Barcelona symposium workshops, Part 1


I attended five amazing workshops during the Urban sketchers symposium in Barcelona this July, and thought I´d show some (not so polished) sketchbook pages from them. I have to say I am amazed at the high quality of all the workshops I took, I have learned so much! A lot of the things I learned are still spinning around in my head, making me want to go out and try all these new strategies and ways to work, to really see what I can make of them.

The first workshop I took was Inma Serrano´s The Rhythm of the City, where Inma talked about and showed some of her tricks and techniques to capture people, architecture and whole scenes quickly and effectively. I shot a video of her drawing another participant (iPhone quality, but still), and have her permission to post on online, so you´ll find it as you scroll down in this post.

I knew this workshop was going to be a tough one, because Inma´s way of working is so different from mine – but then that´s what it´s all about, right? To try on someone else´s shoes for a while and work from their point of view. And I have so much to learn from this fast, expressive and imaginative sketcher.


I am not going to give away the whole workshop here, but I can say I was WAY out of my comfort zone here – which I love, but it does make for messy sketchbook pages. The symposium workshops are three hours long, which means you don´t have a lot of time to finish anything. So I tend to write, doodle and sketch all over the pages, try to get as much as I can down on the page, so I can go out and try everything on my own later on. I don´t care what the pages look like, or if the drawings cover the text or vice versa – will still remember what it means.


What I immediately took with me from this workshop was Inma´s way of working so quickly by simply not drawing it all. She captures some of what she sees with a pen, some with a paintbrush, some with a crayon, constantly swithching between her tools (you´ll see it in the video below). In combination, it says so much more about a place than a line drawing. She quickly gets athmosphere, rhythm, sound and colour onto her sketchbook pages without overworking anything.

(If you are on an iDevice, follow this link to the Youtube clip.)

This workshop is something that will follow me for a long time, there is so much in Inma´s methods and ways of seeing things that appeals to me and that I need to work on. Thanks Inma for a fantastic and inspiring three hours!

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