"Catching Light" A workshop recap!

It’s a wrap! My very first workshop, as a part of the SF Bay Area’s Urban Sketcher 10x10 Workshop series, “Catching Light” is now in the past, and a bit of weight is off my shoulders.

Ok, a LOT of weight. Pretty sure I gained a handful of grey hairs from this, although the whole process was made much easier thanks to those that patiently and kindly helped me along the way. Special shoutout to the giant-hearted Suhita Shirodkar and Laurie Wigham! Also thanks to all the guinea pigs that helped me do a test run to iron out any kinks, and implement improvements for the real deal.

The class took place in the Yerba Buena Gardens, where my passion for painting from life began. Going back there sparked so many fond memories painting with some of my good friends on the grass during our lunch breaks.

It was a little disturbing to see them spray painting the grass green...but I guess it’s better than wasting the water!

My friend Sidney helped us all out, and she was great moral support. Several of the photos are taken by her, and another friend, Lydia Finerty. We went early to scope out where the class would take place, and also my demo. Several people showed up extra early as well, and we did some warm up paintings together.


Sidney and Janice doing a pre-workshop sketch.

I started with this little painting of two guys having a conversation under a tree. The background was a reddish tint from the St. Patrick’s Church.

After that, there was a little extra time to sneak in a quick painting of Janice. A supporter and friend that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the past couple of months.

We started the class out with some introductions, and me nervously fumbling through my notes to make sure I didn’t forget anything important. In addition, I had printed out step-by-step instructions, as well as a sticker of key things to remember.

The demo went well. It was the same scene as the warm up, except with a new group of people. Once they realized they were being painted, they started playing musical chairs, and it was tricky. But that’s part of the fun; figuring out how to work with the unexpected obstacles. The demo was unfinished, but gave the basic idea of how I worked.

The students were a dream to work with, and everyone was so friendly and eager to learn. I invited everyone to get up close to be sure to see the way I applied the paint, and also how it was mixed.

Can’t forget to show them my “viewfinder”!

After everyone felt confident to try out what they had learned, we all dispersed with little orange flags to make sure I wouldn’t miss anyone. Most people stayed close, which made it a fun and social atmosphere.

  For the last section, we all showed our work and talked about what we had learned. It was really great to see such a fantastic body of work, many which have never used gouache before or done plein air painting! What an impressive group!

Overall, it was such a memorable and wonderful experience. Thanks to all of the attendees, and to the organizers of the SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers. It was great to be able to share, and help others, and I’m looking forward to doing more workshops in the future. If you miss out on this, be sure to check the SF Bay Area 10x10 list to see what other awesome workshops are available!



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