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I hope you are well and get a chance to go out and sketch. As I am in the middle of my summer holiday, I thought it would be nice to look back at the first half of this year. Taking some time to sit down and take notes of my recent personal history, enables me to evaluate and look ahead. I like to frame out the future in my head and decide what I would like to focus on in the coming months (spoiler alert: read on to learn more).

The first months of the year I was occupied with two things, mainly. The first one was handing over my position as chairman of the Urban Sketchers Netherlands Foundation. I feel very passionate about the organisation which has evolved from a Facebook community in 2013 to a fully operating national organisation with more than 15 local groups. In 2019 we had the honour to organise the biggest yearly urban sketchers event of the world: the 10th Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam. After more than seven years I decided to take a step back and to support the organisation in the background.

In March COVID-19 hit The Netherlands and has turned our world upside down. I was already preparing my new sketching platform ‘The Sketch Co. by Ruud’ and saw how many sketchers were trying to find a way to deal with the situation. My way of coping was to start an online sketching workshop that is free and that will grow as long as I have the means and energy. Every few weeks I add a new lecture.
I started writing and recording the first lectures and The Never Ending Workshop went live on May 29, 2020. The response has exceeded my expectations and it fills me with joy to see that so many sketchers are enjoying the lectures.

The Never Ending Workshop is not like any sketching workshop. The lectures can be watched in any order and by themselves. The workshop provides easy and quick sketching tips for anyone. Since the start of The Never Ending Workshop I have been focusing mainly on watercolor, color mixing and how to create skies and trees.

Here is a recap of the first five lectures:

Introduction: Introducing myself and the goal of the free workshop.

Lecture 1 – A Simple Tree With Volume: I will go into dark and light values and on top of that a little trick called ‘lifting’.

Lecture 2 – Cloudy Sky: How to create a beautiful sky with clouds.

Lecture 3 – Colours: A Limited Palette: You will learn that you only need a few colors in your palette when you go out sketching.

Lecture 4 – Colours: Mixing Grey And Black: You do not need black in your palette. I will tell you why in this lecture.

Lecture 5 – Colours: From Four Colours To Many Colours: Learn how to use even less colours to mix many colors.

What to expect in the coming months? Currently I am enjoying my summer break which gives me the opportunity to sketch more and think ahead. The Never Ending Workshop will return in September with new lectures. So, stay tuned.

I am also preparing something for Dutch and Belgian urban sketchers: An online introduction course for Urban Sketchers in Dutch will launch this fall. If you consider yourself a beginner to intermediate urban sketcher you might like this course.

Subscribe to my newsletter and you will be the first to learn when ‘Urban Sketching voor Beginners’ will be launched.

Stay safe and happy sketching,

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