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I’ll Be Teaching a Workshop at SketchKon 2018

June 10, 2018
A quick sketch using brush pen and Caran d’Ache Neocolor II dry on tan Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper. In class we’ll discuss how we can work fast to capture the sense of different surfaces on the donut—all skills that translate to quick sketching in the field or town.

I’m excited to announce that I’m teaching at the Sketchbook Skool and Artists Network SketchKon in November  2 to 4, 2018 (with a workshop class on November 1). It’s in Pasadena, California. 

The SketchKon website went up a couple days ago. Click on that link to read about the event, the schedule of activities, the presenters, the sponsors, and of course to register!

I’ll be teaching a pre-SketchKon workshop called, “Everything I Know about Drawing I Learned from a Donut.”  Click on that link to read a bit about what the class involves. Yes, we will be sketching donuts!

This full day workshop occurs on Thursday, November 1. It’s the perfect class to get you tuned up and ready for sketching anything that comes your way at SketchKon. 

My workshop is fun and fast-paced. It is designed to push you through your discomfort zone into an expanded sense of creativity. 

Through games and exercises I’ll help you create new ways to look at the world around you and get it down on paper. 

I’ll also demonstrate approaches and techniques throughout the day so that you can see how I push, regroup, and push again.

Sketching is about making choices. Those choices come quickly with fluidity when you train your visual brain to focus on what is important to you.

“Donuts” is a watercolor and mixed media class. Bring your favorite sketch media. I’ll be presenting visual strategies that you can use, regardless of your media selection. 

I don’t want you to think you have to buy a lot of supplies to attend. I have a list of supplies that will allow you to do the lessons. Most of these will be items you’ve already set aside to bring to SketchKon. Additional items are clearly explained; bring them if you have them, but if you don’t they won’t be essential. You can download the list by clicking on the link below.

“Donuts” Supply List click here.

UPDATE June 19, 2018: Wet Paint puts together kits for my other classes. While this workshop doesn’t have a specific kit, Wet Paint agreed to put things on a website paper to make student shopping easier. You can find the items on my supply list detailed on this Wet Paint site.  

Wet Paint is a local independently owned art supply store where I buy my supplies—I’m not associated with them financially, they just are really helpful about making things convenient for artists!

Remember, aim to work with what you already have and are comfortable with. Don’t go overboard and buy a lot of supplies. Look at my suggested list of watercolors and see if you already have similar selections that you can use.

Note: One thing—due to my odor sensitivities please do not bring Sharpies, any solvent based pens or markers, or alcohol based markers to class. I really will pass out. My supply list provides the names of several waterproof pens you can use. 

One thing you will need is a lot of pages. We are going to draw, draw, draw!

Because this is a watercolor and mixed media class and I’m encouraging people to use watercolor and water-soluble pencils watercolor paper is the most appropriate paper choice. 

My supply list provides a couple recommendations for the commercially bound journals you will have success with in class. 

I am editing video taped instructions for tearing down watercolor paper and making your own pamphlet sketchbook for our workshop. These will post sometime at the beginning of August. It’s a simple option that you can use to ensure you work on paper you really love.

The day after the workshop Sketchkon kicks off on Friday, November 2. As you can see in the schedule there will be all sorts of presentations and demonstrations that will allow you to fill your days with new understanding about sketching, visual journaling, art supplies, and creativity.

During SketchKon I’ll be giving two one-hour presentations and also participating in the wrap-up panel discussion on “Sketchbook Themes.” 

But wait, there’s more. I couldn’t go to LA and be 15 minutes away from the Zoo and not sketch at the Zoo! And you can come too.

After Sketchkon wraps we’ll Uber over to  the LA Zoo for a sketch out. This isn’t a class. There won’t be any lecture. It’s just a bunch of sketchers sketching live animals. It’s a great way to decompress after this exciting event. 

At the sketch out you can ask me questions or you can wander off and sketch by yourself. We’ll meet after an afternoon of sketching at a designated time and place to look over what we’ve captured in our sketchbooks.

Come and join me at SketchKon!






    • Pamela
    • June 10, 2018

    LA Zoo for a sketch out is a fabulous idea!!!

    1. Reply

      I hope you’ll be able to come!

        • Pamela
        • June 11, 2018

        I hope to be there, and in response to concerned artist below, I don’t get many vacations, but I think SketchKon would be a great way to spend a vacation for all the reasons you mention.

        1. Reply

          Pamela, I hope that you can be there as well. I agree that SketchKon is a wonderful way to spend a vacation—sketching, with people who want to be sketching and want to understand sketching and all the possible ways it can manifest through each individual’s mind.

