by Ellen Yule
Travel sketch alone or in group? Why should you join a travel sketch trip to Spain in a small group?
"Teachers and students learn from one another." (the indigenous Maori learning concept of akoako in Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Vivienne Lingard, an experienced sketcher, illustrator, art teacher and curator, shows in her travel sketch blog how she enjoyed the benefits of learning from the other kiwi sketchers in the group during her travel sketching Spain tour in 2019, organised by 2WAYS Tours in partnership with Erin Hill Sketching New Zealand.
This post is about others – the other sketchers whom I was lucky to spend time with on my recent trip to Spain. Why was I lucky? Because I learned rather a lot from them. The group may be surprised by this statement, as many are new-comers to sketching and are rather modest about their outcomes. But they have an approach to their sketching, that I, as a long-standing ‘sketcher’ lack.
Someone once told me that ‘one can know too much’, and I believe I quietly scoffed at that notion. But, in some ways it is true. I have developed a style, which is fine, and like to use pencil and charcoal over other mediums. I have become proficient in this area. Okay, I hear you saying, what’s wrong with that? Nothing in itself, except it has made me reluctant to step out of my comfort zone and try new things (as much as I protest that I would like to). This is where my learning comes from observing others; not just from the tutor Tony who led the group, but the students who showed they were not inhibited by ‘knowing too much’. They welded those pens and paints as if they were born to it.
The groups’ shyness turned to pleasure as the days wore on, just from sketching. The tutor, as I have mentioned before, was always positive, and that positivity fed their output. They weren’t coy about putting paint to paper, and letting colours meld together, as I have been, tending to overwork a piece until it’s ‘muddy’, and so backing off from using watercolour at all.
I stood beside many of them as we looked upon the same buildings, or balconies. Did they move off and find something else to sketch like I often did? NO. They took out their pens and sketched, and made a damned good job of whatever confronted them.
The quality of work improved for all of the group over the twelve days we sketched, and I loved watching this happen. All the sketchers now have a quality they can proudly call their own, whether it be a strength in contour-line using pen, or with water colour. It is my pleasure to have shown some of the work that they achieved on our recent Sketch Spain Trip. May we all be able to join together in this way again.
Visit Vivienne Lingard's ARTISTRY for the full story and travel sketches
P.S. The next 2WAYS Travel Sketch Spain Tours will take place in October 2019 and April 2020 with lots of personal interaction with your skilled sketching tutor and knowledgeable local tour director.
From now until then, we'll be sharing some free tips and interesting stories of travel sketching in Spain to help you get ready for the creative adventure. If you are interested, please sign up the dedicated e-news. 👇