Wednesday, September 30, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch Switzerland

 A virtual sketch event planned 
and designed by Samuel Berner

"I say Switzerland. "

       "You say, ….

Mountains? … Chocolate? … Cheese?  … Banks? …  Neutrality? … Cuckoo Clocks?  … The Guards at the Vatican?"

I could go on - but it isn’t necessary because we have a tour guide.  Samuel Berner is from Switzerland, where he lived until he met NYC Urban Sketcher Hua Wang.  It’s a romantic sketching story.  

Join us for a sweeping tour of a quiet European country, 

with breathtaking natural beauty that will excite any Artist in Residence.   


-  You will need to register for this event.  Click this link to register:


-  Registration closes on Friday at noon EDT.

-  After our registration has closed you will receive an email, on Friday afternoon with the login information you'll need to participate

Monday, September 28, 2020

Weekly Theme: The Colors of Autumn

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus

For this week's theme let's use the beautiful Colors of Autumn to create our sketches. Fall's unique color palette surrounds us with fiery oranges, golden yellows, reds and browns of fall foliage, pumpkins, gourds and more. Other seasonal colors include crimson, burgundy, purple, olive green, and earth tones like terracotta, ochre and burnt sienna. 

Fall is one of the best times of the year to reconnect with nature. While it’s still warm enough to sit outside, why not bring your sketchbook to the local park and sketch some trees and plants. Maybe there's a Farmer's Market nearby where you can sketch colorful fruits and vegetables. If the weather turns crisp, you may be even be content to stay inside and the view from your window.

If you need some inspiration, here are a few ideas to spark your creativity: 
  • Create an Autumn landscape depicting the magical quality of trees.
  • Paint a harvest scene or still life featuring corn stalks/cobs, pumpkins, apples, gourds, etc.
  • Sketch some Fall flowers - asters, chrysanthemums, fading sunflowers, etc.
  • Sketch some tree branches - look for some interesting subjects in your backyard, down the street, or in a nearby park

For further inspiration: Use Fall Colors in Your Art

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

SATURDAY: A Day of Color

This virtual sketch event was 
created and developed by Dina Schlesinger 

The world is filled with interesting festivals.  Yom Kippur will soon be celebrated by Jews, a day of atonement during which the deceased are remembered.   The Chinese have the Qingming Festival also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day.  In July the Japanese celebrated Gion Matsuri a national holiday of purification - a holiday that’s been celebrated in Kyoto every year since 869.

Dina has selected two incredible festivals for us to sketch.  They were selected for the incredible array of images you can find on the internet and because both festivals she selected have such incredible colors.  

The photos we use as references should just be your starting point.  Let your imagination soar.

But there isn't anything to compare to Holi- the Hindu celebration of life; the beginning of spring and love. Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colors", or the "festival of love". The festival signifies the victory of good over evil.   The photographs of this holiday are incredible - break out your wild colors for the world’s most trippy festival.

Click this link to see photos:   HOLI  

As we approach All Souls’ Day (November 2) as part of the celebration the faithful remember the departed with prayers and feasting.  Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. ... Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons).  Like the Holi celebration this is a highly visual event that has been captured by numerous incredible photographs.

Click this link to see photos: Day of the Dead:

-  You will need to register for this event.  Click this link to register:

-  Registration closes on Friday at noon EDT.

-  After our registration has closed you will receive an email, on Friday afternoon with the login information you'll need to participate

Mark Leibowitz

     mobile     973-809-9128 

     Personal email and Urban Sketchers:
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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch the Other 71%

The New York City Urban Sketchers Virtual Sketch Event
Saturday,  September 19, 2020
Starting time:  10 AM EDT

Water, water everywhere and yet we do all our sketching on land. The seas await us. 

 For today’s event we will focus on our oceans. Not what is on top but the world that exists below the surface. There are so many great sources for underwater photographs that it doesn’t make sense to limit us to a particular website. Try Google Images.  Pinterest and Facebook. 
  •  For the morning we will focus on the incredible creatures who live in our seas. 
  •  In the afternoon our focus will shift to plants, and coral and things other than fish.

-  You will need to register for this event.  Click this link to register:

-  Registration closes on Friday at noon EDT.

-  After our registration has closed you will receive an email, on Friday afternoon with the login information you'll need to participate.

 Weekly Theme: Sketch a Statue

Tom Otterness: The Real World

There are statues all around us. Some are just whimsical, some celebrate great historical events and some honor an person of significance in our soicety.  They are big and unusual in the landscape but most of the time we don't even notice them, they are just part of the background scenery as we go about our lives, 

The unveiling of the statue of women's rights pioneers Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth is seen in Central Park in New York on August 26, 2020, marking the park's first statue of real-life women.
Newly Installed Statue in Central Park Celebrating the Suffragette Movement 

Erecting a statues in a public space is a big event, takes a lot of background work to make it happen and costs a great deal of money.  We tend to take these things for granted as we pass by these objects.  This week lets take a moment or two to reflect on them a bit. Who was that person or event being celebrated?  Who designed it? What organization was responsible for its installation? Is it's existence still relevant to the times and the neighborhood?  

