 years. Marina regularly takes part in local art and illustration exhibitions and projects. Marina initiated the USk Israel group - regularly leading sketchcrawls and coordinating the Urban Sketchers Israel blog. She planned and instructed several urban sketching workshops for children and adults, amongst them “Urban Life” together with Ea Ejersbo at the USk symposium in Barcelona.

Sketching is one of Marina’s passions. Everywhere she travels, she takes her sketchbook along with her. But the real essence of urban sketching for her is finding stories in everyday routines, and combining sketching with daily tasks like taking care of her children, working, or running errands. “A sketchbook and a simple pen – that is all you need to go on a journey every day. Drawing is seeing, so you just need to open your eyes wider and start to sketch!”


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuscany: Journey into Matter with Ink and Watercolor

Fumaroles, badlands and alabaster quarries
with Simo Capecchi & Caroline Peyron
Volterra, Tuscany - June 24 /28, 2015*

The sixth edition of this Tuscan workshop is dedicated to matter. After so many panoramas, this time with our drawing and painting we are going to take a closer look at the materials themselves. 
The "infernal" landscape of fumarolesvapors, rocks and thermal springs in Sasso Pisano making up the landscape of the Cecina valley; the high "Balze" cliffs stamping their character on the rugged landscape to the west of Volterra, explored from below, so as to touch them; the landscape of alabaster quarries, with workshops and factories, so tied to the city's history. 
* UPDATE: 3 places still available! 
check new drawings and photo here

Mornings will be dedicated to the observation of how these various materials can be handled and transformed, with a sketched reportage about craftsmen and industrial manifacture (with Simo Capecchi). 
In the afternoon we will be painting and sketching amongst the different natural and artificial landscapes which have their origin in Volterra's peculiar geo-morphological composition, materially representing these elements through ink, crayons and watercolors and collage (with Caroline Peyron).

Goals of these four days of painting, sketching and exploring is to improve our observational attitude, going deeper into reality, trying to capture the qualities of the elements that form our landscape. Participants will focus on reportage and storytelling aspects of sketching, to show how Volterra's geological diversity influences the lives and products of designers and artisans. 

This workshop is organized in collaboration with da Volterra Werkstatt,  a Klaudia Ruschkowski and Dirk Oelbermann recent project aimed to promote interaction between art, craft and design, involving renowed artists working on traditionals and local materials (stone, wood, terracotta, alabaster) to produce hight quality design objects.  As usual we will be hosted in villa Le Guadalupe. Spazio per le Arti by Klaudia Ruschkowski and Wolfgang Storch, enjoying their company and their delicious meals - already a must in our workshop. Watch past editions photos to get an idea of a very special place that will really inspire you to paint.

Simo Capecchi sketching "il Pupo" alabaster artisan in Volterra

Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, June 24
5 - 7 pm: introduction and demos in Villa Le Guadalupe
8 pm: *supper in the Villa's frescoed living room

Thursday, June 25 / steam, thermal springs and rocks
10 am - 7 pm: painting 
tour to Sasso Pisano and Monterotondo Geothermal Park 
(picnic, on your own)
8 pm: *supper in the Villa's frescoed living room

Friday, June 26 / alabaster
10 am - 1 pm: sketching alabaster artisans at work: Alab'Arte in the city of Volterra
2 pm: *dinner in the Villa's garden
4 pm - 7 pm: painting in an alabaster quarry and in a factory near Volterra
8 pm: *supper in the Villa's frescoed living room

Saturday, June 27 / clay, badlands
10 am - 7 pm : painting tour into Le Balze, under Volterra's etruscan city walls.
(picnic on your own)
8 pm: *supper in the Villa's frescoed living room

Sunday, July 27 / wood
9 am - 13 am:  sketching in Villa le Guadalupe's garden, 
meeting a sculptor of  Da Volterra Werkstatt
1 pm: *dinner in the Villa's garden  
4 pm: Open Day  in Villa Le Guadalupe, everybody invited!
Workshop’s exhibition and Da Volterra Werkstatt collection preview

Hosting institution
Le Guadalupe. Spazio per le Arti is an association dedicated to arts by germans dramaturgs Wolfgang Storch and Klaudia Ruschkowski that hosts workshops in arts, theatre, design and music, with an international program. Le Guadalupe is located in a XIX° century villa, with a view on the southern hills of Volterra, with beautiful gardens around and interiors covered with frescos. They have been hosting us for the past six years!

Registration fee 
Workshop tuition is 220 euro (including 21 hours lessons) plus 130 euro for meals (including *6 suppers/dinners in villa Le Guadalupe, hosting institution). 
10% of this workshop supports the Urban Sketchers nonprofit program.

To apply: simo.capecchi(at)

Workshop locations: Check our Map here
Find out how to reach Villa le Guadalupe, 10' from Volterra city center.

Accommodation Check out suggested hotels in our workshop map.
*Rooms inside the villa are already taken, sorry!*

Travel You can reach Volterra from these airports/train stations:
Florence (2 hours): bus to Volterra via Colle val d'Elsa 
Pisa (2 hours): bus to Volterra via Pontedera   
Rome (4.30 hours) : train to Cecina + bus connection to Saline di Volterra
We'll help with bus timetables and we'll pick you up from bus station. No problem if you came without car, we'll organize transportation to and from Villa le Guadalupe - Volterra.

Participants Maximum 15, each level of drawing experience is welcome.

Languages English, French, Italian
Workshop italian translation in Le Guadalupe web site. 

Sponsor Moleskine will donate a sketchbook

Simo Capecchi watercolor of "Le Balze" in Volterra, from abbazia Camaldolese
Meet the instructor / Simonetta Capecchi completed her PhD degree at the University of Naples (Italy) in Architectural Drawing and she works as an illustrator.  Simonetta has lectured and leaded free-hand drawing courses for ten years at the Architecture Faculty of the University of Naples. She has been an instructor in Urban Sketchers Symposiums of Portland, Lisbon, Santo Domingo and Paraty. She helds Urban Sketchers Workshops annually in Naples and Volterra and has held workshops and sketchwalks in several occasions in Italy and in Paris. She is a correspondent for Urban Sketchers from Naples, where she lives.

Caroline Peyron, fields in Greece, oil pastels
Meet the instructor / Caroline Peyron is a french artist living in Naples. Personal exhibitions of her works has been held in Naples at the Grenoble Institute Francaise, in the Biblioteca Nazionale, in Castelnuovo municipal museum and Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Caroline has been an art teacher and has held workshops for private schools and public institutions for over twenty years now. She holds art classes with children, adolescents and adults for cultural institutions like Museo di Capodimonte and Museo Archeologico Nazionale of Naples. With Simo Capecchi she exhibited altered books: Libri Artefatti, was in L'Aquila with Una carriola di Disegni and organized the 3 MUSEI sketchwalk. Watch a Caroline's performance in a slideshow and a video.

Caroline Peyron's sketchbook