Friday, December 30, 2016

Urban Sketchers Symposium 2017 - Chicago!

The 2017 Symposium will be held in Chicago this year July 26-29.  What a great location for Madison sketchers!!!  Keep checking Urban Sketchers blog for upcoming details.  I think they are still working on workshop proposals now and it will probably be a few months before registration begins.  It may be years before the symposium is held in the US again so we are pretty lucky Chicago won the bid this year!  So many great opportunities for urban sketching in the Windy City!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Keeping a Sketchbook in the Car

I was really glad I keep a sketchbook in the car for "emergencies" last week when a stopped train made me stuck downtown after my swim.  I hate "wasting" time and this way I could have a good lunch and draw a bit, too.  I used a Faber Castell felt tipped pen and one of their calligraphy pens to print with.  I guess I could have stayed stuck in traffic and drawn the train instead but I was hungry and Fair Trade has a good salad.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sketching at the State Historical Society December 10th

The morning's sketches 

And the sketchers
Salvor found a comfy place for sketching
This was our first time sketching at the State Historical Society because it is unfortunately closed on Sundays.  It is a cozy and interesting place to sketch on a cold winter's day and I noticed a thermos of coffee did not seem to be forbidden.  Lots of students studying in there but plenty of seating in comfy chairs and at desks.  Some of us focused on architectural details of which there are many interesting ones to choose from.  I plan to go back soon.  10 sketchers came out today which is great and we are so happy to welcome first time sketcher, Pam.  Next month we will sketch at the Chocolaterian cafe on Atwood Ave.  Great coffee, desserts and authentic French hot cocoa. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

USK Symposium 2016  -  Here's a link to some lectures given at USK's annual symposium 2016 in Manchester, England.  It's fun to see and hear some of these sketchers whose work I have been looking at for years on the USK blog and get some great tips on sketching.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I was unable to go to the Chazen on Saturday, but went on Sunday.  I sketched an odd little statue of a Cupid-type figure in the older building.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Next Sketch Date: Saturday December 10th - State Historical Society

Chazen Art Museum Saturday Nov. 19th

Clockwise from upper left: Louisa, Deb, Salvor, Tsumugi and Pat

My sketch after brushing water over Derwent Inktense pencil drawing in Neutral Grey
We met for sketching from 11am to 1pm at the Chazen yesterday.  I missed Ruth's sketch but hopefully she can post it for us.  The museum was not crowded and a pleasant place to sketch.  Since we will not be sketching on a Sunday next month we thought we would like to do another Saturday morning sketch date and decided on Dec. 10th at the Reading Room at the State Historical Society on Library Mall.  We will meet there on the 2nd floor just outside the Reading Room for sketching from 10 am to noon.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sketching at Hilldale Mall November 13th

Louisa braving the elements - it was a bit cool outside

Ruth, Gretchen and Elsie also brave the elements

Linda, Reba, Elsie and Mike

Ruth's handmade sketchbook with breakfast cereal covers - very cool!!!

                                                                             Pat, Ruth and Linda with today's sketches
We had a good time sketching at Hilldale and agreed that it would be a good spot for outdoor sketching in warmer weather but a few of us did some outdoor sketches despite the cooler temps.   It was not very crowded today at the mall but there were ample opportunities for figure sketching.  Salvor and Gretchen had to leave a little early and I missed seeing their sketches.  

Next Saturday we will meet at the Chazen at 10 am for sketching until noon and lunch for any one who has time after.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Recent Trip to Utah--VALLEY OF THE GODS

A really beautiful place, next to Monument Valley (think John Ford movies), and a few miles from Bluff.  Micron pen in Moleskin notebook:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Sketching at Olbrich Gardens

Sketching Sunday at Olbrich Botanical Gardens-  every element was right:
Sunshine, flowers in bloom, energetic sketchers and plenty of families outside enjoying the gardens...

