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Sketching stories

This weekend, Berlin-based artist Allen Shaw will take participants around the many delights of maintaining a travelogue

An illustration of a floating raft

"Watercolours are like naughty children. They tend to misbehave when you're trying hard to control them. But, it's that little mischief that makes you grow even fonder of them," says Allen Shaw, adding that it is this playfulness that keeps his love affair with this medium going.

The Berlin-based Indian artist, who has travelled the world, will speak about recording his journeys through colourful illustrated travelogues, at a session titled Sketchbook Stories, this weekend. Shaw is touring the country for a series of events, and will be in the city to showcase his works at a solo exhibition.

Allen Shaw

He explains his love affair with watercolours in his sketchbooks, "When you're travelling, they're also the easiest to carry around. The cakes are compact and fit into a small bag. Water is available everywhere. Finally, you need just one wet brush."

The session will feature a talk and a hands-on illustration workshop. In the first half, Shaw will share stories and experiences from his travels, and what sketching means to him. "I have my first sketchbook, which dates back to 1996. At the session, I will show some of my sketchbooks, and also talk about how I structure my travelogue. I closely observe the people, the culture, and the architecture."

In the second half, participants will be taught how to maintain their sketchbook. "First, I will introduce them to the medium of watercolours, and this will be followed by a demonstration. Everybody gets to create something," says the artist.

For Shaw, his sketchbooks are more than illustrations; they hold a repository of stories and anecdotes, some funny, others poignant, many of which he will share at the event.

So, how many books has he amassed over the last 20 years? "I haven't actually tried to count, but I figure the number would be close to 250," he says, chuckling.

ON: February 25, 12.15 pm
AT: The Cuckoo Club, 5AA Pali Hill, MacRonells Compound, next to Candies, Bandra (W).
COST: Rs 750
LOG ON TO: bookmyshow.com

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