Selected for Strokes of Genius 4!

Last March I posted my experience sketching with Prof. Tom Leytham from Norwich University and his class.  I credit Tom for helping me loosen up as well as making the sketching process much more enjoyable.  I finally understood that the important thing about a sketch is that it is a personal interpretation of the energy of a subject, be it a space, building or object.

While sketching at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, Tom asked me to try his beloved Sailor brush pen.  I wasn’t used to sketching with ink, much less a brush pen.  The tip is soft, so I had to adjust my regular stroke; also, there are no intermediate values, so it’s either black or white.

It was just past noon, the Caribbean sun hitting on us hard.  I remember being dead tired, the glare of the sun bouncing on the floor of the main plaza almost blinded me, so that’s what caught my attention.  I then attempted to capture the energy of the space as I was experiencing it.

It was a sketch that took me less than a minute, so it was quick, bold and simple.  It had none of the bindings of my previously tight drawings.  I just fell in love with that sketch and has become my favorite.

Some time later I received an invitation to take part in the Strokes of Genius 4 competition, for a chance of being featured in an upcoming book.  I was about to discard the email, but the theme of this edition caught my attention: Exploring Line.  I remembered the joy I felt doing that sketch, representing shadows with a line and even the lines that weren’t there but anyway you could see.

Was that sketch good enough for a publication?  After all, the invitation was calling “from quick contour sketches to carefully rendered drawings”.  Still a little hesitant, I submitted my sketch.

Today, three months later, I received a notification that the winners were selected.   I clicked the link and, third on the list: Aparicio, Luis E.

Yay! I still feel goosebumps while typing this.  I was one of the 112 artists chosen from 1650 entries.  I don’t know how rigorous the judges were, but at least, being selected for a “Strokes of Genius” publication sounds awesome.

Thanks Tom, for lending me your pen…

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