Hello! I’m Róisín Curé, from Galway, on the west coast of Ireland. I am an artist, author and teacher, and I would like to tell you a little about my background. My first name is prounced “Ro-sheen” – emphasis on the first syllable – and even though it’s only two syllables, most people outside Ireland struggle with it! It means “little rose” in Irish and roses are by far my favourite flower…one day I will paint them as beautifully as they are! 

Back in 2012 I discovered urban sketching while on sabbatical witth my husband and three young children in Mauritius, and since then a whirlwind of colour and line has swept through my life. After a career marked by frustrated attempts to tie down my mojo and find my voice, everything changed almost overnight on that tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Back home in Ireland, I continued my newfound passion. 

I was warmly welcomed into the international urban sketching community, and quickly found a role as storyteller, urban sketching instructor and, eventually, author. The best bit is that I have made wonderful friends along the way, in my kind and generous colleagues and beautiful students. More recently I have entered the world of teaching online, and now I hold live sketching lessons twice a week through the wonderful new technology that we’ve all discovered in the last couple of years. 

I am so grateful for the happy accident that led me to stumble on urban sketching, and my life is infinitely richer, happier, funnier, as a result. I have published three books – An Urban Sketcher’s Galway (Currach Press, 2019), The Urban Sketching Handbook: Drawing Expressive People (Quarto, 2020) and Dublin In Sketches And Stories (Merrion Press, 2021) – each a treasure trove of experience of the making each and every sketch, and every story, in them. That richness of experience is YOURS for the taking: all you have to do is put pen to paper. I show you how, and then with any luck you stop coming to class because you are fully fledged, and confident to go out and sketch on your own, in your own artistic voice. That’s what I want. My success is marked by the loss of students. 

It is my passion, my privilege and my honour to share the wonderful world of sketching from life with my students. Classes, in Irish time, take place 4-5.30pm on Saturdays and 7-8.30pm on Tuesdays. The subject varies, but it’s always something drawn from life, in ink and watercolour. You can find out what time that is in your country by searching “what time is it in Ireland now”. I have students from San Francisco to Singapore and everywhere in between: yes, I have Australians too, but they usually watch the recordings! The students spend an hour and a half with me from their own homes, wherever in the world they are. If they can’t make the live session, they catch up in their own time with the recording.

What is needed for class?

Watercolour paints in a little tin, a nice brush, a fude pen (or any pen or pencil), waterproof ink for fountain pens and watercolour paper. You can find a wealth of information on my Instagram account, @roisincure.

Brands I like:

  • Paint: Roman Szmal Aquarius, Daniel Smith, Schmincke, Shin Han Premium, Rembrandt
  • Ink: De Atramentis Document Ink, Noodlers, Rohrer and Klingner (make sure they say waterproof somewhere, and also that they’re suitable for fountain pens, and always shake the bottle)
  • Pens: Sailor 55 or 40 degree fude, Jin Hao fude (or straight), Duke
  • Paper: Hahnemuhle Watercolour Sketchbook, Goldline (all minimum 200g / 90lb)
  • Brushes: Rosemary & Co. R13 / Dagger / Rigger; Aquarius Kolinsky sable (many other brushes are wonderful but all mine are travel brushes)

Class costs €5 – you can plug that into your computer to see what it is in your currency. You get the recording of the class automatically as part of the price, and I always send a materials list before class. It’s the best value out there! 

Then, if you really love the classes, you can meet the community by joining the private Facebook group, Sketch With Roisin. It’s a place where you can share your work from class, or from life. It’s not a place for art done from photos, or imagination, because I am all about encouraging my students to get out into the world and sketch from life.

You are very welcome in the group once you have attended one or two classes. The free ones don’t count, I’m afraid – I like my students to be serious about their desire to be creative through art, and I like to see that in action! But watch out for the free classes, which I hold a few times a year. Follow me on Instagram and you’ll hear about them.

I look forward to meeting you! 

Róisín