• Emma Bijloos

10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

From 24 to 27 July the 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Symposium is an annual educational event organized by Urban Sketchers (USk), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the practice of on-location observational sketching. Sketchers of all levels, experience, and backgrounds are welcome.

I was one of the lucky holders of a Symposium Pass, which gave full access to 3 workshops and a demo with a great lineup of international instructors. For such an occasion I didn't want to come unprepared, so I chose my watercolor palette carefully and tried out the various color on the first page of my A4-watercolor book. All set!

On Wednesday 24 July in the afternoon I joined about 500 other pass-holders for the opening reception at the main venue of the symposium, the Zuiderkerk in the centre of Amsterdam. While waiting in line to enter the church (which didn't take long!), I sketched a fellow urban sketcher wearing a straw hat.

After the opening reception and catching up with friends and fellow urban sketchers whom I'd met at last year's symposium in Porto, I headed back to my hotel to prepare for next day's workshop. In my next three blogs I'll be sharing my experiences during each day of the symposium - links further below!

On Saturday 27 July, the final day of the symposium, I participated in the silent auction, which is organized each year to support the organization of the next edition. During last year's symposium in Porto, I'd obtained a drawing by Dutch urban sketcher Linda Toolsema, and I was keen to take something beautiful home with me this time as well. Lucky me, I was able to obtain a set of drawings by one of my favorite urban sketchers, Marina Gretchanik. I immediately recognized the Waterlooplein market with its bicycles and clothes. Thanks Marina!

Images courtesy of Marina Gretchanik.

Left: catching up with urban sketcher Anya Toomre whom I'd met during last year's symposium in Porto. Right: with Marina Gretchanik, holding the drawings I'd obtained during the closing reception.

More about the following three days of workshops in my next posts:

  • Thursday 25 July: Barges, Schooners and Trawlers: Sketching Amsterdam’s Historic Harbour - workshop with Shari Blaukopf

  • Friday 26 July: Thumbnailing Your Slice of Life - workshop with Donald Saluling and Amsterdam Rooftops - demo by Hugo Costa

  • Saturday 27 July: Change Your Point of View! Adding More Drama Into Your Scene - workshop with Reham M. Ali


All images (c) Emma Bijloos 2019, unless stated otherwise.

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