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. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sketching a Bird's Eye View

What a glorious afternoon! Thanks to Carole Hennessy, the Illinois Artisans, our Monday sketching group had the opportunity to sketch in the Cook County Law Library in the Daley Center. The views were magnificent, so magnificent in fact that I abandoned my usual people mode and went for the vista. The colors of Lake Michigan were almost like the Caribbean and the variety of architecture was overwhelming. I wish I could have sketched the smell of being surrounded by books. It added a cozy feel to the wild blue yonder.

Since it was a library we curbed our usual chattiness. Interestingly, we all got a lot more sketching done. What fun a day!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Coming Attractions!

A Room with a View
Just a heads up for all of you Urban Sketchers and Would-be Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers-Chicago soon will be announcing the details for the July 2015 Sketch Seminar. Keep your eyes open on FB, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter! I'll be teaching a class for beginners in Urban Sketching. Come join the fun!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stealth Sketching at Starbucks

Often when I'm the docent on duty at LUMA I stop in at Starbucks in between tours. It's always a great place to sketch. If you've read this Tuesday's Tips and Tricks over at Urban Sketchers-Chicago you'll quickly see why. You can sit with your back to the wall. You can choose quick sketching with the ever changing customers. If your in the mood for a slow sketch there are plenty of models to choose from.  Everyone is absorbed in their own thoughts or work so they don't notice you. AND you have a table to work on (that's a luxury for urban sketching).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Drawing on the Grid

In my recent Tuesday Tips and Tricks over on the Urban Sketchers-Chicago blog I discuss designing sketchbook/journal pages using a grid. With so many years in print magazine design working to the  grid is second nature to me. I don't think I fully realized how ingrained it is until I remembered this pastel pencil drawing I did some years ago. Everything old is new again.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Hour and a Half to Visit the South Pacific

The Field Museum- Chicago
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted! So much for that resolution! My plan is to post more than last year so I better pick up the pace!

Today, Urban Sketchers-Chicago met at the Field Museum. I went to the South Pacific to sketch. Maybe I was searching for the sun but I discovered breath taking masks, costumes and musical instruments. The museum was crowded (free to Illinois residents in February and a Saturday) but people were so considerate! If they realized I was working they would make a real effort to say out of my field of vision. I really don't mind people going about their own way while I'm sketching that's part of being an urban sketcher, but thank you!

In this sketch I had fun playing with the textures. I applied the watercolor to the large face mask when I got home.