Workshops - N. AMERICA

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USA and CANADA 3-day WORKSHOPS: Comprehensive Graphite Pencil Drawing Tuition
USA : CLEARWATER, FLORIDA now taking bookings.

CANADA : OTTAWA, ONTARIO now taking bookings.

We all had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the 2014 Clearwater, Florida, workshop (photos below). Now we're returning to Canada and the USA in 2018.
  •   HOLIDAY INN Ottawa East — August 17th - 19th   Booking now
  •   THE PARK STATION, Pinellas Park — August 24th - 26th   Booking now

For full details and to book your place, visit:

Florida workshops and Florida fun

These informal workshops are designed for artists of all abilities, from novice to advanced, and who have a desire to take their drawing to a new level of realism.

Realism is achieved by closely studying textures, and then mastering the ways to interpret them and commit them to paper. These workshops will provide you with a greater ability to explore and understand textures, the techniques required to render them in a believable way, and you will learn both the "how" and the "why". Whatever your present ability, you will leave with a new-found knowledge of how to draw and use textures to the benefit of your work.

Paper, pencils and all other necessary supplies are included. However, if you prefer to use your own favourite pencils and tools, please bring them with you. I strongly recommend you use a table-top drawing board. This can be a manufactured board or as simple as a sheet of MDF. Our paper size will be 12" × 18", so it need not be large.

If possible, I'll have a few of my original drawings with me, but prints will be available for you to study in close detail. I will, of course, be happy to answer all queries and demonstrate specific techniques used. Please feel free to bring examples of your own work along.
'Grandpa Grizzly' by Mike Sibley


The workshops are limited to about 20 students each to ensure individual attention.

Includes Equipment Pack comprising:
  • Sheets of Conqueror plate-finish paper (12" x 16") as required
  • 1 each Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils - 4B, 2B, H, 2H, 4H
  • 1 Staedtler vinyl art eraser
  • 1 pack Blu-Tack
  • 1 Pencil sharpener
  • 1 Blending tortillon
Please note:
  • I cannot supply table-mounted Drawing Boards outside of the UK, so please bring your own if possible.
  • If you prefer to use a desklamp please bring one with you. We can't guarantee suitable power points but we'll do our best to provide them.

Typical 3-day Itinerary
These workshops will be rewritten and expanded before the event. The following is for guidance only:

The workshops are flexible to take into account your present level of ability and the typical daily itinerary is as follows:

DAY 1:
In the morning, after a short initial drawing session, you will receive tuition on graphite pencil techniques including pencil points and the application of line and tone, and a series of exercises to accustom you to drawing on Mellotex. This will be followed by demonstrations and exercises using blending, layering and creative erasing. The Afternoon will begin with an introduction to Negative Drawing followed by a series of exercises for your enjoyment and instruction, designed to increase your knowledge and handling of the techniques learned so far - including the creation of textures, such as hair and weathered brick.

DAY 2:
To begin the day I'll analyse the composition of one of my drawings that used a wide range of reference sources. You get to try out a background technique included in the study that is based on Negative Drawing. A second exercise, involving three-dimensional understanding and the reversing of lighting, will be followed by the creation of old gnarled trees in a dark forest using a logical plan.

In the afternoon you will be exploring textures with a variety of options to choose from - try one or all, it's your choice. Late in the day you, and your fellow artists, will be introduced to tomorrow's work. You will be working on identical drawings (photos and guideline drawing provided) that feature many of the techniques explored during the two days. If you prefer to work on something of your own, that's OK too.

DAY 3:
The day will be spent working on your final drawing. This last day has an informal structure so I can cover any subject you wish to raise at any time during the day - including demonstrations as required. At the close, all the drawings may be displayed for a group critique and discussion - you are not expected to have completed the drawing!

If you wish to complete any workshop exercise at home, send scans or photos to me at any stage for critique and advice in the Workshop Plus online resource, where I will also offer advice or assistance with any aspect relating to the content of your workshop - Your workshop continues after you leave!

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