What a weekend! The Draw-In Symposium finally arrived and it was filled with fun, drama, stories, demos and tonnes of artwork and drawing to experience. In fact, the Draw-In event itself had already started a week previous with Matt Weigle’s brilliant painting workshop. Both Colleen Barry and Matt Weigle were flown over from New York especially to take part in and attend the Weekend long Draw-In Symposium event. Some of Matt’s workshop can be viewed here at Julie’s website

Left to right: Colleen Barry, Matt Weigle, Aidan McGrath, Paul FoxtonPeter Cooper, PJ Lynch, Shevaun Doherty and Julie Douglas (Founder of the Draw-In Symposium)

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The Symposium kicked off with a fantastic talk by Colleen Barry.  Colleen is a phenomenal artist and painter and her growing wealth of experience and knowledge she openly shares with others.

I gave a 1 hour creature sculpting demo, I touched on building a wire armature, the drawing and design processes involved, laying out the main forms and masses of the character and posing the design in dynamic but subtle ways to help bring out the character of the creature. I’ll have an update on this creature sculpt very soon. I had approx 1 hour to flesh this fella out.

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The guys in the audience are born sculptors in their own right! After we passed out some Super Sculpey to the audience they got stuck right in, here’s just a handful of what was made during my time on the stage.  I’m so impressed!

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In between workshops, I’d be doodling 3D creature concepts in the shadows… this was a 3D blockout of the main creature design I was working on during the Saturday. I had lots of invaluable input from some of the artists involved working through workshops of the day. Thanks to their insane enthusiasm and help, I was able to make design decisions much faster than normal to help me along the way.

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Also giving demos at the Draw-In Symposium were:

Shevaun Doherty:

Shevaun is intelligent and fun, she is an artist that explores the botanical world, whether it be plants, trees.. even beetles and micro animal life, her painting work is amazing and her volume of work is growing.  The amount of attention to detail that Shevaun employs in her work while painting her subject is phenomenal.  In the world of botanical art, every little detail has to be observed fully and recorded. Through having fun conversations with her, I realized just how open and inquisitive she is, she’s always discovering as she goes and this shows in her forever growing volume of artwork. We got into a great chat at one point, about getting high on pufferfish! To see more of Shevaun Doherty’s botanical artwork visit: http://botanicalsketches.blogspot.co.uk/

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PJ Lynch:

Finally got the opportunity to meet PJ Lynch at long last. A really good guy, fantastic artist and a professional through and through. He gave an hour long portrait demo whilst at the same time taking questions from the audience as he worked. I’m a huge fan of the artwork he produced for the book Ignis by Gina Wilson, and I had the honor of showing him the creature sculpt I’ve been working on based on one of his dragon designs. Ignis in this case. A great painter and artist, really happy I had this opportunity to meet him at long last.

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Paul Foxton:

Paul gave an awesome and thoughtful demo on how to improve your artwork through the practice of exercising various drawing techniques regularly. He talked about developing creative and artistic habits, things like sitting by a desk and drawing straight lines, or even simplier, getting into the ‘habit’ of opening a sketchbook every morning… so that you’re ready to doodle. Value is a key topic of conversation! A very interesting workshop, Paul was articulate in his delivery and made it enegaging and fun. To find out more go to: http://www.learning-to-see.co.uk/

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A big shout out and thank you to Julie Douglas. As founder of the Draw-In event, she has steered this from day one and made it happen. It’s been an unmissable opportunity to be involved as an artist and get to meet everyone else who attended. It’s been a humbling and highly creative experience and I hope it happens again in the future. It’s been a blast.  Thanks Julie!

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