Urbansketchers Belgium had the honor to have Reham Ali visiting for several days, thanks to Citydev.Brussels 50th Anniversary we’re documenting.

We had a great sketchwalk on Friday, but also a wonderful workshop with Reham on Saturday.

Here are some takeaways from the demo of the sketchwalk and from the workshop:

Reham invited us to sketch from unusual viewpoints, to add creativity to the architectural scene, to create captivating and dynamic sketches, to take you out of your comfort zone. These sketches defintely evoke emotional responses! I wrote myself some reminders of the workshop I share with you in this blogpost:

  • make a small thumbnail before starting your big sketch, to decide your focal point and how you will lead the eye to that point of interest. What story do you want to tell?
  • In your thumbnail: set out your angles: tilt the angles a bit to add drama to your sketch
  • Expressive shadows and colors will lead to your focal point: Mix your own colors to make your shadows, to make them more expressive, and not plain grey. (I usually use Ultramarine Blue + transparent orange or Burnt Sienna). Now I added some Black or red. Add some colors you use in the rest of your sketch.
  • In your perspective: start with the safe lines: the vertical lines! 
  • SPLASH, to “bless” your sketch ;). That way you don’t need to be afraid to dirty your paper. That’s done!
  • When your overall sketch is made, paint the first layer of shadows. After that, add more details in ink (we sketched with a fineliner or a fountain pen. I think I will do more of that!)
  • Mix the colors on the paper (instead of only in the palette) to add life to the scene and so your wash wouldn’t be too clean. Make a messy sketch, like life… This is definetely a “working” point for me!
  • You’re NOT a camera! You don’t need to copy the scene like it’s in reality…!
  • At a certain point the painting looks ugly. That’s normal. Just continue.
  • Splash again (with a BIG brush)
  • Simplify ornaments
  • don’t draw what you don’t feel like drawing. Ignore lines you don’t feel comfortable with (again: you’re not a camera)
  • Mistakes are your babies. Keep and love them!
  • Add simplified details at the end and higlight them to bring attention to your focal point. (I used a white gel pen)
  • Add vivid colors and darker shadows to attract attention to your focal point
  • Don’t make clean washes. Make it messy, like life.
  • Add color accents in the shadows to link to rest of the sketch: repeat same colors all over the sketch.
  • Splash more if you need somethin axtra to link the elements in the painting together.
  • Tilt the sketch when the painting is wet to create happy accidents

So that’s about it.

I hope it’s helpful for you. I’ll put a video on the Urbansketchers Belgium Instagram page 

If you want to have a workshop with her in the next Urbansketcher Symposium you can maybe still grab a spot: https://urbansketchers.org/usk-symposium-buenos-aires-2024/

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This