Melbourne from a sketcher's point of view

May 17 / 193

Thumb and story sketch by Pat Cameron.
Thumb and story sketch by Pat Cameron.

Our University was the site of a meet up for members of a global community of urban sketchers, who recently took part in a workshop with legendary sketcher Stephanie Bower.

Urban Sketchers started out on the image-sharing site Flickr in 2007 in the United States, and has grown to become a global Facebook phenomenon, in which people share their world from direct observation. It’s Instagram with pencil, paint and paper!

Any given weekend you’ll find numerous artists gathered in groups to work on their drawings, culminating in a sketch reveal and review at the end of the session. The sketchers learn from each other, applaud differing individual styles, and encourage the art of drawing. The University is a popular Melbourne sketch site due to its variety of architectural styles, and tranquil weekend vibe.

On day one of the workshop Ms Bower, who hails from Seattle – the home of the urban sketching movement – helped those gathered for the workshop work on their perspective and vanishing point technique. She also helped build their confidence in peopling their scenes – often the most vexing part of a composition for sketchers. Day two was about colouring sketches, and the art of suggestion through restraint.

Ms Bower said she was amazed and delighted by the way participants took to putting the University of Melbourne’s warm stone and inviting archways onto paper.

“Some of them were pretty much raw beginners," she said. "It’s always great to see how a handful of technical tips can quickly turn people’s confidence around and result in a great little drawing."

Check out more great work by Melbourne Urban Sketchers on Facebook.

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