Saturday, December 31, 2016

Weekday Sketchers Go HOT

(Go to Hot Houses that is)

Winter is here but Urban Sketchers are HOT.  This week we go indoors to the Hot Houses at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. With several different environments from desert to tropical we should be busy for hours.  Get your green paint out of winter storage and come along!  

The prediction is for a temps in the high 40's, allowing for some outdoor sketching for the hale and hearty among us. There is a cafe in the Atrium for lunch or bring your own.  Bring a stool. Admission is free durning weekdays in the winter. 

Related image

Image result for Brooklyn Botanic Garden greenhouses

Related image


TIME: 10:30

We will meet at 10:30 in the central court between all the hot houses. Then each person can move to the location they like best. We will meet for lunch at 12:30 back in the Central Court.  There is a cafe in the Atrium.



NOTE: the hot houses are along Washington Ave.  If you walk around to the back of the Brooklyn Museum when you get out of the subway and walk across the parking lot, there is an entrance to the BBG.  Walk past the Japanese Gardens to the green houses. 

PLEASE RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Coming in 2017 we will have wonderful opportunities to sketch together.  Here are two dates to put on your calendar.

Wednesday January 4th:  

As mentioned, we will be mixing up the meeting dates for the Weekday Sketch Sessions in the new year.  Watch for the location in the next post.

Thursday January 12th: Chinese Brush Painting Workshop

One of our own sketchers, Victoria Chang, will conduct a two hour workshop on how to use the ancient art of Chinese Brush painting in traditional and contemporary creations.  After a demo all will have the opportunity to try their hand using this very expressive art form.  

Thanks to the New York Public Library for allowing us to use a classroom in the new 53rd Street Branch directly across the street from MOMA.

The program is free but space is limited. We can accommodate only 25 people, so please RSVP to Raylie Dunkel at Details on meeting time, materials list and exact location will be sent to all who register for the program. 

Monday, December 19, 2016


Image result for winter central park images nyc

There will be a short break in the schedule for the Weekday Urban Sketchers.  We will resume meeting again the first week in January.   Watch for the postings about scheduled events, workshops and sketch crawls on either Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. 

No matter what you celebrate this season, do it with gusto and joy.  Let the New Year bring us the ability and energy to accomplish wonderful things, create beautiful pictures and deepen our friendships. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SUNDAY: Sketch the view of Houston St.

The weather on Sunday December 18th is doing what it does in December.  It will be the shortest sketch day of the year, but Joy Hecht has come up with a great indoor toasty-warm sketching plan.

Start time is 11 AM:  We’ll be sketching from the upstairs seating area of the Whole Foods at 2nd Ave and 95 Houston Street - good views of 2nd Ave, Houston Street, Chrystie Street, plus interesting inside views of the market and the seating area.

Of course plenty of lunch options at Whole Foods.  The Second Avenue stop of the F Train is the closest.  Broadway Lafayette (B,D,F and M) is a short walk.  (See Map below)

Show and Tell:  3:30 will be at the PAULANER Brewhouse around the corner at 265 Bowery - not a Sport’s Bar as Joy pointed out.

NOTE:  This is our last sketch event together for 2016.  
Thank you to Joy for stepping in to run things in my absence.  

Happy New Year and a Fantastic Holiday Season to one and all.

Click to Enlarge

If you can’t find us
call or text Joy at 202-494-1162

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Sketch Lighting

A recent conversation with Leigh Marcos, the Content Manager, at LED Wired led to her organizing her thoughts about proper lighting for sketching:

How Lighting Affects Sketching
Without light, the only art to appreciate is sculpture, but even sculpture has a visual component that exists due to the effects of light. The changing qualities and angles of light alter the perception of all artistic media. Reflected light shapes, colorizes and gives texture to the world. Light also controls the perception of art from the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt to the perceiving of crosshatching in a pen drawing as shading. Here is how different lighting effects artist sketches.

Golden Hour Lighting

Natural Light
Whether outdoors beneath an open sky or through a window into a studio, sunlight is a continuous variable. Atmospheric phenomena from clouds to dust along with the perpetual travel of the Sun across the sky continually alters the angles, intensity, color and quality of light. Sketching outdoors requires quickly establishing the angle of light and placement of shadows while the basic structure of the sketch is laid out. Artists may be limited to short periods of time to capture details that light is revealing before it changes. The colors of the Golden Hour are an example. Also, the variability of outdoor light color, such as the Golden Hour light, can greatly affect how colors are perceived in sketches.

Artificial Light
Electric studio lighting can be incandescent, fluorescent or LED. Halogen bulbs are incandescent but are made differently than regular incandescent bulbs. Regular incandescent light bulbs have a tungsten filament that is subjected to electrical current. Resistance creates heat that emits a warm orange-yellow light. Nitrogen-argon is usually the gas inside the thin glass bulb. Halogen uses a tungsten filament inside a tough fused quartz bulb that has bromine in the enclosed space. The filament can burn hotter without burning out, and the extra heat makes the light appear whiter.

