Many thanks to Urban Sketchers Communications Director Brenda Murray and writer Ann Schwartzwald for the very nice interview below, which appears in this month's Drawing Attention newsletter on the Urban Sketchers website. A full color copy of my handout for the Manchester Symposium workshop "Capturing the Crowd" can be accessed through the link at the bottom. Cheers!
James Richards, Capturing the Crowdby Ann Schwartzwald
James Richards is an enormously creative artist, author, urban designer, traveler and teacher. He is also an energetic and generous contributor to our Urban Sketchers community.
James grew up in South Louisiana, and lived in and around Fort Worth Texas in the decades since graduating from college. James co-founded Urban Sketchers Texas in 2011, and recently facilitated morphing that chapter into 4 new ones: USk Houston, USk Austin, USk Lubbock, and USk Dallas/Fort Worth. He is now an administrator for USk Dallas/Fort Worth. James also lectures and teaches design, drawing and urban sketching workshops across the U.S. and abroad. The insights and expertise he so enthusiastically shares with others are based on years of experience.
“I started sketching on location while studying landscape architecture and urban design in college. Travel sketching and my work developed my drawing skills. I joined Urban Sketchers in 2010.”
James presented a very exciting workshop called “Capturing The Crowd” at the Urban Sketchers Manchester Symposium at the end of July. During this workshop, James taught basic premises and a methodology for drawing crowds of people in public spaces—plazas, streets and the like.
“A great many sketchers are afraid of attempting to draw people at all,” James said. “I taught a highly accessible, step-by-step method that helps alleviate that anxiety. We learned to develop sketches of urban crowds with life, energy and a convincing sense of depth.”
James focuses on the importance of connecting people and spaces.
“Like most of us, I love people-watching. People in public spaces are like the actors on a stage, while the surrounding buildings, trees and other elements serve as the backdrop for all the human stories that are unfolding. At the end of the day, I’m less interested in sketching individuals than I am about capturing that drama, energy and exuberance I feel in great public plazas and streets. That’s impossible to do without including the people that bring the place alive. Over the years I’ve developed a method for doing this rather quickly, which adds to the energy of the sketch”.
Meet James Richards HERE.
Check out his workshop notes HERE.