Sunday, January 12, 2020

Crealde Urban Sketching Class

My Crealde Urban Sketching Class begins Sunday January 19, 2020 starting at 9:30am. This is a sketch of the classroom. Outside the window you can see one of my students sketching on a sunny day. Inside I was demonstrating to another student how to block in the room quickly in a composition and how to place a figure. The primary reason for this quick sketch was to demonstrate how to leave large shapes on the page pure white and then apply a light wash over the rest of the sketch to make those shapes pop.

Each morning we start by exploring a premise in the classroom and then in the last half or the class we move out into the community to sketch on location. Just getting students to realize that when they draw on location, no one is judging them. I might offer insights, but I don't judge the work. Each student has their own approach and temperament and the variety we see across the board is part of what makes drawing on location with other artists so exciting.

Last semester I started asking students to share their work on Instagram.  This allows them to share work with each other and possible hear from a much wider community of artists. On Instagram I also share all the rough class notes and composition sketches I do for students. That was students can see what was shared.

The past few weeks I have been pouring over thousands of my early student sketches and it has been an eye opening learning experience. Some of the sketches I did back in my 20s and 30s are bold and daring and it is making me want to experiment more with my work in the next year. I worked much larger in my youth, usually on 18 by 24 inch sketch pads. I scaled down when I started sketching once a day starting back in 2009. Part of the reason was to be sure that I could scan the drawings on my flat bed scanner. I think I might grow much faster as an artist if I return to working larger and find other ways to work around the limits of scanning technology. So here is to a bigger and bolder 2020.

The next 6 week Urban Sketching course has been canceled due to lack of enrollment.

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

No comments: