Hello everyone! Today I want to introduce one of my favorite classes at the program center: Sketchbook: Walking in the City. Sketchbook is an on-site studio art course, based on drawing, designed for both art majors and non-art majors (like me). Personally, I just know how to draw stick figures. Since that’s the extent of my skills, I decided to take this class to learn how to draw. I won’t lie and tell you the first day wasn’t intimidating. Afterall not all of us have the confidence to take up all the space on the sketchbook page drawing a bottle. That day I didn’t even finish the box in which I was supposed to draw the bottle in. Nonetheless, after the third class I started to get the hang of things and couldn’t be happier that I signed up for the class. Additionally, this class serves as a much-needed break from the heavy content of the rest of my classes. Here we learn a concept and put it in practice through 3-4 drawings a week. The moments in which I sit and try my best to draw something are truly comforting and meditative.
My favorite part about this class is that every Tuesday morning I get to visit a different place in Madrid and draw a picture from it to keep forever on my travel sketchbook. It’s a completely different way to remember my time abroad in Spain. Today we went to the Jardín Tropical de Atocha. It is a collection of tropical plants inside the Atocha train station. As you can see in the pictures below, this part of the train station is a glass and iron greenhouse to keep the plants in the sun. During this class we learned how to draw trees, and bushes.
Everyone then picked a plant and simply drew for the rest of the class. Our assignment for next class is to finish this drawing and then draw a different plant. Next time we’ll learn how to draw volume into our objects at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.
This semester we have planned visits to the Museo del Ferrocarril in Madrid which is one of the largest historic railroad collections in Europe, and even the JUST MAD XI Feria which is an international contemporary art fair where we will use works as inspiration for our drawings that week. Additionally, we will be visiting the neighborhood of Lavapies and exploring graffiti street art and learning about how it is drawn.
I am really excited to continue to learn how to draw better. Additionally I am even more excited to visit places in Madrid I would have otherwise never known about and to get to know the city and its culture through my sketchbook and pencils.
Mayeline Peña, student blogger primavera 2020