Some of the day's sketches

And some of the sketchers!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Inktober 2016

I forgot that October is also Inktober month.  Here's the link: and if you do some Urban Sketching in ink please feel free to post it.  For any Madison Urban Sketcher who would like to post but is not yet a blog author (you have to be one to post) just email me your gmail email address and I can invite you. (You do need a gmail account to post on Blogger).   After seeing Don Colley's work on toned paper at the workshop last week I am looking forward to using a brush pen in the Strathmore Toned Journal.  Those come in grey and tan and it is amazing how many values you can get with grey and black brush pens and some sort of white ink, paint or pencil.   And colors really seem to pop against the grey paper.  Happy Sketching!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Raging Grannies at the Capitol

Draw Madison had a meet-up on the Capitol Square last weekend and Gretchen turned me on to The Raging Grannies, a great group of women playing their hearts out (parodies to songs you know, pure Madison stuff). An awesome sketch opportunity.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sketching on the Square Saturday September 24th

Ruth and Gretchen drawing the Raging Grannies in performance

Mike and Tsumugi

Gretchen and a young sketcher and his dad

Some of our morning sketches

Pat, Gretchen, Mike and Tsumugi at Wasabi for lunch
The weather cooperated Saturday morning for a good time sketching on the square.  The Raging Grannies were performing their songs of political protest and were a colorful group for us draw.  Gretchen and I met a young sketcher who did a great sketch in Gretchen's book while his dad and I looked on.  I wore a card encouraging people to "Ask me about Urban Sketchers Madison" and several did and said they may come sketch with us in the future and we hope so!  Tsumugi suggested lunch at Wasabi on State St. which is her favorite Japanese restaurant and it was excellent.  We decided Olbrich Gardens would be a good place for next month's sketching on Sunday October 9th from 1 to 3 pm. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Urban Sketching at The Prado

It's not often you get a chance like this, working live from the Prado in Spain. To be able to spend time with  my daughter AND see the amazing exhibit El Bosco (as the Spanish refer to Hieronymous Bosch).

I filled a sketchbook of my trip, but this is one of my favorites. What you see is the incredible line of people waiting to get in. The day was hot and sunny, I used a micron pen in my moleskine book, and
painted later with a tin of watercolors I brought on the trip.

El Museo Prado, Madrid, Spain

Sketch Date - Farmer's Market and State St. Sept. 24th 10 am to 1 pm

We will meet for sketching and optional lunch on Saturday Sept. 24th.  All sketchers are welcome.  These sketch events are always free and open to all skill levels.

For details click on the events calendar for 9/24.  Hope to see you there!   

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Free Urban Artist Worshop with Faber-Castell Artist, Don Colley October 1st

Below is a recent newsletter excerpt from Lynn's, an excellent local art supply store located at 5928 Odana Rd.

**URBAN ARTIST WORKSHOP WITH DON COLLEY**– Saturday, October 1st choose either from 11 am to 12:30 pm or 2 pm to 3:30 pm.   Instructor: Don Colley, Faber-Castell working artist  Workshop is FREE, but space is limited so REGISTRATION IN ADVANCE IS REQUIRED.
Join Don in a free and casual workshop where he share his tips and techniques of drawing, his passion for sketching life around him and a discussion of what it's like to be an artist on the go. We have seen Don at several art trade shows and this is definitely very worth attending! 

Here's the link to the page for his current Faber-Castell Road Trip

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sketching trolls and their town - Mt. Horeb Sunday Sept. 11

209 Main St. in Mt. Horeb, Wi.
Mike's sketch of Main St.

Tsumugi and Mike
Elsie and her sketch of one of Main St.'s iconic buildings
Chris and her Main St. Sketch

Two Main St. Trolls 

My finished sketch 
 Yesterday was a perfect day for sketching in Mt. Horeb regardless of the fact that we went there to avoid the Ironman only to find the east road into town blocked by the race but downtown Mt. Horeb was peaceful enough and while the Grumpy Troll was super crowded we found a quiet space on Main St. and a lovely tea shop that also does light fare.  It's called Telsann Tea and Coffee and is in the building above along with Hop's House which looked like a very interesting restaurant.  The tea shop and MANY kinds of teas and I plan to go back when I have more time to inspect them all.  We also welcomed a new Urban Sketcher, Mike Hirshon, who is a free lance illustrator and whose sketchbook we all admired for the beautiful line drawings he does.  All of us were inspired by his excellent pen and ink sketches.  Mike's most recent sketchbook had wonderful scenes from Thailand and he said he had a chance to go sketching with USk Bangkok.  USk is such a great way to meet people from anywhere and instantly have one very important thing in common - a love of drawing our environment from life and sharing the experience with others.  Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday - it was fun!!  We agreed that Mt. Horeb was a great small Wisconsin town with lots of interest to sketchers.

