My first workshop at the recent Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago was one of the most sought after at the Symposium this year. Somehow, I was lucky enough to have gotten into Marc Holmes Watercolor Silhouettes workshop on the first morning of worskshops.
I have already taken a Marc's two Craftsy classes (Sketching People in Motion & Travel Sketching in Mixed Media) and found them to be excellent in terms ofdrawing, watercolor, and urban sketching techniques. I highly recommend them. If you access the courses through Marc's website, you can get a 50% discount on the course. I also really enjoyed his book, The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location.
In this Marc's books and Craftsy courses, he progresses from drawing in pencil to ink and adding watercolor, to going straight to watercolor with no underdrawing. His workshop is a continuation of this progression. Marc has generously posted a handout, An Exercise in Direct Sketching: The Broken Silhouette, from his workshop online . Marc summarizes the goal of the workshop as follows:
THE IDEA IS SIMPLY: Sketch with a brush, straight onto dry white paper, with rich, juicy mixes of paint, picked up as directly as possible from the paint box.
Marc explained this to us as a way to not only draw with your brush, but to create solid shapes at the same time with exciting watercolor effects.
Then, he demonstrated painting a positive shape using this techniques. Here's some video of his demo.
I didn't really understand what Marc wanted in my first try - he wanted more outlining the shape with the brush and filling it it in with lively watercolor mixes. Here, I just added a wash over the statue of the horse and rider.
In my next few attempts, I did a little better with Marc's concepts.
The workshop was wonderful and Marc gave us so much to think about and to practice. I revisited his handout and concepts the other day and worked on using his first technique (painting a positive, isolated shape) to practice painting cars and people (with which I always struggle)!
Yesterday, I attempted Marc's other technique - drawing with a background (negative shapes) at the Lafayette reservoir. I definitely need more practice painting negative shapes - so this was fun.
I will keep practicing Marc's techniques over the next few days and will also revisit each one of the amazing workshops I took at the USK Symposium in Chicago. Stay tuned!