Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Do Your Seminar Notes Look Like These?

A Recap of The Chicago Sketch Seminar 2015

Let's think about the typical seminar experience. Fancy hotel room, business attire, sign-ins with nametags, free coffee, Continental breakfast, and conversations with strangers. Let us not forget the tiny notepad, cheap ballpoint pen and a stack of copies from the day’s worth of presentations.

Now let's contrast this with an Urban Sketchers Chicago Sketch Seminar experience. You arrive at the Palette & Chisel, one of the oldest art schools in Chicago in a period architecture building on north Dearborn Avenue. Instead of stocking up on supplies from OfficeMax, your backpack or shoulder bag is filled with supplies easily found at Blick Art Supplies. Nowhere are the skimpy hotel notepads and cheap ballpoint pens. Rather there is a goodie bag filled with exciting samples from Faber-Castell, Winsor & Newton,, Sakura Art Supplies, Nock Co. and Hahnemuhle--samples that are not only useful but premium quality samples...and coupons so that you can add to your collections.

Workshops at this seminar are filled with instruction from experts in their field, discussions, shared stories, and hands-on participation. Sometimes there is experimentation with new supplies and other times the few supplies that you have amassed on your own are plenty useful with the techniques that are covered.

Judging from the comments and reviews of participants, the top comments received as feedback were the personal attention of the instructors, the ability to practice the techniques that were demonstrated and the lively conversations with other like-minded artists in an otherwise solitary activity. Many people expressed how inspired they were by seeing everyone's sketchbooks and to be able to talk about discoveries and accidents that resulted in interesting, cool effects. One of the more talked about products was the Winsor & Newton's newest product, the watercolor markers. The idea that markers could be colored onto a page and then blended with water brushes grabbed the attention and chatter amongst the Chicago Sketch Seminar participants.

If you are interested in learning more about the kind of seminars that Urban Sketchers Chicago produces, the art supplies we use and our monthly Sketch Crawls, send us a quick note to Urban Sketchers Chicago at or check out Urban Sketchers Chicago Facebook page:

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