Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Moments volés en juin et juillet

Juin et juillet ne m'ont pas laissé le temps de me joindre aux urban sketchers, alors quelques instants volés …un petit quart d'heure "café"

…puis pendant ma marche du soir, un arrêt sur un banc place d'Armes pour capter la lumière d'une journée finissante…

…enfin, petite méditation solitaire sous le soleil de juillet à Lasauvage, en attendant les autres participants à une réunion. Parfois j'aime bien qu'on oublie.

Monday, 29 August 2016

September sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers

This month we will sketch at the Schueberfouer, the annual funfair taking place on the Glacis parking in Limperstberg.

We will be able to sketch fairground people, visitors and the various amusements while eating Gromperekichelcher and other treats.

Let's meet in front of the ferris wheel at 14.00 on Sunday 4 September 2016.

See you on Sunday!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Discovering London

I didn't get to go to the symposium in Manchester this year, so I decided to compensate by spending a week in London instead. As happens with most symposiums, sketchers started flocking to the United Kingdom already the week before the event and this year was no exception.

I spent the week in a shared apartment in Piccadilly Circus with Stephanie Bower, Anne Percival and Gail Wong. It was so much fun to catch up with Stephanie and Anne, and to finally meet Gail, whose name and sketches I already knew from the online community.

Graduation in Greenwich

Westminster Palace

As the days passed, we were joined by other sketchers, first the Asian contingent with Tia, KK, Pramote, Nicholas and many more. I got a lot of inspiration from them, from Pramote in particular, who was showing me how to let loose and just have jun with my sketches.

Piccadilly Circus

Over the weekend, we joined two sketchcrawld, the first, on Saturday, organised by Urban Sketchers London. We met on Trafalgar square, continuing on the direction of Buckingham Palace(but not getting that far).

Trafalgar Square

Admiral's gate

On Sunday, we met by St Paul's cathedral to "Sketch Wren's London", a sketching tour organised by Pete Scully. He even gave us a short speech on Wren and his work. I was very impressed with all the preparations he made.

St Paul's cathedral

This week was like having a tiny bit of the symposium fever without the stress of attending all workshops and as many activities and lectures as possible.

It was my first actual visit to London and what a fun way to discover this amazing city!

You can see more of my sketches from that week on my blog.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

MANCHESTER: the Urban Sketchers Symposium 2016

This year I had the great opportunity to attend the 7th Symposium of the Urban Sketchers in Manchester.
What an experience! Imagine more than 500 participants from 44 countries from all over the world sketching together for 4 days. Arnaud and Zita were the two other participants from Luxemburg.

At the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed. Many people seemed to know each other from previous symposiums or from their own regional groups. The other half was sketching feverishly every free second - which had rather a paralysing effect on me.
Adding to my confusion was the chaotic and vibrant city of Manchester: old and new, 3-levelled city, rich and poor, highbrow and underbelly, graduation day and comiccon festival, harry potter and homeless people, road works everywhere...
But gradually I totally warmed up to the city and the Symposium and it turned out to be a fantastic experience. The warming-up as a matter of speaking, because every day the weather got a bit wetter and colder. I suggested a nice sunny and dry Greek island for the next symposium!


I had been lucky to ‘catch’ a workshop pass, which allowed me to follow workshops, activities, demos and lectures. It was not easy to choose between the vast offer of so many great topics and teachers, but I am very happy with the choices I made. I selected some teachers whose work I really admire, or picked a theme that interested me or where I feel a lack of experience.

In her workshop “What & How: Creating your Story” Marina taught us that the process of making an exciting and communicative sketch is all about making decisions: focusing on one central idea, deciding on format and dynamics, choosing a specific tool. She guided us through this process with a range of quick and clear exercises, working towards a final sketch.
choosing a format

choosing a theme

No time to rest! The afternoon workshop of LK Bing, “Capturing Atmosphere Using Dramatic Lighting and Fast Spontaneity” did justice to its title: rain poured down on us and some unexpected spells of sunshine brought the right drama! With fast and firm movements LK Bing showed us not to be afraid of scratching, mixing and pouring the colours.

The next morning it was time for some fine-tuning. My architectural knowledge is nihil and perspective scares me to death, which is why I choose a more ‘technical’ workshop, “Soaring Spaces”. In the impressive staircases of the neogothic City Hall of Manchester Stephanie taught us with infinite patience and gentleness the basics of drawing an arch and how to move our eyes from there upwards high into the sky. My sketch is a far cry from the subtle sketches I saw around me, but at least I got rid of my ‘cold feet’.

Daniel’s “Reflecting on Water” was not a workshop but a demo in the beautiful area of Castlefield, along the world’s oldest industrial canal. It is quite inspiring and instructive to see how others work. On my way home I tried my own hand at the Canal reflections.

I have been admiring the work and the palette of Marion Rivolier for a long time. The quintessence of Marion’s workshop “Paint like nobody’s watching” was learning to play with warm and cool colours and, by doing so, to construct and ‘tame’ the space.

Only some hours left before the end of the symposium! I certainly do not regret my choice of a last activity “Drawing a collection”, led by Emma with a gentle and attentive hand. The Manchester University Museum proved to be a rich subject matter for collecting the most unexpected items...
Fayum portraits 1st century AD


Time for the family photo

And goodbyes...

See you in Chicago next year!

