Winter Urban Sketching: Workshop in Galway 24th-26th October 2019

Urban Sketching is the drawing craze that’s spreading all over the world. It’s fun, absorbing and rewarding. You can loll about on the beach and draw people larking about, sit at a table outside a café and draw the world as it slowly passes by or sketch people enjoying nature at your leisure on the banks of a river.

Wait – those are all great things to draw when the weather is good!

Cold and rain don’t stop the urban sketcher…

When the weather gets tough, the tough sketcher gets going. This workshop will be all about sketching your world while still staying warm and dry: the cafés, pubs and restaurants of a town. And what better town to sketch these lovely things than Galway City in the west of Ireland?

We’ll sketch traditional Irish musicians playing live music, we’ll sketch the glassware of an Irish pub (you know that means pints of Guinness!) and the delicate china and brightly-coloured buns of traditional Irish tearooms. We will visit many of the scenes from my recently-published book, An Urban Sketcher’s Galway, where you can try your hand at your own version.

Do I need to know how to sketch to take part?

No! This is for all levels. Maybe you’ve never drawn before, but fancy giving it a go. Perhaps you enjoyed art at school but gave it up for one reason or another. Maybe you are experienced in another area of art, and you’re new to on-location sketching. Whatever your level, this workshop will introduce you to the world of urban sketching. Often the best progress is made by beginners, as they are most open to suggestions. I’m asking you to trust me for three days, try out what I suggest and come with an open heart…and enjoy some true West of Ireland culture!

Quick sketches

All the sketches I’ve included in this piece were done indoors in Galway City. I never felt rushed, and always felt welcome by the management. I’ll show you how to get pleasing results when you just have an hour – sometimes even less. We will concentrate on details, and make sure there aren’t too many colours introduced.

In this workshop I will introduce you to everything you’ll need to know to help you get the most from sketching in cafés, pubs and restaurants – in short, from winter urban sketching.

  • Materials and kit
  • Sketching opportunities indoors
  • Basics of composition: what to include, what to leave out; orienting the page; fitting everything in; foreground vs. background
  • Spiral drawing – accuracy without being too tight
  • Scale and proportions
  • Line – getting those proportions right; a beautiful line
  • The basics of watercolour
  • Using colour to best advantage – avoiding clashes, being efficient on location
  • Taking it further – how to link into the warm and friendly worldwide community of sketchers.

I want to give you a real west of Ireland winter experience. The weather will probably be pretty inclement outdoors, which is why it’s all about the interiors. This is one for the connaisseur of Irish culture!


The West of Ireland in late autumn / early winter can be wild and bleak, but it can also be very lovely – and many Galwegians find it’s their favourite time of year. In October there could be driving rain or crisp, sunny days, but we won’t try to battle the elements. We will draw in cosy interiors where we will be given a warm welcome. You won’t encounter the crowds of summer, and there is always a crackling fire in the pubs we’ll visit to sketch in. It gets dark at around six o’clock in late October; if it’s dry outside we’ll do one evening of casual night-time sketching.

What do I need to bring?

I will send a list of what you will need to bring. If you want, I can provide a full set containing almost everything you will need.

Some of the topics…


You’ll find it’s much easier to sketch people doing something repetitive, as long as they don’t go anywhere. Traditional Irish musicians are perfect for that. They stay still – and they are appreciated.


You will learn useful but very simple techniques for capturing light on glass and metal, whether glassware, bottles or teapots.


I will show you how to capture the other customers discreetly, without being noticed.

Pub interiors

It’s great fun drawing in a pub and you don’t need to include lots of colour to have a big impact.

Using the “mental grid” system you will discover one of the best ways to ensure solid, accurate drawing. You’ll find how sketching a complex scene is often easier than something simpler. I will show you why!

How much?

The workshop costs €395 per person for the three days. There will only be six places available, as space is limited in the places we will sketch. This means you’ll have lots of personal attention, so try to catch this workshop if you like lots of interaction with your instructor.


The three-day workshop costs €395. This covers the following: Three days of tuition from 10am to 1.00pm and from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

The workshop will have a maximum of 6 participants. If the minimum number has been reached by September 15th the workshop will be confirmed. Accommodation and meals will be at the participant’s own expense but there are lots of places to stay, from budget to more upmarket, and lots of dining options.

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    Terms and Conditions

    (1) Places in the workshop are strictly limited to 6. This does not include companions, whom we will do our best to accommodate.
    (2) This workshop is based on a minimum of 5 people attending.
    (3) The workshop will be conducted in English.
    (4) The workshop will take place between 10.00 am and 5.30pm Thurs 24th – Sat 26th October inclusive.
    (5) It is the responsibility for the attendees and their companions to make their own way to the location in Galway, Ireland on the first day and to the various starting points each morning in good time and to arrange their own departure after the workshop ends.
    (6) Please arrange your own insurance. You should arrange to insure against problems in all aspects of your travel, including flight cancellation, health problems, baggage loss or damage, or cancellation of the group tour booking.
    (7) We can suggest some places to stay, but we will not be held responsible for any deficiencies in that accommodation.
    (8) The itinerary may be adjusted to accommodate unforeseen changes to the schedule.
    (9) The weather may dictate that we have to work indoors. If this is the case, then suitable adjustments to the programme will be made, so that the workshop can continue.
    (10) We do not provide any art materials to the participants as standard. Please bring these with you. We will list the items we think you should bring. If you wish us to source some art materials for you, then we can do this, at your own expense. Please contact us if you want us to get anything for you.
    (11) We will not be held responsible for theft or damage caused by others during the workshop. Please ensure you are covered by insurance for these eventualities.
    (12) We cannot be held responsible for events beyond our control, such as floods, power cuts, storm damage, water shortages, drinking water contamination, leaks etc. We will try to help if we can to resolve any issues that arise.
    (13) The workshop fee only covers the tuition fee. All other costs are at the participants expense.
    (14) Róisín Curé Art reserves the right to change the location in the case of force majeure. The customer shall inform Róisín Curé Art in writing whether he or she chooses to withdraw or to benefit from the alternate package within and not after 2 days from receipt of the alternate proposal. Should the customer fail to accept any variations, Róisín Curé Art shall return only the sums of money received within 7 working days from receipt of the communication from the customer.
    (15) Damage and Charges. Attendees and their companions are required to act in a responsible manner at all times. Róisín Curé Art reserves the right to recover from clients the cost of any loss or damage caused by a failure to respect the property, fixtures, or fittings in the sketching locations.
    (16) We cannot be held responsible for force majeure including (but not limited to) strikes, breakdowns, illness, accidents, volcanic dust clouds, storms, war, terrorist acts, riots, floods, etc.

    Cancellation Policy: 31-60 days before departure: 75% forfeited. 0-30 days before departure: 100% forfeited.

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