Sunday, August 16, 2015


It was very exciting to be part of the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore last month...still thinking daily about all that I saw and experienced, and especially the wonderful Singapore Urban Sketchers community!

It was an honor to present my workshop, "Light and Dark with a Punch of Color", and I'd like to offer a PDF of the workshop handout.  Let me know if you find this helpful!

click here:
More about the subject of the workshop in the previous post below...

Here are a few photos 
from my workshop site 
at the Singapore Art Museum...
My easel parked in front of "SAM"--
Singapore Art Museum, with a demo sketch

Don Low sketching in front of SAM
Don Low sketching in front of SAM
My charming helper, Grace Liau sketching 
Kee making a beautiful composition
across from SAM
Suma laying in a
bold pattern of light and dark
Don Low's thumbnail sketches

Sketching in the shade of those
lovely tropical trees

Rob and Keesung sketching digitally--
I loved seeing the ideas working
across different media!

Gabi Campanario and Rob Sketcherman sketching
and chatting at our lovely, shady site

Murray Dewhurst, one of our official
sketch-reporters at the site

Some "first stage" sketches--finding patterns
of light and dark in the landscape and
composing them on the page...
Some more "first stage" sketches,
will have to find a better way to
document the digital sketches!
Some "final" results--with color added
--using color intentionally to add emphasis,
meaning or create a path

Jason Das sketching some visitors nearby

End of Workshop #3--we may have lost a few
before this picture was taken, but
I love seeing the results!
Before and during the Symposium, I spent lots of time at my workshop site considering best views and approaches...

pencil sketches--a way to gradually mass the light and darks
These were demo thumbnail sketches...using pencil to mass darks and light.  As I did these, I considered 2 ways to compose:  creating a small frame first helps you see the whole right away by working "outside in"...another approach is to start with what most interests you, and work from there--"inside out"...being mindful to balance areas of light and dark as you "grow" the sketch...

thumbnail views of SAM--laying in shapes with
a brush pen makes you really commit to the
lights and darks right away!

more views around SAM--light and dark with color
added for emphasis...
Sketching here inside Dome, the Italian-style coffee bar in the museum, where the interior is elegantly
black and white--so were the patrons, and the photographer and bridal shoot just outside...

 More Singapore sketching in my next post!


  1. I just discovered your blog via Parka. I've been following you on Flickr for a short time. Your PDF handout is great. Lots of helpful information. Especially good for those of us who weren't at the symposium to take your class. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Hi Rosjenke, thanks so much, I'm really glad to hear you found the PDF handout helpful! My pleasure!

  3. Hi Virginia
    it was great fun taking your workshop in Singapore. It has made a great difference to my approach in sketching - even my friends have noticed (only positive comments :) so far ). We also spent some extra days in Singapore before flying to Bangkok - where we found that Melanie R was also staying in the same hotel - small world.
    Looking forward to catching up again in the future. Thanks for the teaching. Regards

    1. Hi Leonie, I'm glad to hear from you, and so appreciate your kind feedback about the workshop! I am so happy if you've found it to be helpful in your sketching. Small world indeed, especially for urban sketchers, right? Hopefully we'll sketch together again someday!

  4. Dear Virginia,
    My name is Tatiana Bashlacheva, I am a representative of Artistic Paints Plant "Nevskaya Palitra" from St. Petersburg, Russia.
    As I know, you have collected a sample set of watercolours "White Nights" from the Straits Art shop in Singapore during the Urban Sketchers Simposium, am I right?
    Thank you for the interest in our watercolours and for the readiness to test them!
    I am curious, have you already had a chance to try the colours?
    I am looking forward to know about your impressions! I tried to write you a letter to your email, but the letter returns - that's why I am writing here. Could you answer me to my email Thanks a lot!
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi Tatiana,
      I haven't as yet tried the White Nights sample set, but definitely plan to. A very generous gift at the Singapore Symposium from your company and Straits! Once I've tested them, I will write back to you. Thank you!