Note:  Chris I don't think I have your email.  If you see this please send it to me: Thanks!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sketch date: Mt. Horeb, Wi. 1 - 3 pm Sunday Sept. 11th

 We will meet for sketching at The Grumpy Troll bar and restaurant 105 S. 2nd St. in Mt. Horeb for sketching from 1 - 3 pm.  The restaurant is just off Main St.  The Ironman race in Madison has made many venues difficult to get to but there should be no parking problems in Mt. Horeb and there is good food and coffee and trolls!  (I will have copies of the Troll Map for anyone who wants to search them out but there are several at places along Main St. and there is plenty of interesting architecture.)  It has been several years since we last sketched here.  Schuberts is also open for lunch but closes at 2pm.    As always, anyone with an interest in drawing is welcome to join us and for questions feel free to contact Pat or Elsie (just click Contact for our email links.)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Glasgow Sketcher Stuart Kerr

Stuart and I near Spring Green
Last week an Urban Sketcher from Glasgow, Scotland was visiting his family's friends on their farm outside Spring Green.  I was also staying in Spring Green for a couple days to attend plays at American Players Theatre and had a chance to meet with Stuart who was one of the original board members for Urban Sketchers in its early days.  Nowadays he is very busy with his own design business and raising an 18 month old daughter, Oona.  I also got to meet her and her mom, Laura who works for the National Museum in Edinburgh.  Stuart still makes time for sketching when traveling and in spare moments.  His line drawings are excellent and have the confidence that comes from years and years of drawing.  Besides working on projects for companies in various countries he also does some professional illustration work. Biking is also one of his passions and one of the sketches below traces a cycling tour he took some time ago on the west coast of Scotland.  Stuart is one of the artists featured in "The Art of Urban Sketching" which was published in 2012 and edited by USK founder Gabriel Campanario.  It's a wonderful book which includes work from every part of the globe and many great sketchers like Stuart.  It was such fun to meet up with a fellow sketcher from another part of the world.  Laura told me they met up with a local Urban Sketcher when they visited Spain which made their trip even richer and more interesting.  With more and more regional chapters springing up in the US and beyond we all have more opportunities to meet people who also share a love of drawing their environment and sharing those drawings with others.  And next summer we, in the Midwest are especially lucky because the annual Urban Sketchers Symposium will be held in Chicago.  I am really looking forward to taking some workshops there and meeting other sketchers, like Stuart, whose work I have been admiring for years.  Thanks so much to Stuart and Laura for taking some time out of their vacation to meet with this sketcher and share some of his excellent sketches below.

The Shitty Barn in Spring Green

Brooklyn Bridge
Stuart's bike trip: West Coast of Scotland
My sketch at APT in lobby area "up the hill"

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Enrique, posed for me in a coffee shop (pencil)

Music in the Mountains rehearsals (micron pen)

Town park, Pagosa Springs (graphite)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Minnesota State Fair Sketchout 8/27 & 29 and New Online Journal class.

The Minnesota State Fair is coming up next week and here is the link re: the State Fair Sketchout.  I don't think I will be able to get up there this year but it would be a great time sketching with the illustrious Roz Stendahl and friends.  I signed up for her new class, By Design: Creating the Intentional Page today hoping to make my sketchbook entries more creative. I found Roz's class on Sketchbook Skool very well done as were her Strathmore Paper Co. online workshop.  Here's the link to her blog post about the class:  I  am sure this online class will be packed with ideas and instruction to make page designs more interesting which I am hoping will help when I am out there sketching in Madison and when traveling.  If you have never checked out Roz's blog it is a great place to learn about sketching your environment from life and the materials to use for sketching.  Roz often has in depth reviews on sketchbooks, pens, paints, markers and the like which are very helpful and keep me up to date on new art "toys".  I have learned a lot from reading her blog over the years.  She is also an expert sketchbook binder which got me interested in getting some tutoring in how to do that from Jackie Hefty at Whispering Woodlands  Making your own sketchbooks is very rewarding but I admit I am lazy and usually buy them ready made.  But thanks to blogs like Roz's I know more about what to look for in a sketchbook.  Do let me know if any of you get up to the State Fair Sketchout.  I am sure it would be a great time.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Union Theatre - Mendota Lake Front

Today was a perfect day for sketching on the shores of Lake Mendota and the Wisconsin Union Theatre. It is the largest of four lakes in the city and covers about 97,000 acres. There were boaters, those canoeing, kayaking and sailing. Lots of foot traffic and bicyclists and plenty of people lounging in the sunshine.
The Theatre has over 70 years of performing history and the campus is home to about 43,000 students.  This public research university was founded in 1848.
by PAT
Urban Sketchers - Madison meet the second Sunday of the month from 1-3 p.m. (minus December)   The schedule is located on our blog's calendar which can be found under the 'Events" tab.  All interested sketchers are WELCOME!