Tuesday, November 24, 2020

SATURDAY:  Sketch the Roar!

Yes,  it’s the Roaring Twenties!   

The War to End All Wars was over, the world was finally done with a devastating global pandemic.  The lucky people left alive did what we all want to do - they partied!  

They partied, and danced and drank and celebrated like there was no tomorrow.  The clothing was looser and the world was awash in technological marvels.  The roaring twenties was the time when electricity became common in NYC.  Automobiles were becoming a common site and shared the streets with horse drawn carts and carriages.  Women wore short dresses and were called flappers, everyone smoked and everyone was crazy for Jazz.  The Urban Sketchers of their day were part of the Ashcan School.  Alcohol was declared illegal for the entire decade and everyone drank anyway.

The tallest building on earth was here in NYC.  For the entire decade people marveled at the miracle of the Woolworth Building our symbol of capitalism.

On Saturday we are going to explore the world of 100 years ago.  Our focus is the decade and all the things that made it - the Roaring Twenties.  Feel free to explore in any direction you like. 

AM:  The things they did
PM:  The places they went, and what they wore, and all the little details





There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Weekly theme: "Holiday Food Art" or "Cook Your Art"

Calling all holiday chefs, bakers and bartenders! 

Noodle Kugel Recipe Illustrated by Marianne Milzoff

For this week's theme, Marianne Milzoff suggests that we share our favorite holiday recipes by turning them into pieces of art. Handwritten and illustrated recipes can be very inviting and heartwarming such as in "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest," a vegetarian recipe book written and illustrated by Mollie Katzen. It's a great way for us to be festive together even though we are physically apart. 

So, search through your Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and other seasonal cookbooks and select your favorite recipe to illustrate: Cranberry bread, Stollen, gingerbread cookies, etc. But you don't have to limit your creativity to the dessert table. Try illustrating a recipe for a main dish or a seasonal drink like Rum and Bourbon Eggnog. 

No recipes to share? How about drawing your traditional holiday dinner menu, special family dish or table setting? Have fun with this and be as traditional or as whimsical as you like!

Holiday Cookies Sketch by Lois Bender

Need some inspiration? Check these videos:
Draw Tip Tuesday: Illustrating a Recipe 
Koojse loves drawing food and illustrating recipes. And she loves sharing the joy of it! Here she does a super quick illustrated recipe - you can totally make it happen too!

Illustrate Your Favorite Dessert Recipe with Natalie Woo 
Natalie Woo will show you her favorite tips and tricks using Gelly Rolls Pens, Koi Coloring Brush Pen to illustrate her favorite family recipe - G√Ęteau au Chocolat des Ecoliers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch the Big Apple


Will provide a detailed description of what we'll be doing on Saturday and how to register.  
You need to register in advance to participate (see below)

Yes, our focus for this Saturday's Virtual Sketch event will be our own hometown.  Since the pandemic started, each week, with the help of the internet we've been exploring the world with our drawings.  However, we've largely ignored our own wonderful city.   As a special treat for our visitors from other parts of the world, and as a reminder to us - let's share our love for the Big Apple.

Using the NYC Tourist website to frame our exploration, we've created an interesting day of sketching.  We are going to concentrate on Manhattan.  Although it is physically the smallest borough, in square miles, it is also probably the place most visitors picture when they picture New York. 



For the morning portion of our sketch, each breakout room will be assigned to a NYC neighborhood.  Everyone in your breakout room will be working on the same Manhattan neighborhood.  If you click on your assigned  neighborhood below it will take you to the Google Images search page.  You are welcome to use whatever source materials you'd like to complete the morning work



Artist's Choice:  Select whatever neighborhood you'd like to explore.  Searching these place
names will provide a rich source of material: 

The Flatiron District,
The Meatpacking District
The Garment District.
Times Square,
Union Square,
Lincoln Square and
Herald Square 
Washington Heights and
Morningside Heights.
SoHo (SOuth of HOuston Street),
NoHo (NOrth of HOuston Street),
Tribeca (the TRIangle BElow CAnal Street) and
NoLita (NOrth of LIttel ITAly)

Upper East Side
Midtown West
Stuyvesant Town
Midtown East
Garment District
Murray Hill
Lower East Side
Morningside Heights
East Harlem
Greenwich Village:   
Upper West Side:   
Central Park:  
Times Square:  
East Village:   
Little Italy:  
Hell's Kitchen:  
Financial District:



There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch the Grand Canyon



Today we are sketching the Grand Canyon, with its iconic vistas of layered rock, the Colorado River, and wide open blue skies. The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. It stretches 277 miles across Arizona’s arid landscape, is 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep. We will be exploring different parts of the Canyon in the morning and afternoon sessions.

Morning Session:

We will start the day at the South Rim, where most people enter the Canyon. 

We will sketch the views, observing the great variety of strata - layer upon layer of limestone, sandstone, shale, schist, and granite - representing the most complete record of geologic history that can be seen anywhere in the world. Then we will venture down the Bright Angel Trail to the Canyon floor. The trail goes through 4 ecological areas on the way. For every 1,000 feet of descent, the temperature will increase 5 degrees F (so dress appropriately.) If you prefer, you can rent a mule for the trip, though the 9.3 mile ride down the trail is not as comfortable as you might think. 

