July 2-4, 2021


and Cēsis, Latvija


Baltic Sketching Festival

Yes, you can play! Sketchbook as a playground.

Welcome to our second Baltic Sketching Festival!


We are convinced that drawing and playing are for everyone. Not just kids and professional artists.  Playful drawing opens doors to a new world - lighter, more colorful, and very welcoming. We all deserve that!


Baltic Sketching Festival welcomes everyone who is interested in drawing, sketching, painting - both those who already draw or paint and those who are willing to begin their journey into the world of visual expression. This year we have decided to create a playground with a sketchbook and a pen or a box of watercolors.

We hope to create an event where everyone with a pencil and paper feels free to play!

This year festival will be online:

We will have online lectures and demos by different experienced artists.

We will have online workshops for small groups.

We will have life drawing performance with live music with Drink&Draw Latvia.

And we will have a sketch-walk in Cesis, both virtual and on-site.

Check out our schedule below!

Join us on July 2-4, 2021 online and in Cesis, Latvia.

Festival is organised by Riga Sketching School.


Alex Hillkurtz
Paris, France
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Alex Hillkurtz was born in England and grew up in California where he is a storyboard artist for feature films. Currently living in Paris, Alex enjoys discovering the hidden corners of the city that sketching and painting allow. He uses the language of cinema to inform his images, moving beyond what is most obvious, and focusing the viewer’s eye on what he wants them to see. He believes that in our too-crowded lives, plein air painting moves at a more deliberate pace, revealing a true sense of place and its stories.


Alex is a member of French Plein Air Painters, USK Paris, and an associate member of the National Watercolor Society (USA), and California Watercolor Association.


He conducts regular workshops and masterclasses on watercolor painting and sketching teaching students of all levels and backgrounds how to infuse their paintings with a marvelous sense of life. His on-line course with Domestika has reached over 75,000 students worldwide, and his book “Sketching Techniques for Artists” was published in 2021 by Quarto Publishing.


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Inma Serrano
Sevilla, Spain
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Since I couldn’t stop drawing, I supposed I should do something with this. 

My name is Inma Serrano. 

In my daily life I combine Art teaching with different works as an illustrator. 

I collaborate regularly in the written press with my graphic reports and I occasionally have illustrated some books too. 

I was lucky to be an instructor in sketching workshops for Urban Sketchers International Symposiums in Santo Domingo (2011) Barcelona (2012) Singapour (2013) and Porto (2018). I also have led many sketching and illustration workshops in other European cities. 

I currently teach Visual Arts to high school students in Sevilla. I also serve as a correspondent in Urban Sketchers Spain. 

I need sketching and drawing to understand my life and to be happy. 


Neil Whitehead
Taunton, South West England
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Originally a graphic designer and illustrator working across London, Neil Whitehead now lives and works in South West England as a creative professional. He is a prolific urban landscape artist, drawing inspiration from the towns and cities we inhabit in a rhythmic style that fuses rapid mark-making and big, bold watercolour washes. Speed is central to his work in both the sketchbook and large scale gallery exhibits. 


Alise Ķīnasta
​Cesis, Latvia
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My name is Alise Ķīnasta and I am practicing artist and graphic designer educated as an art historian. I do both paintings and illustrations where I love to go wild with abstract and experimental techniques, by combining different media and adding elements of modern calligraphy. My passion is bold strokes and crazy splashes, colors from the natural landscape, small towns and art museums.


Jānis Ķīnasts
Cesis, Latvia
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Jānis Ķīnasts is environmental scientist and designer by education, placemaker by calling and director of Cēsis city Art school and curator of Cēsis Pluriversity by occupation. In his exploration he will guide us through the thinkosphere and landscape of ideas he calls - topographic poiesis. It`s an open invitation to explore plural relations we can establish with place by a simple yet fundamentally transformative act - drawing.

Nàstia Youkki Mamoshina
St.petersburg, Russia
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Anastasia Mamoshina (Nastia Youkki) is a Russian artist based in Saint Petersburg. Watercolorist, illustrator, an urban sketcher, the head of Urban Sketchers Saint Petersburg, author of art tours to Europe, traveller and ambassador of the sun. Anastasia conducts workshops and offline courses on watercolour sketching. Also she has an online-course about water, boats and reflections at the largest online art school in Russia.


"My inspiration is foreign languages, bright deep colors, our cool art community @uskspb, and a constant desire for experiments with art materials and my own vision of nature as well. I adore watercolor for its spontaneous character, but I begin to notice and use mixed media. I love to paint broad panoramas and small scenes, to create overall atmosphere of the city: winding streets, crowds of people, warm light, open windows. Ideally if it is a seafront, because my second passion is sea, boats and infinitely beautiful reflections. I could not be born in another city. St.Petersburg has it all - bridges, canals, industrial areas, ports, palaces, classics and high tech. Anyone becomes an artist here. At least at heart."


Masha Zurikova
Riga, Latvia
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I'm an illustrator, author of two children's books and sketcher. I am convinced that beauty is everywhere. The most important thing is to be able to notice things and to find inspiration in any ordinary event. I create illustrations for children's books by playing with line and color to share this feeling. I make fast sketches of everyday life to be present, to explore the world inside and outside.  Urban sketching is very important part of my self-exploration and self-expression journey, that always reminds me to stay mindful and seize the moment. I also love sharing my passion for drawing and inspire everyone to draw on workshops of Riga Sketching School.

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Daina Domašūte
Matishi, latvia
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I am a human, an urbansketcher and a paint-maker. Drawing for me is like the 5th sense that allows to be present in this world. I believe in unicorns and in drawing with non-dominant hand or not looking at the picture or drawing with one line. This shares responsibility and gives freedom to sing and dance while drawing. I am always searching for new tools and methods how to achieve freedom in my drawings. 

Agnese Aljēna
​Riga, Cesis, Latvia
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I am Agnese Aljena, sketcher, paintmaker and photographer, based in Latvia. I truly believe art can change the world, both mine and the big one. Art is a place where I meet myself, where I go when I need answers and that is a place for neverending play and possibilities.  


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Postcard Contest

postcard Contest

the soul

of CEsis


Till JUNE 15, 2021 


Sketchbook as a playground

Lectures and demos

July 3, 2021

ONLINE (link provided for ticket holders)

11:00 - Official opening of the Festival

11:10 - Playground theory. Lecture by Riga Sketching School

12:00 - From a person to a crowd. Demo by Inma Serrano

13:00 - Fast and fluid city sketching. Demo By Neil Whitehead

14:00 - Topographic Poiesis. Drawing as a relationship creation with a place soul. Lecture by Jānis Ķīnasts

15:00 - A splash of color, a dash of light, a pinch of shadow - painting cityscapes with spice! Demo by Alex Hillkurtz

16:00 - Watercolor sketching demo by Anastasia Mamoshina

17:00 - Watercolor DJ Alise Ķīnasta

18:00 - White page as a playground. Demo by Riga Sketching School


Life drawing performance

July 3, 2021   20:00 - 22:00 (18+)

ONLINE* (link provided for ticket holders)

* If the epidemiological situation allows limited offline participation will be possible upon prior registration

Allow yourself to be captivated by your SENSES. The impulses of live music, lights, atmosphere and a nude model will reveal a story in front of your eyes. Your role is to see, observe and create along with the performance.
The organizers of nude model sketching events - Drink and Draw Latvia, together with Musica Humana invite you to join us in a multimedial performance of sketching. Nude model posing while a concert of various compositions is carried out by the musicians to create and exaggerate the model's poses. Be inspired by your senses and let them play together on your paper.


July 4, 2021   12:00 - 13:30

ONLINE and CĒSIS old town


Virtual and real-life sketchwalk for everyone in Cēsis, Latvia and online for everyone in the world. 

Get to know and sketch one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia - Cēsis. Rich in picturesque landscapes and testimonies of the past, it embodies both an intriguing sense of antiquity and modern self-esteem. 



ONLINE workshops*

In order to participate in a workshop you have to book your place in advance here.

*If the epidemiological situation allows limited offline participation will be possible and additional offline workshops will be announced

July 2, 2021 

19:00 - 21:00

Agnese Aljēna, Masha Zurikova, Daina Domašūte

Warm up workshop: Yes, you can play

We believe that anyone can draw. And we believe that making marks is like playing. With this workshop we would like to remind you that drawing is fun and should not be always taken too seriously. We will show you some exercises that would put you out of your comfort zone and hopefully open new possibilities. 

July 4, 2021 

14:00 - 16:00

Alex Hillkurtz (France)

Painting the Light of Cēsis

Join me as we capture the light of Cēsis. In this workshop I will share with you my techniques of how to add brilliant light and bold shadows to your paintings. Drawing on my background as a storyboard artist and illustrator for feature films, I’ll share my personal theories on color, composition, and how to convey a mood with a painting. I’ll show you techniques you can apply to any painting, infusing new life into your work.

We will work in watercolor sketchbooks and loose sheets, and the media will be pen and ink and watercolor.


14:00 – 16:00

Alise Ķīnasta (Latvia)

Colors gone wild

We will explore and learn the joy of unconventional watercolor and mixed media techniques by .. by just going wild with splashing, splattering, blooming and layering the colors to purposely make mistakes. Which is impossible in art. We will use unusual tools and brushes to challenge ourselves, to unlearn what we know about our paint and tools and to set us free in our each and individual style of expression. There will be mess, the unexpected and above all - the freedom. In the end of the workshop you will have at least 10 abstract pieces to be used as you wish.


14:00 – 16:00

Inma Serrano (Spain)

The Messy City

In this workshop we will try to feel like children watching a place for the first time. 

With simple exercises to leave behind the fear of resemblance, we will look into the essence and the feeling that the place inspires us, we will look for our own drawing language and style.

We are going to play with different quick draw techniques to achieve uncontrolled and surprising results. We will approach the essential aspects such as how to draw daily life: The calm and the joy, the silence and the bustle. 

I want to focus on the idea of rhythm and mess, movement and colour that every city has.

Sketching this rhythm will give our drawings a much more dynamic and urban character.

17:00 - 19:00

Neil Whitehead (UK)

Fast and fluid city sketching

Capturing the city with continuous line sketching for free and expressive line work. 

Using bold watercolour in your urban sketches to create strong contrast and expression. 

Join me as I take you through my process of capturing quick and loose city sketches in a rapid and rhythmic style. Featuring aspects of:

  • The equipment I use 

  • My preferred sketchbook and paper

  • Finding the right scene to sketch

  • Importance of perspective and depth

  • Continuous line sketching exercise

  • The use of negative space

  • Splashing watercolour with expression!

  • Tips and tricks

17:00 - 19:00

Anastasia Mamoshina (Nastia Youkki) (Russia)

5 min before sunset 

I invite you to go to the sea to sketch yachts at sunset. What color is the sea? How to  paint mirror reflections? How to transfer the freshness of the first impression of a beautiful evening in the port? This demo is about the colors of the last five minutes before sunset and another burning theme for all sketchers - White space as part of the composition. This is not only the unpainted area around the drawing elements, but also the space inside the objects themselves. Let's talk about how to see layers and shapes, so that there is a rhythm and harmony in the work.

I really like to play with different art materials. Our sketch will be as textured as possible - after all, we will use watercolors, pastel pencils, color liners, watercolor markers and other materials.

During my workshop you will learn:

- Techniques of painting the evening sea and mirror reflections. 

- What colors and what brushes are most helpful for painting the water.

- How to play with white space and add a dramatic touch to your work. 

- How to create textures using a wide range of art products. 

Please note that photographs and footage will be taken throughout Baltic Sketching Festival. These will be used for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact the event organiser if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity


Organised by

Riga Sketching School began as lectures, workshops and mentored sketch walks organised by UrbanSketchers Riga together with different artists from all over the globe in order to enjoy the philosophy of UrbanSketching, become addicted and change lifestyle to the one with drawing tools always in your bag!​ Now we have grown to the online school in order to make our lessons available for everyone.

We are convinced that everyone can draw. So join us in this amazing adventure of visual self expression!


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This year the festival will be online. Links will be provided to ticket holders.

If the situation allows, limited participation in Cesis will be possible upon prior registration. This will be announced shortly before the event.


Art Space Mala, located in the 17th century beer brewery is a home base for our festival. Cēsis is a medieval town a bit more than an hour drive from Riga centre. 

Full address

Lenču iela 9/11, Cēsis, Latvia

Getting to Cēsis

by train (trains leaving from Riga Central Station)

by bus (leaving from bus station)

by car (take road A2)

Detailed info here

Contact Us
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