William is a professor and architect in Costa Rica, but I wouldn't have guessed he has an architecture background. Not because his urban sketches are not architecturally correct, but rather because they are much more full of life than the sketches of most architects I have seen.
His class was about telling what is happening in a place, what catches our attention, through smaller sketches (the boxes) nestled in a bigger drawing, combining everything to give an overview of what the sketcher experiences.
The first exercise William gave us was to look around Chafariz square, where we were based, and create thumbnails of the things that were appealing to us: people, objects, etc.
|This is just one of the pages I filled with thumbnails|
The square was very lively, there were a lot of things happening at once: a guy trying to hand out flyers, another one sitting on a bench, waiting for people to come buy his cotton candy, another one selling coconut water, etc. It was quite a challenge to try and capture these fleeting moments.
The second step was to combine several elements into just one sketch with the technique of bounding boxes, as William calls them.
These "boxes" don't need to be actual boxes at all. They can be different elements, placed on different planes of the drawing. The important thing was to create an overall impression of the place we were sketching, a flow guiding the eye through the drawing.
I have to admit that I still have to practice a lot! Learning to determine where to place what and how is quite a challenge. I do like my group of gossiping women, though.