    • Concerned Artist
    • June 11, 2018

    Isn’t SketchKon kind of a direct rip of the whole Urban Sketchers Symposium? It also seems outrageously expensive, but I guess if people are willing to pay it, go for it. :-/ I don’t know how sketchbook keeping turned into such a cottage industry for so many people. For an artist, keeping a sketchbook is as pedestrian as brushing his or her teeth. It’s turned into this quasi-religious experience, and these kind of things are like the church and the clergy. Thou shalt or Thou shalt not (fill in the blank here) with your sketchbook.

    1. Reply

      “Concerned Artist” Nope, SketchKon is not a direct rip of the Urban Sketchers Symposium.

      I’m sorry but you’re misinformed about your history of sketching, sketch outs etc.

      I won’t go into the whole long history of it, but I will point out that in recent decades alone, way before Urban Sketchers started their symposium, life-long sketchers such as myself were already holding sketching events.

      In fact I turned a life-long habit of sketching at the Minnesota State Fair into a sketch crawl with a teaching component two years before USk held their first symposium.

      Good friends of mine have run conventions for visual journal keepers for decades.

      Groups of people who do the same sort of thing are always getting together for conventions. It seems naive to think that people who share their work online wouldn’t want to get together to share that work in person and solidify friendships and learn new approaches. If Romance Novelists, Children’s Book Illustrators, and Comix Artists can all have a convention to follow those goals it seems silly that those who sketch can’t as well.

      Many of the faculty members of Sketchbook Skool are also Urban Sketcher members.

      I happen to be a member of Urban Sketchers. I was one of the first 4 people in our local chapter. Those of us who started that chapter thought it natural to do so because we were continuing the artwork we’d already been doing throughout our lives, long before Urban Sketchers existed. Joining was a way to connect with other artists with similar interests—drawing from life, documenting life in our area.

      I’m friends with the current president of Urban Sketchers, Amber Sausen. She just dropped me an email letting me know she was excited I was teaching at SketchKon.

      Amber and other die-hard sketchers don’t follow a scarcity model.

      We know that the more people we can get sketching the more people will be able to enjoy the benefits that come from sketching.

      I’ve been a visual journal keeper my entire life. I teach sketching and journaling because I know that when people are out in the world sketching they are happier and more engaged with their environment, and those around them. It puts them in touch with the large community of humanity—that is more than just sketchers.

      Those of us who have integrated sketching into our lives in this way also understand that there is a lot of diversity in the sketching world. There are a lot of sub groups where people have different interests, perhaps not the “reportage” aspects of Urban Sketchers.

      Sketchers who are interested in sketching places that are of personal interest and at the same time documenting a personal or emotional story might not feel they are a great fit for an USks event, and the reverse might also be true.

      If you have a group reaches critical mass capable of supporting a convention (in numbers, costs, and logistics of organization) it’s going to happen. People simply want to meet other people who enjoy the same things they do or work in the same field, etc.

      When you look at the cost to organize an event, fly instructors in, pay people who are teaching etc. It seems surprising to me that SketchKon is priced as low as it is. I haven’t been involved in an UrbanSketchers Symposium but since they are a non-profit organization I know that at least the early years a lot of what drove the symposiums was the volunteer efforts of the membership. Every group is going to have a different approach to this.

      As to how sketchbook-keeping turned into a cottage industry, I think these things come and go, ebb and flow.

      For me, I’ve been teaching drawing and journaling for 30 some years. It’s just always been something that I was moved to do—to share what was so important to me. Part of what drove me was comments from people who would chat with me when I was out sketching. They were searching for a way to access their creativity. We live in a fractured world that comes at people very fast—sketching allows people to slow down and can be a respite from fractured-speediness.

      There are other societal factors involved, such as the baby-boomer/nostaligia/scrapbooking phenomenon to name just one aspect that is tangentially related to journaling/sketching.

      Whatever the causes, the fact that there are different groups wanting to get together and explore sketching doesn’t concern me in the least. It gives people who haven’t experienced sketching yet the ability to have a daily practice that speaks to something within them. I don’t think that’s quasi-religious. I think it springs from the human desire to be useful and to seek mastery of craft.

      And, by the way, I have a whole series on “myths” of journaling that debunks the rules and “shoulds” one hears about journaling and sketching.

      Everyone who sketches needs to feel free to look for his or her own voice.

      The sketchbook is a workbook for my brain. It’s how in writing and pictures I think about my place in the world, and work out my creative projects.

      The more rules we divest the sketchbook of the sooner even more people can enjoy sketching.

      Or whatever the next thing is that comes along, if one wants to be cynical. But I believe that many people involved in sketching now will stick with it for the benefits they have seen arising in their lives from sketching.

      I’ve been stuck on this thing since childhood, so I’ll just carry on now, just as I did before it was popular.

      Sketching is something I do everyday, and it has never been pedestrian. It is “normal” in my life, but it has always brought with it a greater understanding of whatever subject I’m focusing on.

