Urban Sketching workshop with James Richards and Orlando Urban Sketchers

urban sketchers with James Richards in Winter Park

What a treat to spend the day in Winter Park, attending Urban Sketcher James Richards’ workshop, “The Grand Illusion: Achieving a Dramatic Sense of Depth.”

I follow Jim on Instagram @jrsketchbook and have taken his online Craftsy course. So I was delighted when I saw that the Orlando Urban Sketchers was having Jim do a workshop.

Urban sketcher James Richards at Orlando Urban Sketchers workshop
Jim used examples of sketches he had drawn to give us ideas about how to select locations to sketch.

The workshop was a good combination of instruction for our group of 16, time to try out the techniques we learned, and one-on-one and feedback from Jim.

I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s sketch after each lesson. We would have the same assignment and would move to different locations in Central Park.

When we returned, we’d lay out our sketchbooks in the grass, and Jim would critique. It was fun to see what everyone came back with and to enjoy a variety of styles.

During our three sketching sessions, Jim would find each of us in the park and provide advice on how we could improve our work – adding strategic color or shading or sketching people in the background to add more depth.

James Richards sketching
Jim demonstrates different sketching techniques.

I can take what he said about the weight of lines, the depth of view, and the color value and add to my own style.

We had a nice day for sketching – some sun but not too hot. There was so much to draw in Central Park. “Ye Old Hometown Christmas Parade” was wrapping up as we began sketching, so the park was filled with people (some in Santa hats) to be part of our sketches.

The workshop was one of those fun and great learning opportunities — providing time for practice and opening our eyes to different approaches.

I enjoyed meeting the other urban sketchers who attended, including Kim Minichiello, who I’d followed on Instagram and is the in-coming president of the Florida Watercolor Society.

James Richards leads critique at Orlando Urban Sketchers workshop
After each sketching activity, Jim would lead a group critique. With our sketchbooks laid out, we could see each other’s work. Noga Grosman (on right) was the organizer for the workshop.

The event organizer, Noga Grosman, started the Orlando Urban Sketchers almost three years ago after discovering Urban Sketching during her trip to Israel. She did a great job of organizing the event, including the final group lunch at Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine.

The people in the workshop were friendly and welcoming.

I’m now mulling over things and distilling the day’s experience.  What fun and inspiration to learn from Jim, see all the artists’ styles, meet urban sketchers from Orlando and be able to continue to stretch my sketching muscles.