The USK Symposium 2018 held in Porto this year

USK Symposium 2018 Porto collageIt’s time to share a my sketches and impressions of the USK Symposium 2018 in Porto. Jerry and I attended in July this year. (When you click on the images you can see a larger version)

USK Symposium 2018 PortoWe purchased a sketch pass for the USK Symposium. We could have had a workshop pass but I am pleased we kept it simple. When we went to Kuching I discovered with workshops and sketch walks I can quickly hit overload so I decided this time to keep the activities to a manageable level. Other factors were involved too. We visited Porto towards the end of 17 weeks of travel 6 of which included walking a pilgrimage 800 kms (500 miles) across Spain – the Camino de Santiago.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto sketchI knew we would be tired and although the energy of the symposium would carry us to a certain degree I did not want to hit overload during the symposium. Also from a very practical point of view the workshop bookings were announced while we were traveling and I was not going to try and battle for a-booking using my mobile phone on an intermittent internet connection. So we both went with sketch passes.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto 800 person crowdUSK Symposium 2018 Porto buildings This year the USK Symposium registered was over 800 attendees. In the photo above you can see everyone gathering for a group photo after the last sketch walk. As you can see there is a lot of people there! There were also people who simply came to Porto and sketched.

Everywhere you looked you saw people sketching. It was marvellous. Often when out and about around Canberra I feel a bit of an oddity. People often approach look over my shoulder and move on. Sometimes they make a comment other times not. Most comments are complimentary. It does not bother me I am used to it but I do feel a little like an oddity. The person who is different. It is totally the opposite when everywhere you turn you see people sketching. A sketcher is the norm! It is great fun.

Of course it is also simply great fun to hang out, meet up, share tips, and impressions.The Symposium is an exhilarating experience and to be honest it passed in a total whirl of impressions. Luckily I caught some of them in my sketchbook. I learnt much just from seeing how others handled the place I had just attempted to sketch.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto churchI tried a few new things, and played with new materials. We were given goodie bags that was filled with products to try. This view of the middle of cloister at the cathedral was worked in watercolour pencil and I added dash of artgraf which comes in tailor shape tablets. This was a new product purchased that week at the artgraf factory earlier in the week. I will write about this excursion in another post.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto hillside sketchThe best challenge was the complex layers of buildings and rows of houses, each with a different vanishing point because they are built at a slightly different angle to each other. Sometimes no mater if I was looking up the hill or down it just did my head in.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto viewNot only are the buildings at different angles but they are richly decorated with both tiles and carved stone decorations. It makes for complex imagery to try and realise on paper.

USK Symposium 2018 Porto cemetaryAnother challenge was a sketch walk that visited the historic cemetery. I enjoyed the location because it was so quiet!

 USK Symposium 2018 Porto boatPorto was a wonderful location for the symposium. It is a very beautiful city and I could not help but try and capture an image of one of the beautiful boats that you see moored along the river.

Aussies at USK Symposium 2018 PortoWe had a good few Aussies there – here the group shot taken on the last afternoon of the Symposium. I know we look a motley crowd but ww did enjoy ourselves.

The 2019 USK Symposium in Amsterdam will be held on 24th-27th July 2019.Honestly I was thrilled to hear this as I enjoyed Amsterdam when I was last there. Not far away and not long to save for but you can bet I will bust a gut to get there.  I really hope to be able to attend.

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