        • Concerned Artist
        • June 11, 2018

        I think what I react to about SketchKon and Urban Sketchers is that “there is no there there.” If you want to keep a sketchbook, go buy yourself one, get a pen or pencil, and off you go. No instructions, instructors, symposia, social media, theory, permission or entourage needed. In my day, an artist kept a sketchbook because it helped him or her work out ideas and techniques for future pieces. Now, and I think this is largely due to the influence of social media, people think their sketchbook needs to be a pristine work of art in and of itself, and it needs to be constantly Flickr’d, Twitterd, blogged and posted about on Facebook. It’s no longer a tool to help get to an end; it’s an excuse to have something to post on social media. My sketchbooks are for my eyes only. They are tool and a place for me to work on whatever I want without pressure. I didn’t have to join a group or post online about about.

        1. Reply

          Concerned Artist—clearly you haven’t been reading my blog. My whole point in my teaching and my examples is that the “pristine” is not the goal, but the experimentation and creation. Many people coming to art as adults think that there is a “right way” to create art. They need encouragement to start listening to their own voice and experiment. It’s great if you got there without any encouragement. Does that mean that none of the rest of us who have been sketching away happily shouldn’t help or teach others who don’t see a clear path?

          Isn’t the point of human experience to share and broaden so that we can expand our understanding and also not constantly be reinventing the wheel?

          If you’d read my blog you would have learned that I post less than one third of my yearly journal pages on my blog and I keep my pages that are private—private. I have many posts about the need for people who journal and sketch to keep a keen awareness of their audience (which I believe needs to be the artist herself, but if it’s something else for someone else that’s for them to figure out). My point in posting, as a teacher is to have an example to post to help get across my point that perfect pages aren’t the goal.

          I’m glad that you have a sketchbook practice that allows you to work creatively without pressure.

          Since everyone arrives at their understanding in his own time I think it is always best to not be judgmental about the path others take to get there or what he does when he gets there.

          I don’t care if people use their sketches as an excuse to post on social media. I’m simply glad they are sketching. I know if they keep sketching there will be profound changes in their lives. I went over 45 years before anyone saw any of my journals. If you had been reading my blog you would see that I have moved into another period of showing even less of my journal work. It’s part of the ebb and flow of life.

          I too am not much of a joiner—I start groups and then I leave, off to do something else that I see as my creative work. But I also have friends who join groups and start groups and stick with groups through out their whole careers. I see all of us have done something that has resulted in something of value through our careers. And each artist’s approach to groups, community, the sketchbook—it’s all as individual as the artist.

          I wish you continued useful practice.

    • linda welch
    • June 11, 2018

    I’ve taken your online Drawing Practice class and the class you taught at Sketchbook Skool. I’m really excited to finally be able to take a class from you in person at SketchKon! I have fallen off the wagon of everyday sketching (elder care duties, etc) but hoping the anticipation of SketchKon will motivate me again. Looking forward to sketching with you in November!

    1. Reply

      Linda I’m looking forward to working with you at SketchKon. I understand that life can pull us about and seem to derail us. I recommend that before you come to Pasadena in November that you review the section in DP on “Timing” and also on goal setting. Take a moment to set out some goals for yourself that fit in your life. And look at ways you might find more time in your schedule for sketching. That will take the pressure off of you at SketchKon and you can enjoy the experience, absorb all the fun and information that all the presenters will be offering, and see with clearer focus where you want to go when you return home! Here’s to recharging!

        • Linda Welch
        • June 20, 2018

        Thanks for taking the time to offer your suggestions. I will follow your advice and look forward to meeting you!

  1. Reply

    oh so wish I could be there… alas the distance and cost is prohibitive but my heart will be with you all…. and ROZ!! the ZOO AS WELL!!! oh I am so bummed right now…. will go and draw my way out of this misery…. have fun all you lucky folk who are going.

    1. Reply

      Deb, I wish you could be there too. I wish it wasn’t so far and so expensive. Drawing is of course the best remedy. We’ll let you know what happens! And one day, as I mentioned, I’ll get back to Australia.

  2. Reply

    I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS, I almost cried. Hope to get registered this week.

    1. Reply

      Hope you can come. It would be lovely to see you in person!

  3. Reply

    I read this post and its comments yesterday and have been puzzling over them. I hadn’t thought of sketching as especially controversial although what might be called amateur art seems to have become more commodified recently. However I’m aware that might be more an artifact of the internet than actually being the case. Workshops and conferences are certainly nothing new. My aunt, who was born in 1910, taught primary school but had a professional level of interest and skill in her photography avocation and loved traveling to photography workshops at least as far back as the 1940’s. I was lucky enough to discover this wonderful blog because of the free online Strathmore class on Visual Journaling that Roz taught. (When I checked just now I was surprised to find that was only seven years ago last month; I would have guessed longer.) I’ve enjoyed keeping journals of various types but have never sketched regularly. Roz wrote (again) yesterday, “I know if they keep sketching there will be profound changes in their lives.” That’s a challenge that I don’t have a good excuse for resisting.

