What exactly is reportage? The Oxford English Dictionary cites the origin of the word as early seventeenth-century French; the Old French reporter means “to carry back.” Carry back—this is a wonderful explanation of reportage, especially as it relates to urban sketching. To do reportage illustration or documentary drawing, then, means to go out into the world and carry back what we experience behind our pen or brush. Of course, the possibilities are as varied as the artists. What really counts is the artist’s intent. More than simply recording what our eyes see, reportage illustration, sometimes called visual journalism, is also about what the mind and heart see and take note of, and the story the artist wants to tell.
And how do you make those stories your own? By practicing intent: go to a location and spend time making observations, and then draw what you’ve observed. What would you want to tell someone about what you saw, heard, felt? The more you think in terms of communicating with your urban sketches, the more natural it will be for you to create reportage. The goal of this handbook is to give you some tips and things to consider while drawing on location, as well as some examples to inspire you.
Just as there are all types of written stories to be told, this issue of the Urban Sketching Handbook series reminds the reader that there are all types of visual stories to tell. And the next step is to go out and tell them!
About This Series:
As hobbies go, urban sketching is simple and accessible. All you need to do is grab some drawing tools and capture what’s happening in your city or neighborhood.
Once you get out and about, pen or pencil in hand, you’ll discover the many different layers and aspects of urban sketching: How can I draw people when they move around so much? Do I have to sketch every brick? What should I do with my sketches when I’m done?
Whether you are a seasoned sketcher or just starting out, The Urban Sketching Handbook lays out key strategies and examples that will come in handy each time you open your sketchbook.
Veronica Lawlor is an artist and illustrator whose reportage drawings have led her around the world, completing campaigns for a diverse group of clients. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and her reportage illustration is part of the permanent collection of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. In 2011, she was honored as the North American nominee for the Canson Prix, and her work was presented at the Louvre in Paris. The president of Studio 1482, and a correspondent for the Urban Sketchers international sketch blog, Veronica is on the faculty of Pratt Institute and Parsons The New School for Design, and is a cofounder of the Dalvero Academy.
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|Cover||Softcover with rubber band|
|Dimensions||cm 12,7 x 20,3|