People in the City

This workshop will address one of sketchers’ major challenges–drawing people in urban spaces. Some people will be moving, some will be sitting still. Some will be close to us, and some will be lurking in the distance. We will explore shortcuts for suggesting human shape and proportions and conveying motion. We will then proceed to “build a crowd” on a page, learning to construct the scene in picture planes. After taking the workshop you will face the subject of sketching people with confidence and approach it like a game. Learning Goals: Human proportions, conveying motion, vocabulary of gestures, picture planes.

Supply list

  • Graphite Pencil
  • Black ink pens with waterproof ink of various thicknesses (Artist Pitt pen by Faber- Castell or similar)
  • Inexpensive sketch pad for quick studies and exercises (Clairefontaine Crok’ Book 8″ x 12″ Sketch Pad or similar)
  • Black markers or black ink brush pens (Tomboy, Sharpie or similar)
  • Watercolor Supplies for Class #2 and all subsequent ones: Pentel Waterbrush, Large Tip; Traditional watercolor brushes (optional) (Oval Wash 1/2” by Princeton; Escoda Perla 12 or similar); Watercolor Sketchbook in landscape format, hot press, at least 7” on the shortest side (Check out brands like Etchr, Hahnemuhle, Stillman and Birn, Fabriano); Container for water; Old rag or paper towel; Color pencils (optional); Portable watercolor box with lots of surface for mixing; Watercolors (can be purchased in tubes and squeezed into half pans, student grade watercolors are fine) Azo Yellow Naples yellow Red Burnt Sienna or Quinacridone gold Sap green Ultramarine Blue Brown Green Cerulean blue Magenta or Rose Payne’s grey or Indigo Turquoise Green 
About the instructor

Rita Sabler

Rita Sabler is a visual journalist, artist, and educator based in Portland, Oregon, USA. She teaches Drawing, Urban Sketching and Visual Journalism courses at the Parsons School of Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Portland State University. She also works on a variety of freelance illustration and visual reportage projects. Rita Sabler serves as the Education Director on the board of the global Urban Sketchers organization. Rita has presented numerous lectures and workshops around the world inspiring diverse audiences to cultivate a lifelong passion for urban sketching and reportage illustration. Her work has been featured in solo and group local and international shows. Rita holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Art, an M.A. in Linguistics, and a Masters in Interface Design from The Elisava School of Design in Barcelona. She is currently working on an advanced degree in Journalism. Rita Sabler’s reportage on the Kalaupapa settlement has won Doctors without Borders Coup De Coeur and International Sketchbook Prize at the 2019 Rendez-Vous Du Carnet De Voyage in Clermont-Ferrand. Rita’s main areas of interest are Reportage Illustration, Travel Sketching, and Visual Storytelling, but she is often seen on street corners capturing busy markets, festivals, protestors, musicians, and regular citizens living their life in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. When not drawing or teaching she is a busy parent and a tango pianist.

When: Saturday, July 15, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Check-in at Graphite Arts Center.