Day 3 - Challenges

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Morning spent with Cathy Gatland and Isabel Fiadeiro. Now, they had a challenge for us! Whoever is used to sketch with line, should only use stain; whoever uses stain, should use line. Guess it was staining time for me. This really took me out of my comfort zone!


Each sketch (not all are shown) became a lab for incrementing techniques, with advice from Cathy and Isabel - "let the colours blend", "pay less attention to the colour and more to values" - progress was at hand. Getting out of the comfort zone really multiplies one's learning potential by ten!
Then, after lunch, Simonetta Capecchi told us about some other challenges. The challenge L'Aquila's population faced after the terrible earthquake that devastated the city. The challenge she and a small band of sketchers took on as they decided to enter the ruins and record the post-event, the lives, the stories of the people there, with the sole purpose of "spreading the news". When traditional news reports are becoming less meaningful, is urban sketching a way to get the message through? A way to retell the story in an appealing fashion? Recalling Simonetta's talk, and the events in Spain recorded by several spanish indignados sketchers, I come to think were on to something here. Sketch like you got a purpose!

Or, you can lighten the mood, and entertain an audience, retelling the stunts in your travel sketches project, with a cool blend of humour and effective sketching style, the way António Jorge Gonçalves did with us there.
The climax happened in Terreiro do Paço, Lisboa's magna square, with around 300 sketchers congregating (mostly in the shade of the western arcades), chatting, sharing and, of course, sketching, each other, other people, the buildings, the castle up on the hill, the river, the gulls, anything that moved or stayed still.
As for me, I craved to continue the experiments in which I had been initiated. Stain on!
Thank you very much, dear organizing team! This was an acomplishment!