Portland Urban Sketchers Workshop

Just got home after a great visit to Portland, where I led a day-long workshop for the Urban Sketchers group there. It was a fantastic bunch of folks, 38 of us in all! I started with a 2-hour talk that mixed techniques on observation, composition, perspective, and media with short sketching exercises. After a lunch break, we met again in Pioneer Courthouse Square for three hours of location drawing. As we were wrapping up the morning session, the sun was breaking through and it looked to be a promising afternoon - there was a 70% chance of rain in the forecast. Unfortunately, just as we were getting started with the afternoon session, the rain came down. I was very impressed with everyone's willingness to fight through it and do some sketching. Thankfully there were some breaks in the rain, and we ended up at the Multnomah County Library (beautiful building!) for some indoor sketching and a look at each other's sketchbooks. I really enjoy doing workshops like this - getting around to everyone and sharing tips and techniques ... it's such a rewarding experience as a teacher. The only problem is that I don't get to sketch a whole lot! I always try to blast out at least one drawing to use as an example, and that's what I've posted here. Thanks to People's Food Co-Op for the use of their Community Room, and huge thanks to Alanna Randall for working so hard on organizing the event!


  1. Thank you Matthew. It was a great day (except for that darn weather glitch). Your lecture was so filled with info and tips and tricks on techniques to help us do better sketching. I loved the idea of doing small sketches...and I think I have caught onto the real intent of doing 'small' sketches not just 'small details' as I did during the afternoon. Sometimes it takes me some time to process...and thanks for your input.

  2. Thanks, Deb! I'm so happy you enjoyed the workshop - hopefully we can do it again at some point.


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