Saturday, 6 May 2017

Evoking a Sense of Place, Canterbury, UK - Friday June 30th - Sunday 2nd July 2017

Contact Simone at for a registration form

We have chosen the charming cathedral city of Canterbury as the location for our summer weekend workshop which will include part taught and part freestyle sketching within this most beautiful of locations. Both of us are teaching workshops at the USK Chicago symposium in July and feel our workshop approaches are complementary - and both integral to capturing and evoking a sense of place; myself (Simone) by my precise understanding of architectural drawing and perspective which generally underpins urban sketching, and Pat with her exquisite calligraphy and emotional response often through the use of colour, to what she sees.

We believe that our 2 workshops combined with demonstrations, informal guidance from enthusiastic tutors, and time to explore Canterbury and the picturesque seaside town of Whitstable will be an inspiration to keen urban sketchers whether beginners or experienced; there should be plenty to inspire and delight everyone!

I spent five years studying architecture at Canterbury School of Art, now University of the Creative Arts, so have extensive local knowledge - and in preparing for this workshop I recently revisited a number of favourite locations where sketching sessions will be based. Because I have such fond memories of Canterbury and when I discovered urban sketching, I really wanted to return and immerse myself in a weekend of sketching there - needless to say I have been planning this workshop for quite some time!

It developed as primarily an urban sketching art holiday combined with some taught sessions to enthusiastic and like-minded sketchers, but then when I discovered that Pat Southern-Pearce might be in Kent around the time that I was planning to do this weekend workshop, it all fell into place. Two very different workshop approaches but both of us practitioners dedicated to evoking a sense of place in our own special way. 

We are planning to use the first floor of the centrally located cafĂ© /restaurant La Trappiste on Sun Street for our main base. We will start our day here and Pat’s lettering and layout sessions will be facilitated here. Hopefully if good weather, we’ll be able to take advantage of the first floor outside terrace!

Workshop Description: Pat Southern-Pearce


Workshop Description: Simone Ridyard


To truly evoke a sense of place, you have to understand the basic principles of setting out the view that’s there in front of you. This is an energetic and lively workshop focusing primarily on the basic principles of one and two-point perspective through demonstrations, tips, techniques and exercises that were covered in my book Archisketcher. Aimed primarily at beginners but structured in such a way to be a good refresher workshop for more experienced sketchers. As well as looking at perspective, we will also be looking at ways of ‘capturing the big picture’ – whether that's Canterbury cathedral remains to be seen!

Learning Goals

  • An introduction (or reintroduction!) to the basic principles of perspective 
  • Understanding of one and two-point perspective; how they work in real life views, rather than just as a theoretical exercise; where to find eye level and the elusive vanishing point. 
  • A nod to bird’s eye and worm’s eye perspective 
  • Improved understanding of scale, massing and context 
  • Understanding when to add the detail and when to leave alone 
  • Working within an allotted timescale…no pressure then! 
  • Using colour and developing own personal technique 
  • Increased confidence when drawing architectural views 
  • Also tips about how to ‘capture the big picture’!


Workshop Schedule

In brief, the first hour focuses on one-point perspective, then we’ll touch on two-point perspective and the last hour is your opportunity to focus on ‘capturing the big picture’ and using your understanding of perspective to help evoke a sense of place.
  • Introductions, theory and discussion - tips and techniques about sketching architecture, a hand-out will be provided that gives information about each exercise (approx.15 minutes) 
  • One-point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (45 minutes) 
  • Two-point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (15 minutes) 
  • Quick context studies before the final drawing…capturing the view in thumbnails (15 minutes) 
  • Final ‘free-style’ drawing ‘capturing the big picture’- using perspective which brings it all together (45 minutes) 
  • Review, final feedback (approx. 15 minutes)


Full Workshop Itinerary:


Friday 30th June

  • 9.30-10.30am: Meet at La Trappiste, 1-2 Sun Street, for coffee and introductions 
  • 10.30-1.00pm: Split into 2 groups for workshop (Pat will be based at La Trappiste) 
  • 1.00-2.00pm: Lunch 
  • 2.00-5.00pm: Afternoon sketch crawl around Canterbury and as a group we’ll explore and sketch the glorious Canterbury cathedral and its grounds (entrance fee included). This session to include a 30-minute perspective demonstration by Simone followed by early evening ‘drink and draw’ sketching in a pub garden (possibly The Dolphin,17 St. Radigund’s Street,) first drink included. 
  • Evening: Optional dinner at Posillipo, 16 The Borough, set menu limited choice 3 courses £24.95 - (not included in the workshop fee, but can be booked when registering for £20).

Saturday 1st July

  • 9.30-10.00am: meet at La Trappiste for tea and coffee
  • 10.00-11.00am: coach to the picturesque fishing village of Whitstable to draw by the coast!
  • 11.00-1.00pm: guided sketching session with us both, including a 30-minute demo by Pat 
  • 1.00-2.00pm: lunch - if enough interest we will book some tables at Samphire, 4 High Street (it's just won Kent's Best Bistro award...)
  • 2.00-5.00pm: afternoon sketch crawl, no tuition although we will be available for informal guidance and there will be series of ‘show and tell’ sessions across the afternoon
  • 5.00-6.00pm: leave for return coach trip back to Canterbury 
  • 6.00pm: early evening ‘drink and draw’, maybe at the Dolphin or location TBC

Sunday 2nd July

  • 9.30-10.00: meet at La Trappiste for tea and coffee
  • 10.00 -12.30: split into 2 groups for workshop (Pat will be based at La Trappiste) 
  • 1.00-2.00pm: lunch 
  • 2.00-3.30pm: Lunch followed by final sketching session 2-3.30pm. 
  • 3.30-4.00pm: End of workshop

Links to venues and tourist information:  

Included in our workshop:

  • Tuition - 2 x 2.5 hour workshops with Pat and Simone
  • Demonstrations - 2 x 30 minutes by Pat and Simone
  • Informal and enthusiastic guidance throughout the weekend from both of us
  • Customised hard-backed souvenir sketchbook
  • Cathedral entrance (usually £12)
  • Coach or mini bus (depending on numbers) to Whitstable
  • Morning tea and coffee at La Trappiste before workshops start
  • First drink Friday evening
  • Optional dinner Friday evening 
  • Donation to USK

Maximum number of participants (level of experience)

24 – all participants welcome regardless of level of experience

Minimum number of participants 



Supply list:

Bring what you normally draw with but for Simone’s workshop: no specific requirements but she suggests:
  • Pens or pencils. Simone uses Unipen fine-liner pens 0.1-0.5mm (lots of them!) or pencils (B-2B).
  • Suggest A4 or A3 sized good quality cartridge paper to get the best from the exercises, either in a pad or masking taped to a board. Sketchbooks are fine for the final drawing; Simone uses an A5 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and likes to draw across a double page., probably best not to have a spiral bound book.
  • Your favorite sketching materials for the final sketch; colour, mixed media; whatever you prefer welcomed...and encouraged!
  •  Sun hat and folding stool, if it’s hot weather we’ll try and draw in the shade – but we will be outdoors. 
Pat has more detailed requirements!

Registration fee: 

£200 (£220 including optional £24.95 3-course dinner on Friday night). Please confirm when booking if you wish to join us for dinner. Non-sketching friends and partners are welcome to join us for a small fee, please enquire when booking. Email for a registration form or any queries.


In progress – hoping to get sponsorship from local art suppliers, will update in due course.


Workshop Instructor's bios:

We hope you find our workshop proposal of interest and please contact me if you have any questions. Accommodation in Canterbury is pretty expensive during the summer months, so if you want to join us I'd recommend booking as soon as possible. Canterbury is an hour from London St Pancras on the high-speed service so it's possible to travel down on Friday morning (so saving on a night's accommodation).  If we have a few people planning to do this, we might move the start time - but this can be finalised nearer the time.

