To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sketching the Musicians

Finally! I finished the workbooks for my sketching/journaling workshop (the weekend of September 15 and 16, and the following Thursday night, September 20), not an easy task with my scanner driver in the ditch. When I create a journal I like to scan in drawings and other goodies from my journals and sketchbooks -- but for this one I had to rely on files I already had scanned in.

Actually, I'm really pleased with the results, so it's no big deal.

My friend Cathy Egelston, also an artist, instructor and journaler, took the workbooks and tried out the course. She says the workshop's almost there -- pointing out places where I could bolster faltering confidence in would-be journalers if needed, and suggesting changes that would make the process easier. I didn't leave enough room for the calligraphy sample on the workbook page, for instance, and it was hard for her to try out the lettering with the calligraphy pen in the cramped space. Good to know!

It's always important to vet a workshop before giving it for the first time. I've given workshops cold, without running them past a "reviewer," but it's scary and I always notice things during the workshop that I might have approached differently. I would have been pretty vexed with myself during this workshop, for instance, as I watched students struggle with the calligraphy sample. It's of paramount importance to me to give people MORE than they expect for their money.

Now I'll go back into the workbook files, which I've been setting up in InDesign (an excellent program, by the way, but it requires a rather steep initial learning process), and make the fixes Cathy suggested. Then I can convert the workbooks to .pdf files and upload them to my brother David's printing company server (aren't I lucky?) and in a week or so I'll receive the workbooks via FedEx or UPS, gorgeous and ready to go.

Cathy and I did some impromptu journal sketching yesterday -- we went to The Black Sheep, a pub in Ashland (Oregon) just down the road, and sketched the musicians jamming Irish music -- an every-Sunday event. If I ever get that dang scanner going again, I'll upload my sketches of the harpist, mandolin, fiddle and other players.

It was deeply satisfying to be immersed in the lively music while sketching. I was working in ball-point pen, my Guinness Stout on the dark wooden table beside me, while Cathy concentrated on pencil as she sipped her tea. One of the musicians beckoned us over as we were packing up to leave (on our way to the swimming hole, complete with knotted rope swing for a plunge into the waters of the Ashland reservoir), and admired the sketches. What fun!

That sketching, now that I've planned the workshop, will serve as a bit of fodder for
schemes to encourage and invigorate my students-to-be. I've been so busy recently that I've had little time to indulge in my favorite pastime, and now I need to work on my own journal pages to demonstrate techniques I've been touting in my workbooks.

By the way, I just completed the final session of my nature sketching workshop last Sunday. It was a wonderful group of gung-ho students, and we had great fun. I'll talk more about them next blog.

Until next blog, then!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about both your workshop process and your artwork.

Irene Brady said...

Hi Anna,
Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you're enjoying my musings. It really helps me focus to know that I am responsible to several (that I know of) blog readers to keep working at it.
I visited your blog, by the way, and I'm going to add you to my "Links to other good sites" list.

Stay tuned!

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