Sunday, September 22, 2019

Panera and Urban Sketching

On Sundays for the next 6 weeks I am teaching an Urban Sketching class at Crealde School of Art. One of the first venues we explore with or sketchbooks is Panera Bread (2516 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL.) Each class begins with about an hour of instruction in the classroom along with some sketching exercises to apply the new principle taught. Then we head out to sketch on location. Paneras on a Sunday morning starts off rather slow and by the time the lunch hour approaches the place becomes packed.

This allows for a relaxed first hour to sketch the interior setting without worrying about the human element. Then as people file in we sketch people at the tables that were established in pencil. I teach the students to pay attention to how much food was ordered and how full peoples glasses are, to get a sense of how long the person might be at the table to be sketched. People come and go while the sketch is in progress and the goal is to make it seem like a moment in time had been captured. Catching fellow sketchers in the sketch is an advantage because they are on the same time table, lingering rather than rushing to finish eating and get out.

I don't always take the time to do a sketch myself since I circulate and give each student notes that might help them with the composition or gestures that can be caught. I  have a very talented crew of students for the next six weeks and I am excited to share my thoughts on how to capture life in a sketch. One of my students showed me a fordable devise with magnets that can be used to hod a palette and water jar. It is a smart design and I might incorporate something similar into my work flow. By teaching I often find that I learn things  as well.

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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