With all best wishes...we hope you are excited as we are about delivering this workshop!


Sunday, 18 October 2015

7th annual Urban Sketchers Symposium is coming to Manchester!

I am delighted to confirm the 2016 International Urban Sketchers Symposium will be held in Manchester, UK 27th-30th July 2016. The symposium is an annual educational and networking event organised by Urban Sketchers, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to fostering the practice of on-location drawing. Sketchers of all levels, experience, and backgrounds are welcome. Join our Facebook group to discuss USk Manchester 2016. Any advice you need about travel arrangements, hotels etc - just ask in the group or contact me directly as I am the local organiser and was responsible for the successful bid to host the event in Manchester I hope we get to welcome you to our fabulous city next July!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Archisketcher has been published

I'm delighted to confirm that my book Archisketcher has now been published in the US by North Light Books. It is available to preorder on Amazon and is published in the UK by Apple Books on September 3rd - although some people seem to have already received their copies! Parka Blogs (Teoh Yi Chie) has written a really good review of it here and I'm very grateful to him for reviewing it so positively

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Festive Greetings

It's been a mad and hectic few months, what with it being the busiest academic term of the year and also I've been working on my book on architectural sketching which is due to be published in summer or fall 2015; you can tell it's being published first in the USA! The publisher is North Light Books in the USA and RotoVision, part of Quarto Books in the UK. I've seen the first draft and it's very exciting for me as it's the first book I've authored. And equally as importantly, I have some fabulous contributors from the world-wide urban sketching community! I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say at the moment but I will post a more detailed update when I know I'm allowed to. I'm genuinely delighted at the opportunity to author this book and I hope it will be a valuable contribution to the increasing number of books about urban (and architectural) sketching.

In the meantime I'd like to wish anyone reading this post warmest wishes for the festive season and very best wishes for 2015!

Christmas Market, Albert Square, Manchester 2014

Saturday, 21 June 2014

'Drawing the City' at Tate Liverpool

Sorry its been so long since my last post...I'm not sure where the time goes! Here is the link to my Tate Liverpool summer school 'Drawing the City' July 22-24th. It's actually fully booked but the Urban Sketchers Manchester Liverpool Tate SketchCrawl is on Saturday 12th July and this coincides with the 44th world-wide SketchCrawl. All welcome, no experience necessary, join us for all or part of the day - or please get in touch with me if you'd like more information.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Urban Sketchers Manchester draw at Chorlton's Big Green Happening

Urban Sketchers Manchester were invited to sketch at the 'Big Green Happening' festival in Manchester yesterday. It was at St Clement's church, which is in Chorlton - a leafy cosmopolitan south Manchester suburb, and the event was about promoting sustainability and a greener way of life. Lots of really interesting eco-businness in attendance including quirky craft stalls, delicatessens, vegan food, craft beer, organic wines, bicycle repairs and ethical fashion…and as the website says the event was promoting...'campaigners, makers, doers, growers, educators and builders'. It was a really friendly family orientated nice on a lovely spring afternoon which was perfect urban sketching weather! 

Here's my drawing from the afternoon (too much talking...much of it about urban sketching rather than drawing in my case!) and also a photograph of us with our finished drawings in the sunshine.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Tate Liverpool summer school

Here is a link to the Tate Liverpool summer school I am thrilled to be leading in July. Theme is (unsurprisingly!) 'drawing the city'. It coincides with the Nasreen Mohemedi and Modrian exhibitions and will include gallery talks and visits. The morning will be based at the Tate and the afternoons will be spent out on sketchcrawls around the city.

As a companion event Urban Sketchers Manchester will be partaking in the 44th Worldwide SketchCrawl on Saturday July 12th and visiting Liverpool, starting outside the Tate at 11am. Full details and itinerary to be published in due course.