Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Greetings from a newbie

Even though I'd heard about The Urban Sketchers  a while ago, it took me until now to get up the nerve to show up for an outing. Frankly, I was a little intimidated. I was picturing a scene where everyone else would be award-winning illustrators and that I would be cast aside as an amateur. Of course, I needn't have worried. While the group is full of incredibly talented folks, for sure, it didn't take long to discover that there is room for anyone who likes to draw, even the occasional sketcher like me. Mark set the tone with his warm welcome and everyone else was lovely, which made it easy to relax into the day.  

Actually, the excitement that day started even before I arrived on location at the Brooklyn Museum. En route:

Once at the museum, there were so many clusters of people, I had no idea where to find everybody. Luckily, Mark had posted his cell phone number ahead of time, so when I rang, he raised his hand, waved me over to the group, and introduced me to the gang.

We scattered around the museum, found spots that tickled our fancy, drew, then moved on to other spots. It was a fabulous day, drawing and meeting new people: two of my favorite things. 

We all started out on the 4th floor:

From there, several of us took a trip down to Egypt:

I proceeded to get lost inside the Palace of Versailles:

I had such a good time that I came back again for the Portrait Party this past Saturday. 

As Mark and Svetlana both mentioned in their posts, we each took turns posing and then drawing each other in 10 minute spurts. As a first-time model, I can report that posing is not as easy as it looks. When it was my turn, my eyes twitched non-stop for several minutes until I was able to settle down and not focus on the fact that everyone else was focused solely on me.

A few portraits here.  Amazed how much you can accomplish in just 10 minutes. 




Mark, Amy, and Toy hard at work:

Joy, Swaminathan, Amy, Jim, and Svetlana enjoy a down moment in the atrium:

Two takes of Deborah:

Tools of the trade:

For me, the best part was seeing everyone's work laid out all together on the floor; 12 different interpretations of each person, from 12 different vantage points:

To sum up the day, it was a blast! 

(Shout-out to Mark for providing the paper and to Jason for a much-appreciated drawing tip, in response to my gasps of frustration.)

This concludes my first-ever blog post. Glad to have found this inspiring group.


  1. Shawne - Congrats on your first blog post!!! It was fun meeting you at the Brooklyn Museum and seeing how you sketched the scenes. Everyone does their sketches so differently, and it is fun to see what mediums, books, and materials everyone uses. I love how people are willing to share their sketching secrets too. Glad you made it in last week too. Your paint palette that you made looks interesting. I'll have to talk to you about it. I'm hoping to get in to sketch this week Maybe I'll see you there.

    1. Thanks, Joan! Writing this wasn't as painful as I'd expected. So nice to meet you, too. Yes, love that everybody's expression from looking at the same statue, the same model, or the same plant is soooo different. I'd be happy to show you how to build a portable palette next time we see each other.

  2. Good drawings and original colourful compositions Shawne!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kamaraka! Just perused your lovely drawings and collages. Hop over the pond and draw with us!

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  4. Very cool, Shawne! If I make it back to NY this summer/autumn I would drove to meet up and draw with you!

    1. Linda, yes!!! And then you can show me in person how to distinguish between the greens!


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