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SKETCHBOOK: a creative tool and a way of life that celebrates design and drawing as vital ways to see and value culture, to discover ideas, and to envision a better world.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Workshop and Touring in San Miguel de Allende

Patti and I ventured into central Mexico last week with buddies Mike and Debbie Paolini to check out the charms of San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial city long known as a magnet for artists, artisans and kindred spirits.  While there, Patti and I conducted an on-location sketching workshop called "Sketching the Energy of Places" at the invitation of Meagan Burns, owner of Art Leap Adventures, a very cool art and adventure-based tourism company.  Participants included local artists and architects, members of the local Urban Sketchers chapter, and other artists visiting the city.  Studio Antonelli provided space for an hour of classroom instruction, followed by 3 hours of sketching in the teeming streets and plazas.  Everyone had a blast, and we've already discussed the possibility of returning.  Here's some imagery:

Incredible view of the city at sunset from the Rosewood Hotel rooftop bar.


First night "insider's tour" by Meagan.  Clockwise from top left, Mike Paolini, your Humble Correspondent, Meagan Burns, Patti Richards and Debbie Paolini.

First sketch, first afternoon...in the forecourt of the cathedral.
Local musicians killin it with acoustic Cuban music in Los Milagros on the plaza.
My sketch of the killer view of the cathedral, just up the street from our hotel.
Some of the workshop participants gathering as we begin the on-location segment.

Sketching in the plaza.


A spirited and talented workshop group.  Organizer Meagan Burns (first row in pink) seems pleased. 








Jim's Sketching Workshop Comes to Fort Worth!

We've received many requests in recent months to bring one of our sketching workshops to the DFW area.  We're delighted to confirm our Spring workshop date:
When:  Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Where: Fort Worth (Location details TBA)
Class size:  Limited to 15 people, in order to allow for one-on-one interaction.  Class will be filled on first-come, first-served basis
Cost:  $75.00  Pay through PayPal (send through Friends and Family option to patti@townscape.com) or by check to James Richards, 3344 Hamilton Ave., Fort Worth, TX.  76107.

To register:  Send an email to patti@townscape.com to reserve a spot.
We will have 1 hour of classroom instruction, followed by 2 hours of sketching on location.  Walking to different venues will be involved.
The focus of this workshop is capturing "life between buildings," where architecture​ acts as a stage set, and the “players”—people in motion, vehicles, street furnishings, trees, birds—act in concert to bring life and energy to the scene.  We’ll explore a number of strategies and techniques to capture this exuberance in a sketch:
  • Dynamic composition
  • Drawing people first
  • Intensifying proportions and perspective
  • Connecting dark shapes to create rhythm and unity, and
  • Thoughtful use of color for emphasis and mood
Make plans to join us!  If there is sufficient interest, we can add workshops to Friday or Sunday of the same weekend.  Cheers!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jim's Watercolor Palette du jour

On the eve of departing for teaching a workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I've had three people get in touch to ask about the palette of watercolors I use.  That, of course, changes occasionally, but I've been using the same 12 for a few months now.  Frankly most of the painting I do is accomplished with three--Naples Yellow, Prussian Blue and Alizarin Crimson.  But the others do come in handy, so I'm posting them here.  Some of my choices have been informed, with gratitude, by Paul Wang and Liz Steel.  I hope you find this helpful:

Winsor and Newton:  Naples Yellow, Prussian Blue, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Sap Green, Burnt Sienna.  Daniel Smith: Cobalt Teal Blue, Pyrol Crimson.  Schmincke:  Translucent Orange, Manganese Violet.

I keep these in a metal travel palette by Daniel Smith that has racked up a few miles over the years...keeps on truckin, though.  No, I don't use the waterbrush shown anymore; it's in there for structural reasons.  I carry a very nice set of Escoda travel brushes in a nifty leather wallet that i found in an art store in Girona, Spain.

That's all kids...keep dreaming...keep drawing!
Jim