Fluorescent bulbs do not have filaments. Gas inside the fluorescent bulb is excited by electricity and glows. They can flicker and many give off a greenish tint. LED lights emit light from its basic structure, which is the photon. Light-emitting diodes can be made to give off any color temperature of light and color. Plus, LEDs only require a fraction of the energy to operate as incandescent bulbs require.

Color Temperature
Regardless of the type of artificial light used, the color temperature of the bulb is important. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K). Artists should strive to sketch in a studio that is illuminated in a neutral white light of about 5000K. Cooler-colored or warmer-colored lights will alter color perception. Colors will be warmer (redder) under warm light, and cooler (bluer) under cool lights. This can greatly affect how a finished sketch looks in another environment. A high Color Rendering Index (CRI) is also important, but the bulb, or LED, must also be color neutral.

Galleries choose neutral light to display art. Artists should create sketches in bright, diffuse color-neutral light. This way, the art will look the same in a gallery as it does in a studio. Though the artist cannot control the patron's lighting where their sketches will be displayed, informed patrons will also likely display fine art in their homes and offices under color-neutral lighting conditions.

Leigh Marcos,
LED Wired

Cloisters Update

If you are planning to join us at the Cloisters on Thursday December 15th, please be aware that the cafe is closed for the season. There is no food service inside the building and no nearby delis or take out restaurants.  Bring a snack with you if you are planning on spending the day sketching.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekday Urban Sketcher do the Cloisters at Christmas

Beautiful at any time of year, the Cloisters in Fort Tryon park is particular magical at Christmas time. The Cloisters is a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a collection of Medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts is one of NYC's gems. Join us for a trip to another time and place in this most decorative season. 

Image result for the cloisters christmas decorationsImage result for the cloisters christmas decorations

Related image

Image result for the cloisters christmas decorations


TIME: 10:30 AM

                           Note: we will meet in lobby by the information desk

TRANSPORTATION: The A train to 190th Street.  Take the elevator to the upper level exit and enter Ft. Tyron Park.  Follow the path to the building. The entrance is on the eastern side (away from the Hudson River)  of the building at the roadway level. It is about a 10 minute walk from the subway station. 

NOTE:  The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which charges and entrance fee.  If you are a member you will have free admission.  If you are a member at a level that includes guest passes, please ask for one so that we can give it to someone who is not a member.  If you are not a member you can elect to pay whatever you wish: a few dollars should be sufficient but even a quarter will get you in.

Also remember that there are NO wet media allowed in the building.  You can use any dry medium and activate the color with a water brush that has its own internal reservoir. Bring a stool. There is a cafe in the building where we can have lunch. You can purchase something or bring your own lunch and sit at a table to eat it.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SUNDAY: Sketch the Hispanic Society

If you don’t know this museum - you will be amazed! 
It’s a little known NYC gem housing one of the world’s finest collections of Hispanic art.

The Museum and Library collections, which cover nearly every aspect of art and culture in Spain – as well as Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines – into the 20th century, are unparalleled in their scope and quality outside of Spain. Paintings by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and Sorolla; masterworks of sculpture; and outstanding examples from all fields of the decorative arts offer visitors a panorama of the arts of the Hispanic world.  The collection also includes the Vespucci Map of the World

Admission is free although they ask for a donation.  (Personally on my last visit I felt more inclined towards generosity than I usually do at the NYC tourist mega- museums.)


When:  Sunday December 11th - starting at 11 AM

Where:  The Hispanic Society of America.  613 West 155th Street, on Audubon Terrace, Broadway between 155 and 156 Streets (see map below)

By Subway:
   -  The #1 Train Stops at 157th Street - one block away (Best choice)
   -  The A & C Train stops at 155th Street and is a longer walk 2 Avenues away

Lunch:  12:30 -  Directly across the street at the Restaurante La Libertad, 3764 Broadway.  Great fresh food, reasonably priced -  Latino/Salvadoran/Modern Cuisine.

Afternoon:  Back to the Museum for more sketching

Show and Tell: 3:00 off to At the Wallace, at 3612 Broadway (between W 148 and 149th) to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

Click to Enlarge

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, December 5, 2016



Located in the beautiful Beaux Arts Building that was the Customs House, the Museum of the American Indian will offer us an opportunity to sketch unique architecture and artifacts .  One of the current exhibit Circle of Dance features beautiful, colorful costumed figures that should make great subjects for our drawings.  The second exhibit of the artifacts of Indians of Central America will give us plenty of opportunity to work on ancient artifacts.  If weather permits we can move outside for the afternoon to draw the outside of the building and Bowling Green. 

Related image


                          SOUTH SIDE OF BOWLING GREEN

TIME: 10:30 AM


 4 & 5 trains to Bowling Green
1 train to Rector Street or South Ferry
R (& W on weekdays) trains to Whitehall Street
J & Z trains to Broad Street
2 & 3 trains to Wall Street

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.