Category Archives: “Marc Taro Holmes”

USK Barcelona DAY 1 Marc Taro Holmes

My afternoon workshop on the first day was with Marc Taro Holmes
I’ve already written about my My DAY 1 morning workshop with Luis Ruiz

Workshop N 4- 7 pm

Instructor: Marc Holmes
Location: Rambla del Raval

Here are Marc’s Notes (click through to a pdf of Marc’s notes from the workshop):

The main thing to remember about drawing people in action is this: They are going to move before you’re ready. It’s inevitable. Real life never holds a pose. Once you are ok with that, urban sketching begins to open up for you. If your drawing process requires subjects to sit still, you will never be able to draw anyone outside of a subway car or cafe.

This workshop is based on capturing everything you need quickly – in mere seconds – and completing the sketch before your visual memory fades.
It helps to have a plan – a systematic approach – to avoid dithering about what to draw next, or how to draw it. We’re going to practice a method of working where each step adds information to the step before, always moving toward a finished sketch. Your subject can walk away at any stage in the process, but you’ll be able to finish based on whatever you have captured so far.
We will practice four simple steps, in this order: Gesture > Line > Blacks > Color

You can also think of this as: Pencil > Pen > Brush (Pen) > Watercolor
Our group started in a café (which was very empty due to rain, which got heavier and we had to find somewhere more sheltered) .The café sketch of a nearby diner started in pencil and then moved to pen and I had time to use my new Pentel Brush pen to add dark areas.
 pencil, pen and brushpen
we quickly walked to shelter  to continue

We learnt about sketching people as they walked towards us. You only had seconds to capture the essence of the person in a few lines on  paper before they either walked passed you or turned a corner. It took a few pages of seemingly meaningless scribbles to start to get the feel of how to try and get those important lines on and to feel a little more comfortable with what we are trying to achieve. I did 11 pages of “people walking towards me” sketches.
You also learn to pick your subjects – people who are walking slower are good !
pencil sketches and then one with pen and brush pen added – and the rain added
We then learnt to add further emphasis and detail with pen after the subject had moved on
The final part of Pencil > Pen > Brush (Pen) > Watercolor is the colour – oops  -In the above sketch I had used a pen of soluble ink  (instead of non-soluble).It certainly had an  interesting effect  and got lots of likes and comment online. But perhaps the drawing of a old woman, carrying a fan, cigarette in mouth is interesting however it is sketched-
and it was challenging as I used watercolour paint – and I haven’t done this …I usually use watercolour pencils

MY TAKEAWAYS from the workshop

  • I don’t have to finish the drawing just because subject moves on. As long as I have the essence of lines on the page I can continue

  • Drawing people walking towards me is a new challenge – aaarggg – I thought I was pretty savvy stalking people, drawing them as I walked behind them . This is a new challenge
  • You don’t have to draw legs. My figure drawing experience comes from life drawing lessons, where you always put the feet in to ground the figure. If you have the basic lines or essence on paper it can be enough to capture what the person is doing