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Chicago Sketchcation: Part 5

On the 28th instead of a workshop and a demo I had two workshops, so it was a long day of sketching! I skipped waking up early (clearly came to my senses that doing BOTH an early morning sketch AND a nocturne might not be the most advisable choice), and started the day with my first workshop. This was perhaps the one I was most looking forward to, and it didn't disappoint! Instructor LK Bing is a genius, but also incredibly kind and a great teacher (and has much better English than he thinks he has!) We began by watching him do a demo of tiny value cards, these are small sketches so you can get a handle on the scene before working bigger. Here's mine! He had us using these great water soluble markers to start with; a lot of the process was very different from what I usually do. Nice to step outside the box a bit and work a little looser!

And here's a photo of me painting my value card! (photo by the delightful and talented Marta Sitek) Security wasn't that trilled with us being outside the building, so my decision to sit between the two bike racks was mostly to stay out of the walking path on the sidewalk.

How great is this close-up of my board and palette? (Also by Marta). She did such a great job capturing the whole symposium!

Then we moved on to larger paintings. You will notice my big sketch doesn't match my value card. Two very large trucks pulled in blocking my entire view, so I turned around and went in cold on the other view. Still worked out ok, I think!

After we finished the workshop, a new friend and I walked up to the river walk for lunch. I then stayed to do a sketch.

I had forgotten just how long it takes to walk back to our meet-up location for all the workshops, so sadly in doing this sketch I hadn't left myself enough time. I just missed my group, and then had to figure out (read: find someone who knew things and ask them if THEY knew where the workshop was as the information wasn't actually posted anywhere) where they were so I could go find them. An hour after I had left the river walk, I returned to the spot of my workshop. Three blocks from where I had started. Though I was sadly 20-30 minutes late, luckily I had most of the workshop left to enjoy (and oddly enough, two people showed up later than me!). This workshop with Uma Kelkar was all about working loose and softening edges, which turned out to be a great companion workshop to the LK Bing one I had just taken! Very different for me, but so much fun! I missed the first exercise, but showed up in time to do some quick watercolor sketches to practice "losing" edges. Here's my favorite (it's of a sculpture of men with umbrellas):

Next we were to pick a view for a larger sketch, and we were tasked with only using one color, or two if one of them was a yellow. Limited palette work isn't something I do terribly often, so I chose my Daniel Smith Quinacridone Deep Gold (because I love it) and my Daniel Smith Cobalt Violet because it seemed like it might work well with the gold? I was actually really happy with the color choices and would definitely try something like this again. There were a few things I would change, edges I would lose and whatnot, but I was pretty happy with it as a whole, too. A bonus was a friend I made earlier in the week was in the workshop too, so we sat together and chatted while we worked!

I did dinner with Uma and some other sketchers after the workshop, and then walked back to Millennium Park. I wanted to do a nocturne of the Bean but had to wait for the sun to go down a bit, so I did this quick one of the Gehry Shell.

For my Bean nocturne, I chose a very similar composition to my first sketch, as I see them almost as companion pieces. This was so much fun! Also, working illuminated by my book light, I drew in some other urban sketchers who stopped by to see my progress! The urban sketching community is such a lovely, supportive group of people!




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