Click for views of theGRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

Click for views of the:   GRAND CANYON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL 

Click for views of the:    CANYON MULE RIDES on the BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL 

Afternoon Session:

After the long trek down the Bright Angel Trail we will rest ourselves, and the mules, at the Phantom Ranch, on the north bank of the Colorado River. The log cabins at the Ranch were built in 1922, and originally hosted wealthy tourists from all over the world. You can stay overnight at the Ranch, if you plan ahead - fifteen months ahead, since reservations are distributed by lottery. However, sketching is free. And we’re not staying. River rafts await to give us the experience of white water rapids. A waterproof jacket is useful here. The river through the Canyon contains many rapids rated Class IV (Difficult) and Class V (Extremely Difficult). The scale goes to Class VI, which is probably Death. In the slower patches of the river you will be able to sketch wildlife along the shore, including bobcats, coyotes, beaver, rabbits, bighorn sheep, elk, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon. 

Click for views of the:    GRAND CANYON PHANTOM RANCH 

Click for views of:  RIVER RAFTING on the COLORADO through the GRAND CANYON   

For Those Still Curious:

For geology of the Canyon, I recommend Wikipedia’s excellent chart showing the names of the different rock layers, their thicknesses, and approximate ages.

For history of Canyon exploration, nothing beats John Wesley Powell’s The Explorations of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, published in 1875. Powell was a Civil War veteran and trained geologist, hired by the US Government to travel through the Canyon, map the River and its tributaries, and take notes on the geology. The book is based on Powell’s epic 1869 journey with four boats and nine men through the length of the Canyon. Spoiler alert - they faced starvation, killer rapids, bad weather and not everyone came out alive. The book has remained a classic of adventure literature. Powell later became the second Director of the US Geologic Survey. 


There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Monday, November 9, 2020

Weekly Theme: Be Inspired by Your Favorite Artist

Sketch by Marianne Milzoff

This week's sketching theme, suggested by Marianne Milzoff, is "Be Inspired by Your Favorite Artist." We will bring elements of the greats into our drawings. We can learn a lot from the artists of the past, techniques that can be incorporated into our own art. Cezanne's lines and planes influenced Picasso whose cubism influenced David Hockney's work, etc. For this week's theme, take a subject, any subject (people, landscape, sky, flowers, etc) and use your own artistic flair to add aspects of your chosen artist into your work. For example, in the image above, Marianne's incorporated Klee's lines into her figure drawing.


Some ideas:
  • Give your sky a Van Gogh swirl of brilliant color.
  • Experiment with colors like Joan Miro.
  • Take you pencil for a walk  in the spirit of Paul Klee.
  • Try Cubist faces and bodies, a la Picasso.
  • Borrow a little gold from Klimt to light up your painting.
  • Go into your subconscious and splash paint onto your paper as did Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock.
  • Try other art techniques like we did with Fauvism - examples include Dadaism, cubism. impressionism, pop art, pointillism, etc.
You can also be inspired by our fellow Urban Sketchers artists. What better way to pay homage than bringing forth a characteristic style of that artist (please attribute) and adding it to yours. 

You get the idea, explore and have fun!

If you need some additional inspiration, check here:

7 Famous Painting Techniques You’ll Want to Try

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch our New England Towns

A Virtual Sketching event created 
and hosted by Andrew Borloz

MORNING: Small New England Towns

This morning, we will be taking the backroads through various small towns in New England. Each one of them is distinct and unique - some are resort towns, university towns, mill towns, harbor towns, shipbuilding villages, farming towns, and mountain towns. A number of them are excellent for shopping/browsing in a "general store" or for attending a festival or an art/crafts fair - often held on the town square, common, or green. Fall is usually the most popular time to explore the towns as many of them often hold special events.

Many of the building styles are vernacular - native to the area and dependent on the plentiful supply of wood. The most prominent feature of these buildings is the clapboard shingling. Other architectural examples are the Cape Cod-style, gables, shutters, saltbox, and barn structures. The church steeples in many of the towns are often the tallest structures - no other buildings were allowed to be built higher than the church steeple.

Later this afternoon, these same backroads will also take us to the covered bridges.

A Few Examples of New England Small Towns:

Newfane, VT - mostly white clapboard buildings with green shutters. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=newfane+vt&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Manchester, VT - outlet stores in NE style. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=manchester+vt&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Grafton, VT - a wide variety of architecture within a small area. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Grafton%2C+vt&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Guilford, CT - by the seashore https://duckduckgo.com/?q=guilford+ct+green&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Mystic, CT - maritime town https://duckduckgo.com/?q=mystic%2C+ct&atb=v183-1&iax=images&ia=images

Deerfield, MA - academy town https://duckduckgo.com/?q=deerfield+historic+district&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Stockbridge,MA - charming village in the Berkshires https://duckduckgo.com/?q=stockbridge%2C+ma&atb=v183-1&iax=images&ia=images

Portsmouth, NH - harbor town https://duckduckgo.com/?q=portsmouth+nh+historical+areas&atb=v183-1&iax=images&ia=images

Keene, NH - a university town https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Keene+nh+historical+homes&atb=v183-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

Websites on Small New England Towns




AFTERNOON: Covered Bridges in New England

We are most likely to encounter another type of structure while traveling on the backroads to visit various small New England towns: covered bridges. A good number of them have been preserved or restored, and are often found by the river, near the parks, nature preserves, or forests.

Websites on Covered Bridges:

Wikipedia Entry on Covered Bridge in America: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covered_bridge

Covered Bridges in Every New England State: https://newengland.com/today/travel/new-england/the-best-covered-bridge-in-every-new-england-state/

16 Beautiful Covered Bridges in Vermont: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/vermont/covered-bridges-vt/

A few examples of covered bridges: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=covered+bridges+in+new+england&atb=v183-1&iax=images&ia=images


There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome