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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Step by Step: My Manchester Workshop Demo


This is a step-by-step demonstration I prepared for my "Capturing the Crowd" workshop for the 7th International Urban Sketching Symposium in Manchester, UK.  The idea was to include people in the near foreground, middle ground and background--all sharing a common eye--level line--to  to create a strong illusion of depth and to lend liveliness and energy to the scene.  For this technique, the City Hall building in the background is treated as a 2-dimensional stage set piece for the "actors" in the plaza.


Here's the scene on an overcast festival day.  My viewpoint was very similar, but from a little further back and left, which "flattened" the Albert Memorial (on the left) a little.
As usual, I begin with an eye-level line, and add foreground, middle ground and background figures for an immediate sense of depth.

Next, I start adding the "big shapes" without getting into detail--the Memorial, tree at right, more figures.

Here I 've added the City Hall building in the background, drawn in graphite (pencil) to allow it to recede into the background behind the Memorial (drawn in black ink).


Next come details, simplified as appropriate--more detail for foreground, less for middle ground, least for background.

Now adding darks for contrast and visual "punch."

Finally, color...sky first.

Next came a wash of Naples Yellow over the building and Memorial, flavored with Cad Red, French Ultramarine, and Alizaron Crimson.  Then, some bright colors were added on people and red banners for additional "sparkle."


Finished with darks, blacks in a few key spots.  I darkened the Memorial structure to pull it forward from the background building, and also darkened two of the foreground figures so they weren't so dominant in the picture.  Darks on the background building were left fairly light.

I hope you enjoyed this--it was part of a larger set of visuals and handouts that accompanied the workshop, and seemed to convey the key ideas effectively.  See you on the sidewalk--Jim.