Tuesday, April 27, 2021

SATURDAY - Sketch your Roots


Roots.  We’ve all got them, we all came from somewhere.  Some of us cherish our roots and others want only to escape from them.  

23andMe says I inherited a small amount of DNA from my Neanderthal ancestors.  Roots?  Many of us live in the US, but before that?  And going back even further, what about before that?

Let’s all look into our rearview mirror to find the things that help to explain who we are, - the things in our past that formed the people we’ve become.  Let’s sketch our roots.  Let’s sketch our roots and share the stories that made us who we are.

Of course there are no reference materials to point you to, all the materials, the memories and the family stories must come from you.

AM - My people
PM - The things my people did.


There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Monday, April 26, 2021

SUNDAY WORKSHOP: Intro to Collage



This workshop is designed to let you try out paper collage . In this workshop we will use a wide variety of papers as a palette of colors and textures as you might do in mosaic or textile appliqué.

The workshop has two goals. The first is for each participant to complete a collage. Working in collage is a lot slower than pencil or watercolor, so completing a collage during the workshop requires quick decisions and not too much detail. The second goal is for you to enjoy experimenting with a new medium, so you have a sense of whether this is something you might like to do more of in the future.



*   All drawing skill levels are welcome

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SATURDAY:  The 50's is Alive and Well

The 50's is Alive and Well 

... and 

Very Sketchable     ​

Rock and Roll, sock hops, poodle skirts, big muscle cars, and hula hoops.  Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II.  The 1950s were a decade marked by the post-World War II boom, the dawn of the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement in the United States.  

It was a well documented decade that left us with images that seem both distant and very close in time's rearview mirror.  Wonderful source material for the creative artist.

Your goal this morning is to 

AM - How it all looked.

PM - The things we did.  





There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Weekly Theme: "Close-up: Features of the Head and Face "

Eye of Surrealist Time by Salvadore Dali


Calling all you would be medical illustrators (and abstractionists too!) and devotees of drawing the head and face. Drawing a portrait as a whole is a challenge, so why not build our skills by drawing the parts instead? This week's theme, suggested by Marianne Milzoff, is devoted to the study of the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, ears and the general shapes and planes of the head and face.

Eye by Elaine Marks

Draw one feature or all of them.  Get into intense detail or render simplified shapes and colors. Be realistic or dabble at surrealism like Dali did with "The Eye of Time". Capture expressions. Feeling more adventurous? Draw what's inside the head: the cerebrum, pituitary gland, skull, or whatever strikes your fancy. Please label your work as NUS (Not an Urban sketch) when posting on social media.

Subway Eyes by Jin Kim
Eye by Kim Tortalani

Nose by Jerome Shafer

For more inspiration, here are a few videos that may help:
Cheap Joe's 2 Minute Art Tips - The Active vs The Passive
In this 2 Minute Art Tip, Julie talks about face rendering and shows how there is an active side and a passive side of the face.

A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Facial Features
Excerpted from Lee Hammond’s All New Big Book of Drawing, this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to recreate every aspect of the face: the eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth.

How to Draw Hyper Realistic Eyes | Step by Step by RapidFireArt
Follow simple, detailed steps to draw a realistic eye in pencil.

How to Draw Ears – Anatomy and Structure by Stan Prokopenko

Drawing Portraits: Faces and Figures by Giovanni Civardi 
See pages 18-25 for drawing the eye, ear, nose, and mouth

Eyes by Shawne Cooper

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

SATURDAY: The Combo Sketch

As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, my imagination roamed far and wide.  Images of the Wild West and cool Science Fiction fantasies filled my mind.   It was true for all the kids I knew.  The two sketching ideas suggested for our Saturday event connected with those childhood daydreams and filled my mind with powerful images that have lasted a lifetime.   

Maybe we were daydreaming about the same things?


WILD HORSES:  Suggested by Dina Schlesinger

While native horses once lived in North America (they died out over 10,000 years ago), the horses seen today are descendants of the domesticated beasts reintroduced to the continent by Spanish explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries. During the hundreds of years of breeding, trading and warring that followed, many domesticated horses were lost, abandoned or let loose, going on to form wild herds throughout the land, most notably out West. Without any natural predators, the herds swelled in size.

Dina hit on this idea when she reconnected with a childhood friend who wrote:

"I grew up in NYC and like many girls became interested in horses and wanted one.  My mother, reluctant to say no said i could have a horse but I’d have to keep it in my bedroom which was small.  I went to the library and found out the measurements of a standard horse and measured my bedroom and it would just fit, but the problem was the elevator.  It was much too small so I had to decide that I couldn’t get a horse."

The Best Places to See Wild Horses in North America:  This site has many links to other sites
Wild Horses:  This site has many pictures of wild horses.


THE 2040 SKETCH:  Suggested by Michael Skelly

We've taken virtual urban sketches around the world, in our own region, and back in time. This Saturday we'll visit 2040: a positive and uplifting green future. Science fiction writer William Gibson said the "Future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed." Michael will show us trends, examples, plans, and prototypes that are already here to give us inspiration for our time travel sketches and postcards from our future selves.

Suggested Sketch:  Explore our local urban scenes with people: favorite gathering spots, cafes, museums, galleries, shops and markets in 2040.  Sketch urban landscapes and vistas: architecture, parks, and waterfronts in 2040.

The future is not so far away. Take our real world locations and add what we think will be there in 2040, what has changed, and what will be gone in a few years? Ask yourself how people get there? What do they wear? What are they doing? , and how does it all look and feel? We are doing a potential green positive future NOT negative futures, dystopias, or post-collapse.



Pick one topic for the morning and explore the other topic in the afternoon.  
Both topics have rich potential.


There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

SATURDAY: Sketch Machu Picchu


Hosted by Alan Wernecke

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca citadel built on a mountain ridge in southern Peru.  It was established at 8,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by tropical rainforest. Unknown for centuries to outsiders, the fabled city was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham and introduced to the rest of the world through the pages of the National Geographic magazine. Today it remains the most familiar ikon of Inca civilization. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

Morning Sketch:  We will explore the ruins of Machu Picchu, its surrounding landscapes and some of the sacred sites within the city.

Afternoon Sketch:  We will sketch ancient Inca artifacts - metalwork, ceramics and textiles. The Incas created some of the finest works in pre-Colombian America, producing items in gold, silver, copper, bronze, platinum and precious stones.



There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Weekly Theme: Creepy Gargoyles


Gargoyle Sketch by Jeffrey Levine

The word "Gargoyle" originates from the old French word "Gargouille" meaning "throat" but which also describes the gurgling sound of water as it is coming down the downspout.  In architecture, and specifically in Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal with an open mouth projecting from the gutter of a building.  It is designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.


Gargoyles, by definition have a specific, functional purpose—they contain a downspout.  No downspout = no gargoyle.  A grotesque, on the other hand, is a decorative architectural feature carved from stone, frequently depicting a monster or animal of some sort.  Like the dragons jutting out from the 28th floor of the Woolworth Building, they’re an example of skeuomorphism—an ornamental object derived from something that once had functional use.

Who among us as children wasn't slightly intimidated by gargoyles?  They were often scary and creepy. Could they come alive and get us (as in the 1972 "Gargoyles" movie about a colony of living and breathing gargoyles)?  Fast forward a few years and we have come a to appreciate their architectural beauty and form.  They are worthy candidates for our art making.  This week's theme, suggested by Jennifer Ransom, is to draw a gargoyle (or grotesque) of your choice.  It can be from a photo (not urban sketching) or done on location.  If you are looking for some gargoyle sightings in New York City, check City College, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, or St Patrick's Cathedral. So let's look up, get a little grotesque and have some fun.

Consult these sites for some history and inspiration:
The Art of Gargoyles - CBS Sunday Morning

Exploring the Fantastic History of Gargoyles in Gothic Architecture