How “Charging Bull” Became a New York Symbol and Why It Might Move - Artsy
Charging Bull 

The weather this week should be perfect for a trip to a park or walk through your neighborhood. This week look around your neighborhood and suss out the reason that that the statue is there.  Then go and draw it.  Post your works and give some background on what you have drawn and why it is there.

File:"The Immigrants" Sculpture At Battery Park.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Immigrants Statue 

Friday, September 11, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch Prague


SATURDAY: Sketch Prague

Hosted by Tim Bay

An historic outpost of many empires, from the Holy Roman to the Hapsburg and most recently the Soviet, Prague wears its historic past elegantly. Central Prague’s charmingly old-world cityscape mercifully escaped the carnage of World War 11 and stands today as a time capsule of the old world. If you love the sinuous and playfully decorative Art Nouveau style - it's all here.


The Charles Bridge, a celebrated lodestar on the tourist itinerary; Olsmy Cemetery, an elegant final berth for many Czech artists and politicians (including Dvorak); the Klementrium, a beautiful old world library, a lost-in-time enclave of the rich artifice of the Baroque period; the Prague Astronomical Clock, a landmark of the old town.

Other highlights include the Old Town Square, and the old Jewish Cemetery, an historically evocative memorial to the time when Prague boasted a large Jewish population, including Franz Kafka. The city at night is a lovely sight.

The avatar of the Art Nouveau Alphone Mucha is hands-down the best exemplar of the swirling lines and romantic ornamentation of the Art Nouveau style that is so much in evidence throughout the city. Would suggest that curious sketchers look up Mucha's works for inspiration.

MORNING: In the morning explore "Prague Old Town Streets." If you search Google Images with that title you'll find loads of inspiring images. You might check out the Old Town's Astronomical Clock, the centerpiece of the Old Town Square.

AFTERNOON: Prague at Night, which again can be found under that name on Google Images. Check it out, you will find that it is really dazzling----to use a much overused term, but in this case, is appropriate.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Our event starts on Saturday at 10 AM EDT. If you register you will receive an email on Friday after registration has closed. The email will provide the login information you'll need to participate.

TO REGISTER:  To attend you need to register.   Click the link below to sign-up

Monday, September 7, 2020

Weekly Theme: Catharsis

This theme was suggested by Marianne Milzoff.
Catharsis is a term that comes from the Greek katharsis meaning "purification" or "cleansing."

The Cambridge Dictionary define "Catharsis" as the process of releasing strong emotions through a particular activity or experience, such as writing or art, in a way that helps you to understand those emotions.

As the pandemic continues we are experiencing a plethora of emotions.  One day we are up, the next day we are down.  Our feelings range from anxiety to peacefulness and from isolation to interconnectedness.  This week we will express our feelings through our art.  Artists have done so since time immemorial.  You can observe the unleashing of emotions in such works as "The Scream" by Edward Munch, "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso and "The Two Fridas" by Frida Kahlo.

In her book "One Drawing a Day," Veronica Lawlor writes about Mood Boards, tools that can bring forth your own emotional message. She explains that it is an exercise in abstraction and finding your own personal language. Shown here are mood boards illustrated by artist Eddie Pena.


So ask yourself what kind of message you want to bring to your art. Perhaps it is that of chaos or peaceful solitude (or both). Maybe it is a time of self-reflection and change. Perhaps it will serve as a focus for direction, such as getting back into gear for school or work. Let your line and color reflect all of this. Your art can be representational or abstract, whatever strikes your fancy. Enjoy and remember to post your work on NYC USk Facebook with the label NUS (Not an Urban Sketch).

For information on the paintings mentioned:
Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' 

The Two Fridas by Frieda Kahlo 

Guernica by Pablo Picasso 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch Bannerman’s Castle

Saturday, September 5

Conceived, designed and hosted by Cecilia Evasco

We’re off for a visual voyage to sketch the enchanted ruins of Bannerman Castle, a medieval-like fortress built at the turn of the 20th century by a rich industrialist. Bannerman's Castle is situated on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River 50 miles from NYC.

The island is rich in supernatural history. The guides say fairies and goblins populate the island. Many claim it’s haunted by a malevolent spirit which has caused a series of disasters over the years, including the destruction of the castle itself.

Despite its ominous history, you’re going to be enchanted by the scenery and the setting of the island. The structure of the ruins is framed by flowers and other natural scenery that gives the castle and almost romantic feel.

Many artists have visited the island to sketch, paint, photograph the various views of the castle, and so are we.


In the morning we'll sketch the exterior structure of the castle ruins from the vicinity of the island with its numerous turrets, stairs, stone columns, and arched windows. Each side of the castle has its own unique view. Try to create a mood in your sketch whether it be foreboding, romantic, enchanted, or something else.


In the afternoon, we'll sketch a river-view or aerial view of the castle ruins. Another option could be to sketch the interior of the castle or focus on something interesting on the castle's facade or castle grounds.


You are free to use any source material you like. Cecilia has provided numerous links you can use. She's wrapped all the info you'll need in a website she created specifically for this event.


Registration closes on Friday at noon. On Friday afternoon you will recieve an email with the login instructions you'll need to participate.


Click here to register: