On Sunday the NYC Urban Sketchers had another of their 10 x 10 workshops, this time with Katie Woodward. Katie is a set designer, but recently has been doing very tiny sketches...some as small as postage stamps. She did several demonstrations beginning with a sketch of the front of the NY Public Library. If you would like to see some of Katie's work here is a link to her blog.
She gave us a few hints as to how she scales down her view to fit on her small surfaces as she did a demo sketch. Then we got to practice sketching the view. I was using paper that was about 3 x 5 inches. Katie says that as long as you focus on getting the elements that make your object recognizable, your sketch will be believable. Here we needed the columns and the arches which are a big part of the front of the library. (Sorry these are so light, but we were working in pencil and stopped at that point.)
The group then moved into Bryant Park where we were going to sketch the back of the library.
Everyone wanted to know how she make the detail so small. Katie says that the secret is to use "visual noise," lots of dots, dashes and squiggles to give the illusion of more specific shapes. She did a demo of the carousel in the park with the trees and the building behind it. She did it as about a 2 x 3 vertical. She simplified a lot of the detail and then used a lot of visual noise, making the strongest contrast and the most detail around the center of interest in the sketch.
She asked us to sketch a section of the back of the library which has recognizable windows and lots of umbrellas. I liked the section where there were two layers of umbrellas and tables as well as the windows and a statue. I used a piece of watercolor paper that was about 3 x 5 inches.
I finished early so I also did a sketch of the carousel with the trees and building behind it. This one is 2 x 5 1/4 inches.