Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Day by Day

 




Let's Sketch

Progressive Sketches

Sunday, May 9

12 PM - 3 PM


Hosted by



This week our guest host is Bob Glazauskis. Recently, Bob has been doing “progressive sketches” and we thought it would make a good prompt for the group.


Details

Pick a location, either inside or outside, and create a sketch there over a period of time. 


This could be over a few hours, or over a few days. Finish it up on the meet day with changes added to the sketch that you observe that day.

  • there could be changes to the light,
  • changes in the weather
  • the growth of a plant in a vase
  • or even additions to the location that were not there in the first leg of the sketch


This can be done in many creative ways!

  • Consider adding a little bit to your sketch each day to create a final work
  • or using “ghost lines” to overlay changing information as time passes. This can be a really fun way to observe changes you would normally take for granted.


The banner shows Bob’s finished progressive sketch done over 3 days at Kenosha harbor. 


Here is how he describes his process:

“Here is a progressive urban sketch I did on location from the same spot in front of the Balance of Justice sculpture at the channel entrance of the Kenosha Wi. harbor. I did it during the pre-sunrise dawn in the half hour before the sun broke over the horizon, sketching with pen & ink and watercolors during the brief time period, incorporating what I thought was the best element of each day into one sketch. 

Day 1. Was grey clouds! 

Day 2. Was orange and yellows on the horizon!

Day 3. Was a purplish cast in the sky and on the water!”




As usual, we will gather from noon to 3 p.m. to share and discuss, but of course late submissions are always welcome. Remember that we follow USk Global’s guidelines of sketching live on location and not from reference photos. Please include #uskchicago and #uskathome on your posts to Facebook and Instagram.


Want to keep up to date by email? Fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Sky"s the Limit!

 

Let's Sketch

Your Skyline

Sunday, May 2

12 PM - 3 PM


Hosted by



“A skyline is an outline or shape viewed near the horizon. It can be created by a city’s overall structure, or by human intervention in a rural setting, or in nature that is formed where the sky meets buildings or the land.” – Wikipedia 


This week’s theme is “Sketch Your Skyline.” We’ll explore how we can capture a skyline, or a simple view of the horizon, into our sketches.


Details:

  • Your “skyline” sketch does not have to consist of buildings and skyscrapers. Most of the time, the horizon will be a simple imaginary line where the sky meets land from your viewpoint (at the park, front yard, outdoor cafe, beach, etc.)
  • We can sketch views from our homes, out the window, or out and about.
  • There are no rules other than our Urban Sketching guidelines, be creative.
  • Any type of medium can be used (example: watercolor, water-soluble ink, color pencils, etc.) 


Please include #uskchicago and #uskathome on your posts to Facebook and Instagram.


Want to keep up to date by email? Fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.




Thursday, April 22, 2021

T&T Thursday


Say What?

By Barbara Weeks


As artists we each have a unique voice that we express in our work. It’s our point of view, our style. We also have another voice, the little voice in our heads that speaks to us when we draw. It may be small but it’s powerful and really influences how we draw.


Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I can’t draw people.” 
  • “That hand looks like a claw.”
  • “This building is all wrong. I never get the perspective right.”
  • “I can’t post this sketch it isn’t good enough.”


How about these?

  • “Is that line curved or straight?”
  • “What shape is that?”
  • “Which roof is higher?”
  • “This sketch expresses what I observed.”


The first set is the voice of the critic.

It speaks to us of drawing as a noun, judging what we’ve done. 

The second set is the voice of the coach. 

It speaks to us of drawing as a verb, helping us to observe our subject, get lost in the act of drawing and rendering what we see. 


The first is negative and self-defeating.


The second is positive and constructive.


You’ve heard it many times before – practice, practice, practice.

In this case you really practice what you preach. 

What do you say when you talk to yourself?






Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Keep It Simple!


 



Let's Sketch

Backgrounds Simplified

Sunday, April 25

12 PM - 3 PM


Hosted by

There are many pressures and challenging variables when urban sketching . Limited time and complicated settings can many times be challenging . Simplifying your background can be effective in several way


Details

 Using soft shapes to suggest the background elements saves time and can also frame the parts of your sketch that you want to stand out. For example in the sketch above, the backpack is the main element, adding the suggestion of faded shapes for people sets the scene and puts the sketch into context of the location. Without the simplified background the sketch would be less an urban sketch and more of a still life.

For this week’s sketch challenge establish the detail attention part of the scene you are sketching. 

  • Concentrate on that
  • Finish your sketch with a more simplified background. 

Some simplifying sketch techniques:

  • Contour lines
  • Drawing simple shapes 
  • Using a wash or muted shapes like the sketch above in the banner 

Really anything goes, let loose and have fun!

Banner sketch by: Mary Jo Ernst


When outside your home, be sure to socially distance and wear a mask to help everyone stay safe.

Please include #uskchicago and #uskathome on your posts to Facebook and Instagram.


Want to keep up to date by email? Fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Earth Day



Let's Sketch

Earth Day!

Sunday, April 18

12 PM - 3 PM


Hosted by


Next Thursday, April 22, is Earth Day. This weekend, let’s add an environmental slant to our sketching in honor of Earth Day.



Established in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event promoting environmental protection, with long-term focus in the areas of climate action, conservation and restoration, and plastic and pollution. Participation now includes one billion people in more than 193 countries, taking part in events coordinated by EARTHDAY.ORG. The theme for this year’s events is Restore Our Earth.


Details

Even for those of us in urban environments, nature is all around us. This week, let’s capture some of nature’s beauty in our sketches. 


