Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Decisive Moment

0n the morning of the final day of the Santo Domingo Urban Sketching Symposium, I took Veronica Lawlor's Workshop called The Decisive Moment. I have always admired Veronica's loose spontaneous sketches. The idea of the decisive moment came from photo journalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. As he said, "There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment" Veronica pulled out her iPad and showed us sketches by Ronald Searle from his Paris Sketchbook. I have a copy of this sketchbook and it is a prized possession. She also showed us thumbnails from Gustav Klimpt. She suggested we explore Parque Colon doing small quick thumbnails instead of detailed sketches. She explained that her first impulse when on an assignment was to do as many thumbnails as possible.
I found doing the thumbnails quite liberating. Each sketch had to begin with a frame. I probably could have organized the thumbnails better on the page, but I was just focused on getting each image down as quickly as possible. I worked straight ahead using ink and watercolor washes.

The first thing that caught my eye was a young man feeding the pigeons. If anyone walked too close, they would take flight all at once. I sketched a candy cart, the monument to Columbus and then became infatuated with the men who played dominoes all day long. The cathedral was a cool reprieve from the hot park. The chihuahua named Pancho belonged to a couple who stopped to talk to me in English. The owner was an artist herself and I suggested she join us for the SketchCrawl later in the day.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:


Love "the decisive moment" concept-well done!