Blue chairs

I am not going to write much today because the wi-fi is very slow. But I will say that the beach is better than a life drawing class and when I get back to my scanner I will post my life drawings.

Blue Chairs


Big palm

After many days of drawing and not too much painting it feels great to get back to full color. It’s going to take some time to absorb all that I learned at the symposium in Santo Domingo and I hope to write about it when I return but for now I think I’ll just let it sink in. There are some sketches from workshops I haven’t even posted yet because I need to think about them a bit more and process the concepts. At some point everything you are learning gets a bit muddled in your head and I think taking some time to write it all down will help me to sift through it all.

Big Palm


Dominos on Parque Colon

This sketch is a continuation of “improvising with line and color” workshop. This time the exercise was to incorporate words into the drawing. These men gathered around a lively game of dominos is something I keep coming back to in my work. I drew them from a distance and then got closer to pick up some of the words they were saying – but apparently I don’t remember my high school Spanish very well because some of these are not even real words.

Dominos on Parque Colon


Improvising with lines and color

It’s really hard to find a bit of time to post during the USK symposium. When we’re not sketching in the middle of a crowded square there are panel discussions, drink and draw evenings and lots of yakking with other sketchers. There is so much to take in from all the workshops that I think it will take some time before it all gets sorted out in my head.
This morning’s workshop – Improvising with line and color” with Orling Dominguez and Inma Serrano was all about telling the story of Parque Colon, the main square in front of the cathedral. Our challenge was to use line, color and words to describe our surroundings – and the hardest part for me was to put together three scenes into one drawing. I stood in one spot to draw the big guy on the right, another for the family under the tree and a third place for the facade of the cathedral in the back. The last link in the story was Orling’s suggestion of adding the big pigeons in the foreground to cross over the gutter of the spread and bring the drawing together.


Mercado Merengue

I closed my eyes in the market area today I heard these sounds: a car alarm, a wailing siren, incessant honking and loud merengue music from a passing truck. The workshop that I took this afternoon with Melanie Reim and Natalie Ramirez was called “Mercado Merengue” and it was an apt title because sketching in a crowded market is a bit like a crazy dance. We started by doing thumbnails to capture the feeling of our surroundings. Then we had to sketch people in motion by following one person and drawing them as they moved. The third exercise was to find patterns and add that to the drawing so I picked a man outside his souvenir shop. And the last sketch had to put it all together but we only had 15 minutes left so I drew the banana seller and his motorcycle buddies.

Selling Bottles

Banana Seller



The Decisive Moment

The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for his ability to catch “the decisive moment” in his photography. That was the title of the workshop that I took this afternoon with Veronica Lawlor and Jonathon Schmidt. We sketched on Calle Conde – a really crowded pedestrian street. The first 45 minutes were spent observing and doing thumbnail sketches and basically just trying to capture the feeling of the street. Then we had to pick one of our thumbnails and do a drawing that had a story of the street. While I was drawing this group of men gathered around a chess game I noticed that the man on the left was distracted and kept turning around. It took a few minutes before I realized that the group of young female tourists looking in a shop window was far more interesting than the chess game.

The Decisive Moment


Museo Casa de Tostado

Today was a travel day so not much time to sketch. I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. to catch my flights to Santo Domingo and didn’t arrive until 5 p.m. at the hotel. But of course the first thing I had to do was find my way to the Centro cultural de Espana to check in at the symposium and pick up my tote bag of sketch books! This little drawing is done in the linen covered book in the photo below. More tomorrow after a night of sleep!

Casa de tostada