By Nathan Wertheimer
Orlando, FL — On Saturday, June 5, 2021, there was a planned meet up on location at Dellagio Town Center from the Orlando Urban Sketchers. This was a free event and there were about twelve artists made up of men and women. These artists have different skill levels and art backgrounds. The weather turned out great.
Some of my followers already know my art background. For those who don’t know about me, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Fine Art and Illustration from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. I was able to get an art foundation to establish an art career. Art has always been part of my life since I was kid.
This was not my first time I have sketched on location in Central Florida. My first experience was from my high school art class. Then years later, I decided to give it a try again. The best part of sketching on location is interacting with the general public. You never know whom you’re going to meet and chat with. I like it when people ask questions about my artwork. It gives me a chance to educate and inspire them too. People tend to respect artist at work on location. I have never had anything bad happen to me while on location sketching.
At this event, I arrived early to scope out a great place to sketch. Slowly artists started arriving with their supplies in hand. There were no rules except for that the artwork tell a story. Basically, these artists are journalists trying to capture the actual landscape of the area. Nothing is made up or added to the scene if it is not there. Most artists on this location focused on capturing one scene to turn it into a finished work of art for the day.
Here is the process of sketching on location:
- Always check the weather first before going out on location.
- Dress comfortable while out on location
- Before leaving home, gather you’re sketching supplies such as a folding chair, a bag filled with a clipboard, sketch/drawing paper, drawing utensil (pencil and pen), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a beverage, and anything else you need.
- Find a good scene to sketch out. Artists’ don’t need a lot of people who will be in the way. If it is too crowded then find another location.
- Next, sit down and relax while sketching out the scene in either pencil or black ballpoint pen.
- Look for a starting point on your composition. Not everything should be asymmetrical. You will want a well-balanced layout. Don’t worry about mistakes we all do it. Sometimes mistakes are a blessing.
- Take a break if you need too. There is always another day to re-visit your location. Your artwork doesn’t have to be complete in a day. Take your time. There is no rush. Enjoy the experience of working on artwork on location.
- When your artwork is finished take a photo of it and post it on social media for all to see. Make sure it is tagged correctly along with a brief caption too.
While at this event, I sketched out three different scenes with pencil only. I tend to work fast on sketches. These were not final drawings of my work of art. My first sketch was the mermaid with a fish. Next, I decided to tackle the storefront window display with two manikins. It was a challenge because of the reflection of the large Italian style fountain in the background. Then to wrap up my day, I sketched a scene of two of the Orlando Urban Sketchers doing their thing with the fountain.
Some of the other artists gave me feedback on my artwork and I did the same for them too. I have already come into my own art style. One artist liked my lines and form of the sculpture of the mermaid. Another artist was surprised on how fast I could sketch. There are many reasons why I sketch fast.
How did the other artists enjoy their experience? Many of them would come back and participate at another time. Some artists are more comfortable around other artists so that they don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves alone. Yes, at the beginning of my sketching on location experience years ago, I too did not want to be the center attraction either. Overtime, it comes with the territory and one learns to accept it.
Finally, I found this activity a lot of fun and relaxing too. In the future, I plan on catching up with this group again. If you are an artist and want to challenge yourself, this activity is for you. Come experience it for yourself. Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. You can do it and have faith in yourself! Urban Sketchers slogan is “come join us in showing the world one drawing at a time.” For more information on this group please visit www.urbansketcehers.org .
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Source of information: First hand experience