There are so many ways to interpret this prompt:

  • Show us what is blooming in your neighborhood, or the natural areas where you live
  • Depict nature triumphing over the man-made, as in plants growing up through concrete
  • Use an item found in nature to create your sketch, e.g. dip a stick in ink and use that to draw
  • Document environmental concerns, such as litter-strewn areas, or positive environmental changes, such as electric cars or charging stations

Banner sketch by Gail Dokucu: the first couple tulips her garden



As usual, we will gather from noon to 3 p.m. to share and discuss, but of course late submissions are always welcome.

Remember that we follow USk Global’s guidelines of sketching live on location and not from reference photos. 


We have a few giveaways this week, generously donated by CHARTPAK, a generous USk Chicago sponsor.

Anyone who posts in this week’s virtual sketch theme will be entered to win. *Winners will be picked randomly by Mary Jo Ernst. Mary Jo will DM the winners to coordinate delivery and postage will be paid by USk Chicago. *Admins are excluded from entering the giveaway.

We have two great giveaways this week. First up is a set of 12 Koh-i-noor graphite technical pencils, along with a Koh-i-noor sketchbook with 70 lb. paper. Next is a set of 24 Koh-i-noor Polycolor colored pencils in a tin case. 



When outside your home, be sure to socially distance and wear a mask to help everyone stay safe.

Please include #uskchicago and #uskathome on your posts to Facebook and Instagram.


Want to keep up to date by email? Fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.



Thursday, April 8, 2021

T&T Thursday




Are You Ready?

By Barbara Weeks

It looks like there’s a light at the end of the Covid tunnel! During the pandemic Urban Sketchers-Chicago has been happy to welcome many new members to our group. The Urban Sketchers manifesto says “we draw on location”. It’s my hope we’ll be able to gather together and do that soon!  In the meantime we can sketch outside on our own. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.


Some new members are new not just to USk-Chicago but to sketching in public as well. Those who have never sketched in public may be a bit weary, at least I was when I first started drawing out in the open. It may also give us veteran Urban Sketchers some pause since most of us are a little out of practice drawing in public.



A few things I’ve learned:


What equipment do you need?

Keep your gear to the minimum. It’s easier to manage in small spaces, easier to keep track of and easier to gather up when the day is done. 


Here are two of my on-the-go kits.



1. Always with Me Kit. 
I keep it in my purse for those random chances to sketch (on line at the post office, waiting for the bus, etc.) 




2. Intentional Sketch-Outing Kit.

It’s what I use when urban sketching.



Where to Sketch (Anywhere!)? 


Inside a coffee shop is a great place to sketch especially when you’re just starting out. So many people are busy on their computers, tablets or phones they don’t even notice what you’re doing. 
Added benefits - you have a comfortable seat, a table and something to eat or drink! 





Outside, try to fine a spot where people can’t come up behind you. Position yourself with a wall, corner or post at your back. It gives you something to lean on, too.
Be brave , bring a camping stool and just pick a spot to sit and sketch. This works inside, too.





What about the public? 

  • People are curious when they see someone sketching. They’re also usually very complimentary and respectful.
  • Children are fascinated and love to watch.
  • If you don’t want to be interrupted wear ear buds and listen to music (or pretend to) and avoid eye contact.
  • Sketch with friends. There is a comfortability in numbers. 





Benefits of Urban Sketching:

  • Sharpened powers of observation.
  • Learn to work quickly.
  • Teaches you to take risks and improvise to get the sketch down. 
  • Overcome self-consciousness and become a more decisive painter.
  • Have fun meeting and learning from other sketchers.


Post your location sketches on our FaceBook page. The encouragement and feed back from other urban sketchers is invaluable.

“Show the world one sketch at a time!”

When we’re back to regular USk Chicago meets the current date and place is posted on our FaceBook page, Instagram, and here on the blog. There’s also a tab “Sketch Crawls” on this blog’s navigation bar that will tell you where and when we’re meeting next. 


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Neither Snow nor Sleet nor ...

Let’s Sketch!

 Be Intrepid

Sunday, April 11



12 PM - 3 PM CST

Hosted by

Gail Dokucu, Urban Sketchers Chicago


Our guest hosts this week are The Intrepids! For months they've been gathering weekly to sketch together, regardless of the weather!


The Intrepids are:

Carla Milano Nelson

Reshma Bee

Kris Van Stockum

Harold Goldfus

Jim Clouse

Karen Beauprie

Lynne Fairchild


Merriam-Webster defines “intrepid” as “characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance.” Example: an intrepid explorer


This week we are inviting you to be intrepid in your sketching.

Details:

What would make you feel like an intrepid explorer? 


  • Think about sketching a subject that you rarely choose, or (gasp!) that you avoid.
  • Another way to be intrepid would be to try a new sketching technique. For example, if you sketch with pen and watercolor, you could try Direct-to-Watercolor.
  • Maybe, for you, being intrepid would be to go out to sketch with a fellow sketching friend. This would be in the spirit of our little group of Intrepids, who gather weekly in our community to sketch (masked and socially distanced, of course).
  • Finally, perhaps the weather will cooperate and be awful, providing you with the opportunity to go out and sketch in miserable weather conditions!

Above all, enjoy being Intrepid in your sketching this week!


Banner sketch is done by Harold Goldfus, and features, left to right: Lynne, Carla, Jim, Kris, and Reshma.


As usual, we will gather from noon to 3 p.m. to share and discuss, but of course late submissions are always welcome.

Remember that we follow USk Global’s guidelines of sketching live on location and not from reference photos. 


When outside your home, be sure to socially distance and wear a mask to help everyone stay safe.

Please include #uskchicago and #uskathome on your posts to Facebook and Instagram.


Want to keep up to date by email? Fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.