Friday, May 15, 2015

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar's Registration is Open!



If you're looking for a fun weekend in July join us at the USk–Chicago Sketch Seminar! You can register online on the 2015 Seminar blog

I want to say thank you to our generous sponsors: Stillman & BirnWinsor & Newton JetPens.com, Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Nock Co., DeAtrementis Monkeypencil Screen Printing & Apparel. Your support for Urban Sketching is much appreciated!

I promise I'll post an update on Every Day in May soon!

Friday, May 8, 2015

EDM Installment 3

6– Something with Bristles


7– An Envelope

Something with bristles, # 6 on the Every Day in May list is my old workhorse paint brush. I use it all the time. Trees, splatter, texture, you name it, it does it!

The next one, # 7 an envelope, is a more sentimental choice. It's an envelope from a letter my father sent me a long time ago. He was in the navy and when ever he was out to sea he would send me letters filled with love and his Popeye cartoon sketches. There were no stamps on these letters. Since they were mailed from Navy ships the postage was free. I think it was these sketches that inspired me to keep on drawing even as I hit that adolescent stage when many kids stop drawing for fun.





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Every Day in May, Second Installment

2. a tree 

4.  herbs/spices in a jar or bottle 

5. something hot
I'm continuing the effort to use less pencil/line drawing and more paint. The process of letting the paint do the work is fun though I'm not always thrilled with the product. That's not the point, right? I'm using odds and ends of paper that are floating around the studio. The different types of paper add a surprise element to the process!


  • May 2 – an evergreen on our back deck that looks like it made it through the Chicago winter.
  • May 4 – vanilla pods
  • May 5 – Happy Cinco de Mayo!

OK,  where's May 3 – curtains? I'll get back to you on that one. It has me stumped!

Friday, May 1, 2015

You Know What They Say About Good Intentions



I've joined the Every Day in May, 2015 group on FB. The intention is to draw on item on the EDM list every day in May. I'm usually not good at these things. I can be like a magpie chasing after the next shiny thing but here goes! Today's item is a favorite food. It doesn't get more favorite than pizza for me.

My other intention for this project is to draw more with the paint rather than pencil. I don't want to eliminate pencil marks (they're almost on the favorite scale with pizza) but to use them more selectively.  Wish me luck! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

How to Choose a Model for Sketching






Saturday was Worldwide SketchCrawl. It was also the regular gathering of Urban Sketchers – Chicago. We originally planned to meet at Cloud Gate, (a.k.a. The Bean) Anish Kapoor's iconic sculpture in Millennium Park. Chicago's weather being what it is forced us indoors at the Chicago Cultural Center on the other side of Michigan Avenue. 

There is so much going on at the center that it's hard to focus. After viewing two art exhibits on display I settled down in the center section on the first floor. Despite the glorious mosaics and architecture, I was pulled toward the floral arrangement that added a touch of spring to my tired-of-winter-gray eyes. Then Jodie, another USk–Chicago sketcher, came along and sat next to the flowers and began to sketch. Perfect! That settled it, two lovely subjects to sketch that weren't going to move for a while! Just before it was time to reassemble as a group in the main lobby, Mary Beth came along and sat on the other side of the table. I managed just a quick sketch of her. 

Thanks to Alex Zonis, here's a panorama of the motley crew.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!




These are a few quick sketches I did  at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Chicago a few summers ago. I like the no pencil approach in them. It's a style I rarely use but I've begun playing around with it again.