Today, I am revisiting the excellent workshop I took with LK Bing at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago last month. I love LK's watercolors - they are so full of emotion and atmosphere that I was really excited for his workshop. The full title of the workshop was "Spontaneous Creation of Dramatic Atmosphere: How to Apply Lighting Concepts with Artistic Strokes."
I attended LK's workshop as my second workshop on Friday morning. As with all of the workshops, we met our instructors at Grant Park and walked over to the location LK selected for us near the Chicago Board of Trade building. LK was very generous with the supplies and instruction he provided us - which included: (a) a printed color booklet/handout with stated learning goals, workshop schedule, his supplies and tools, and his step by step process; (b) three water soluble Snowman markers; (c) two 9 x 12 cm thumbnail cards that are made of mounting boards; and (d) a bamboo knife.
The learning goals of the workshop were as follows:
In this workshop, the participants will acquire understanding of the techniques of how to make a sketching composition artistically and speedily through:
Applying lighting concepts and depth to express atmosphere.
Creating spontaneous and artistic strokes.
Making value study in order to look for the best composition and to build a library of best compositions for future reference.
Understanding on tools and materials which helps to speed up and simplify the creation of quality sketches.
First, LK showed us his supplies and tools as well as his own sketches and thumbnails. He then proceeded to demonstrate his process of first drawing compositional value thumbnails. Here is a video I shot of LK's demo.
Following LK's thumbnail demo, we set off to try our own. I was able to do the two you see in the above photo of the supplies provided to us. LK came by and gave us individual tips and comments. Thereafter, LK demo'ed painting his full size sketch, reminding us to reserve the white of the paper for highlights. Here is an admittedly unprofessional video I took of LK's demo.
Here is LK's final sketch.
We then set out to do our own sketches with LK's helpful comments. For instance, LK gave me the advice to try to reserve more white space in my sketch, but I could still add in some white watercolor or gouache (or even pastel) later. Here is my final sketch from the workshop.
I continued using LK's water soluble pen and his methods to sketch during my time at the USK Chicago Symposium and found it really helpful in speeding up my sketching and loosening up my style. Here are some examples of my sketches from Chicago using LK's teachings.
Today, I revisited LK's teachings and used his water soluble pen to do these sketches while waiting.
I have yet to capture the atmospheric quality and emotion of LK's work, but I will keep practicing. I love how quickly I can sketch with this method and will keep working at it. Thanks again for a great workshop, LK!
Stay tuned for my future posts on the workshops I took with Marion Rivolier and Liz Steel, as well as the demo by Stephanie Bower - all from the USK Symposium in Chicago.