P.S.  I left Manchester without seeing any football! The only football I saw was the table football at the pub Peveril Of The Peak, one of the drink&draw spots of this Symposium

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I chose the workshop proposed by Paul Heaston "THE BIG PICTURE and the tiny details"
Paul is a awesome sketcher! If you look at his drawing, you will see an incredible amount of details. He draws all what appears in his field of view. 
I knew his drawing before the symposium and I always imagined a A3 size sketchbook .. but, as extraordinary as it is, he never draw on more than a A5! 

"Don't mind the perspective rules, just use what everybody knows as obvious: what is close to you is bigger, what is far is smaller, what hides something else is closer, etc... and don't forget: straight lines do not exist, they are just a construction/correction of your brain, so free your mind and just draw what you see, not what your brain wants you to draw!" (Lapin's notes

your sketchbook is of course in your field of view and has to be on your drawing!
here a vertical view on the Manchester City Hall

and an horizontal view from the arcades (still raining...)
What is really great in the symposium was to meet so many sketchers from around the world, nice people happy to share the passion of sketching with each other: here I was with Lapin (Barcelona) and Alvin Wong (USK Hong-Kong)

No workshop in the afternoon, but a walk with Lapin, Gérard and Antoine Michel (Liège) and Matt Cam (Ohio)
you can find Stan, the T-Rex at the Manchester Natural History Museum
(not far from the School of Arts)
Lapin found those very nice back facades behind Waterloo Place
In the late afternoon, what has already become a tradition: beers at the Pub ZOO with fellow sketchers: entre autres Fabien Denoël, Vincent Desplanches, Christian Wouters, Julien Schleiffer, Matt Cram... and Johnny Cash (local barfly...)

Workshop "Cars in the City" proposed by Lapin and Gérard Michel (USK since more than 50 years!), formerly created by Florian Afferbach who unfortunately passed away some months before the symposium.

Sketching a car as if it wasn't a car, but a person...
First from 2-3 m distance, than from less than a meter.
Draw a maximum of details, especially your own image reflected in the chromes...
The cars in a larger context
For the last afternoon: Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, and a walk through Castelfield Place and its big iron bridges.
Air and Space Hall

Castelfield iron bridges

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Lazy Sunday afternoon on the Mosel bank

For the August sketchcrawl we went to Remich, at the border with Perl, Germany. Or rather, we went to Perl, at the border with Remich.

It was Leen's brilliant idea to sketch on the German side, thus enjoying the beautiful sights on the Mosel river while avoiding the crowds.

Under the shade provided by trees, we had a variety of subjects: the boats, the people, the landscape, the café. I chose to sketch a boat (ship) that had just docked called Iris.

We were quite the novelty there, with many people stopping to observe us. It was after I heard the third Luxembourgian person around us that I realized that forget Remich: this side of the river is actually where all the Luxembourgers go to enjoy the Mosel river.

This sketch is off to greener pastures
One of the skippers of the Iris stopped by to admire our work. He hinted not very subtly at the fact that he would love to keep my sketch, so I obliged. It is always flattering to have an admirer.

We had planned to meet again at 3 pm to share our sketches, but it was so nice to be in the sun and just sketch and talk that when we looked at the time it was almost 4 pm. High time to go for a drink and sketch each other and counter-sketch in retaliation!

It's difficult to capture an Italian woman's natural elegance on paper. Maria Grazia did not approve
It was a fun afternoon and I highly recommend to anyone going to the Mosel to enjoy Remich in Perl.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Dear fellow Luxembourg Sketchers,

The 7th USK Symposium took place in Manchester from 27th to 31th of July.
Urban Sketchers from around the world gathered during at least 4 days for common sketchcrawl, workshops and events.
What an incredible experience!
Beliza was in London for the warm-up a few days before. Leen and I were in Manchester for the symposium. We can only recommend all of you to get that experience one day!

Sketchers arrived from around the world and directly started sketching across the city.
no time to waste for a first sketch!
All the Sketchers were welcomed at the Manchester City Hall
Albert Square in front of the City Hall is a wonderful Biergarten
500 sketchers welcomed in the City Hall of Manchester
The workshops begin. In the morning all sketchers meet at the Manchester School of Art and gathered for their workshops in All Saints Park nearby.
Leen is ready for her first workshop!
Personally I chose the workshop of Marion Rivolier "Paint like nobody's watching"
And Zita was there too! (3 luxembourgish residents at the Symposium!)
Protected from the rain under the bridge, the sketchers used just brushes and watercolor, no primary sketch was allowed...
It is hard to change your habits but the result is astonishing 

Monday, 8 August 2016

August sketchcrawl on the Mosel river bank

No need for many words!

This picture says it all: a nice, sunny, calm, hart warming summer afternoon with the Luxembourg Urban Sketchers on the Mosel river bank.

The ‘Iris’ got a lot of attention and its skipper, in full admiration of Beliza’s sketch, got himself a nice Sunday present...

This is one of my own versions of the 'Iris', with a slight colour shift...

A well earned drink at the Rothaus afterwards - toasting with the newcomers, Sonja and Maria Grazia - welcome to our group!

Monday, 1 August 2016

August sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

This month we will go to Remich, or rather to the other side of the Moselle from where we will have a beautiful vue on the Luxembourg shore.

Let's meet in front of Restaurant Rothaus at 14.00 on Sunday 7 August 2016.

To get there, pass on the German side over the blue bridge and take the first street on the left, where you will find a parking.

Here is the map to help you find it : https://goo.gl/maps/wxHcuyeQbjQ2

We can organise carpooling if needed.

See you on Sunday!