Barcelona Symposium - Urban Sketchers portraits


Well Miguel Herranz is so right : we draw more unknown people or sketchers than family ! People watching us is intimidating, and I don't speak about sketching under pressure (does it work, does it look like the model ?)...
Ok, first of all let's warm up a bit... Starting right in the plane (perfect to finally listen to the security instructions).

Later in Barcelona streets, don't look at the paper, just draw ! (And today we're so lucky : these 2 guys near by think we don't understand spanish, we get to know everything about their mistresses, untertaining). 

Special note : I spilled my coffee on my drawing, this is so SO MUCH Usk spirit ! Well, coffee has run on the whole book, I'll draw thinking of Barcelona for a while ! 


This symposium is just like Christmas eve, when you're a child and you can't wait to see your cousins again and you feel so so happy ! Urban sketchers is not only drawing, it's about friendship...
When I settled in France last year, I took part in Urban Sketchers France launch : a teen group ! As we met already in june recently, it helps to break the ice. And so many French sketchers came to Barcelona!


I used to live in Spain where Clara Marta organises a national meeting every year. Other meetings pop up during the year, and Clara says we nearly see each other more than family ! In France also spontaneous meetings begin to pop up. Even Belge and German come to share with us ! 

And this is only if you stay at home, but imagine just for one minute : Usk is all around the world, so guess what ! You can draw everywhere with sketchers, makes me dizzy dizzy ! During the symposium you meet so many people actually, it's easy to be eating with a Londonian, a Texan, a Thai, an Australian... So many countries, so many drawing styles... 


And that's the point in Barcelona, lunch is perfect to share drawing and tips. Christine Deschamps and Elisabeth Thoral make jokes, James Richards motivates me with such a good vibe, moving,  Paul and Tia draw wonderful splashes to dazzle our eyes, and if the girl near you has decided to speak only Catalan and you don't get a word of it, just be happy to be living a real cultural cliché and draw it !


Wow awesome ! Tia gives to Swasky an asiatic stamp in which is written Barcelona in chinese, magical ! You read it from top to bottom. What I prefer is Swasky's syllabic etymology :
BAR bar, 
CEL sky, 
ONA wave.

Ok guys, let's go : it's time to experiment...
Inspiration (and expiration, don't forget to breathe!)


Here's a bit of everything, the parallel pen with watercolour shapes (based on buildings behind)
Primary colours with pencils, and an only-1-line carbon pen drawing (including comment : "Awesome, she put her hat back on !") 


A bit of markers, only 6 colours available so stop thinking, just draw...

TazabJulieJudith (the grown-up)


Judith (the little, not so little!). It's Tazab's daughter and she draws so well ! She offers me two drawings, fantastic ones and she's only 9. Her brother Thomas is also a great sketcher, and together they inspire such a good idea to Marc and Chris from Belgium : "We should do something for mini sketchers, say here !" ("say here" is part of verbal punctuation in Belgium, I just love it !) As they're coming to the sketchers fair in Clermont, they'll bring their machine to make badges "I'm a mini sketcher" and "I love my Usk". Awesome !
Marc also asks "Why not a mini sketchers sketchbook? A mini sketchers blog ?" Something's going on here, to be continued !


Sketchcrawl day. 500 drawers at list, wow WOW ! We make a portrait round with Patrizia and Emdé !


Let's catch Suhita drawing Lapin, and Lapin drawing Suhita, the 2 correspondants of the blog (here)


Before the curtain goes down, a souvenir portrait of Ursula, maybe the youngest one of Urban Sketchers. I met her at a sketchcrawl in Madrid, then we met again in Lyon while she was studying erasmus there.
She's so mature ! No fear at all, she makes her sketchbooks herself and she invites me to try new tools (above all the pilot parallel !). Another day we sketch together and it starts raining : "Quick sketch without thinking, that's the rain spirit !" and she takes me out of my confort zone. 
Now she's back to Madrid, it's not too far. And anyway we keep in touch on internet, even if it's not the same without her cute exotic accent "C'est yénial de dessinère !"

Well that's it : it's over. That's what I thought while sketching at the airport. But guess who's flying on the same flight ?  Emdé ! Sketchers recognize each other quickly, material and sketchbooks, and the head going up and down just like the plastic dogs on a car parcel shelf !



It's time to close the symposium's chapter, just a last express portraits gallery. Ultimate supper together, and also july the 14th : national day in France. French stand up and sing the Marseillaise ! Belge will sure laugh at us, yes they will, quoi ! (pronounce with the Liégeois accent) It's a bit sad to go away. Veronica Lawlor cheers us up "à la prochaine" (see you next one) with her nice New Yorker accent, and this is a nice cuote to end this. Back to France, each time I hear "à la prochaine", it takes me back to Barcelona... We'll surf on this great energy !


Chantal said...

What a wonderful review Emily! It looked like such an exciting time to be in the fabulous Spanish city. Many of us urban sketchers from Australia have relied upon blogs, facebook and flickr to catch up with what happened. Your drawings and descriptions are full of life. Lovely to see. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Great reveiew! And I love your sketches. They're so full of life!
The symposium was so much fun and meeting so many great people was fantastic.
I don't remember meeting you, but that will hopefully happen one day. I'm in Luxembourg, so it's not too far. We might bump into each other at a future sketching meeting (or if you're ever around Luxembourg) :)

Emily Nudd Mitchell said...

Thanks ! It's been great and I'me sure you get the energy at home too !
Beliza we met really quickly at drink and draw, I hope we'll draw together too ! Luxembourg is so close, you're more than welcome ! (we put French meetings on the fb group, please join !)