    1. Reply

      I think art at any level can be open to some “controversial” views or attitudes, and it’s because we are all so individual and everyone brings their own philosophy and core values to it.

      For me being creative isn’t controversial. And I also am always wary of thought lines that lead into ideas of scarcity. I have spent my adult life teaching and pushing people to engage their creativity.

      Thanks for bringing up another great example of a convention for like-minded folks. And I’m glad that the Strathmore class brought you to my blog. I started the blog in October of 2008 and this year in October will mark a decade of blogging on Rozwoundup.

      Keep resisting excuses and sketch. It’s so much easier in the long run as you know I always say.

    • Sharon Nolfi
    • June 14, 2018

    Roz, is there a limit on the number of people in your session? I’m wondering how big it is going to be.

    1. Reply

      Yes there is a limit Sharon, it’s 20 students. It’s a number that I work with a lot in live classes. It will allow the time for group discussion mixed with individual help as well as all the teaching.

  4. Reply

    I am sooo excited about the zoo! Thankyou for doing that. Sadly, I am not able to attend Sketchkon, but I think I can swing a road trip down from northern CA to sketch with you at the Zoo! I have never been to the LA zoo before and it would be a dream come true to sketch with you. Your classes have helped me grow so much. Sketching in a group at the zoo would be so much fun! I cant stop smiling. 🙂 Cant wait to meet you!

      • Rebekah
      • June 20, 2018

      Change in plans! I get to come to Sketchkon also!! Yippeee! 🙂 See you in November.

      1. Reply

        Thanks great news. I thought I commented on this but there’s no note here! See you in November.

    • Pat
    • June 18, 2018

    I am so excited to finally meet you after enjoying your wonderful classes. Unfortunately, I registered too late to take your Thursday seminar. (traveling and don’t do financial transactions on my phone), but I am definitely joining you at the zoo on Sunday. BTW, I don’t post often as I am trying to stay offline and draw or paint more. On our recent trip to see family, I begged my husband to allow me time at the national zoo and I sketched the elephants and the pandas (used to be a docent at the panda house and had not been back since they renovated). I just used the Pentel Pocketbrush Pen. I was quite satisfied with my sketches. I’ve also joined a group locally called the Cape Fear Sketcher’s that was started in March by a wonderful woman who was a plein air oil painter in Delaware . We have a great group of people with a mix of hobbyists and professional artists. Although I didn’t use watercolor at the zoo (way too crowded) I’ve ventured into using watercolor when we have our meet-ups. I draw some lines 1st with watercolor pencil and then go for it. I’m finding it an enjoyable experience. BTW, I am still sketching my cat per your suggestion in 2014. I have SBS to thank for the start in this journey, but particularly you because of your generosity and no nonsense practical approach. Thanks! See you in November!

    1. Reply

      Pat, I’m looking forward to seeing you at SketchKon. And never apologize for not posting—I would rather you be sketching!!!!!!

      So glad you got to sketch at the national zoo. I went there years ago and the Pandas were in seclusion because it was one of their breeding moments. So no panda sketches for me, but many other fun sketches on the day!

      I’m glad you’re working with the PPBP! It’s not to crowded at the zoo to use watercolor though! I do it all the time. Small palette, water brush, bingo! You can do it. Keep sketching your cat. See you in Pasadena!

    • Kathy
    • October 6, 2018

    Hi Roz,

    Your SketchKon workshop sells out just ridiculously fast (each year, it’s sold out by the time I heard about it — and I’m on the SketchKon mailing list!).

    Any chance you’ll create an online class based on what you cover in that 1-day workshop?

    1. Reply

      Kathy, this is the first year they have had SketchKon so I’m thinking you have me confused with someone else for past years.

      I do not have any current plans to turn the one-day workshop into an online class.

      The good news is that many of the things I cover in this workshop and a TON more things are covered in my “Drawing Practice: Drawing Live Subjects in Public” class. This is an online class I offer over on my CLASSES page.

      You can bookmark it now

      When I return from Sketchkon I will be finishing the video taping on another bookbinding class and I will then make a 2019 class schedule for all my online classes and post that sometime in December. So if you go back to that link in December you’ll find out when Drawing Practice is going to be held and I encourage you to sign up. It’s a 30 day drawing instruction class that teaches drawing exercises and approaches for developing skills to sketch live subjects, and it also deals with stripping off the hold the internal critic has on you to allow for increased creativity. So I recommend that you sign up for that course when the 2019 schedule is announced in December—the good news is there is no class limit so you will be able to get in! Thank you so much for your interest in my online teaching.

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