Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sketch Orlando Workshop at Lake Eola.

I co-hosted a sketch outing with Greg Bryla, a Senior Landscape Architect at Dix.Hite + Partners. Viviana Castro and Kristen Koehnemann helped organize the event. Every artist that attended, got a small travel size watercolor palette, sheets of watercolor paper, a pencil and water brush. We all met outside the Eola House (512 E. Washington St, Orlando, FL). The newly formed Orlando Urban Sketcher's group joined with landscape architects for a morning of sketching a the Lake Eola Farmers Market. We met in the open field next to the Eola House and all the supplies were placed a folding table for artists to pick up. A bicycle cop stopped by and told us the table wasn't allowed in the park, so it was broken down and supplies went on the ground. Artists are all about breaking rules.

Greg and I gave short talks about how to catch a quick scene in a sketch. Then we all scattered to do a 20 minute sketch. I usually take an hour to two hours to complete my sketches so I really had to pick up the pace. Luckily the sheet of watercolor paper was small allowing for just a quick thumbnail study. I focused on the BBQ guy setting up for the morning. He had to stoke the fire and put out all his wares. I just sketched him over a over again to populate the scene. There was only enough time to throw in a few light washes before heading back to the base camp.

We all placed our sketches on the lawn to see what worked and what might need improvement. It is always wonderful to see how different and unique each sketch is. Variety is who makes sketching so exciting. Two artiss couldn't draw the same scene the same way if they tried. Each sketch involves millions of decisions that make each sketch unique. Any advice is just a guiding suggestion. I would never want to change the way an artist interprets a scene. Instruction is just a way to help artists truly see. Most of sketching is patience and perseverance.

Then it started to rain, so we all ran to World of Beer (431 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL) where we sipped beers and sketched on the outside patio. I sketched the artists on the couches refining their sketches. The shower was short lived, just long enough to down one beer and pay up. The landscape architects had one more surprise up their sleeve. Across the lake they had a table set up with a delicious Polynesian pulled pork lunch spread.  I must say that landscape architects really know how to organize a sketch outing. Remnants of the Pulse memorial items still surrounded the lake. There were tons of candle holders and dead flowers everywhere. Had it not rained this emotional refuge would have certainly been the topic of my sketch. A bicycle cop once again stopped to inform us that it is illegal to serve food in the park. The table was broken down and the buffet was dropped in the grass. Once again the artist, anarchists were caught trying to picnic in the park. After the mass murder of 49 people I would think the police might have loftier goals.

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

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