Monday, April 24, 2017

Hello everyone.  I just joined DrawMadison and want to share a few of my first sketches.  The market across the street:
 I wonder if "Cops at Copps" is related to this news:
"MADISON, Wis. - A baggie of crack cocaine was found near a checkout at a Madison grocery store over the weekend, police said.

An employee at the Copps grocery store at 1312 S. Park St. found the bag Saturday afternoon, according to a release.

Police said the owner was seen coming back several times on Saturday looking around the floor inside the grocery store, but he gave up his search before police arrived."

Sketching got me "out and about" and I appreciated being more a part of Madison 'street life' ;-)

From the news I sketched:
"Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike" (which I hope to never experience).  And the possible respondent, enacting 'road rage' at a trucker rally:
I went to the movies to watch the Dr. Who season 10 premier and then sketched this from the trailer:
And from the Draw Madison outing to the Veterans Museum on Earth Day this sketch of Helen Bulovsky,
a WW1 nurse written about in Finding Helen:
As you can tell I'm working on getting faces 'right', and I'm looking forward to meeting more of you in the future - warning: names are harder !  ;-)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 22nd: Wisconsin Veterans Museum & Farmer's Market

Tsela, Gretchen, Reba, Deborah and Chris
Sketches from inside the museum and out
 Seven sketchers came out yesterday to sketch at the museum.  It was a beautiful morning so Tsela and Deborah opted to sketch outdoors and the rest of us had many subjects to choose from inside. Some of us had never been inside the museum before and we were impressed with the quality of the exhibits. Welcome to James who joined us for the first time yesterday!!  We all agreed the museum would be worth another visit next winter.  Next sketch date is May 13th at Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW Campus with a rain location of the State Historical Society.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter Morning in Minnesota

A simple drawing with my brown brush pen on Easter morning. I was visiting my son in MN and walked my dog down to a tiny pond near their house. A quiet place in a busy suburb of St Paul.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Urban Sketchers: Beginners Welcome

Liz Steel's sketching gear
We've had several new sketchers join us recently and I came across a really nice article on the Urban Sketcher blog which addresses concerns of both beginners and seasoned urban sketchers.  I thought it should be shared so here it is:

I was trying to think what my advice would be and it came down to 3 things:

1 - Sketch only in ink for awhile.  Put away the pencil and eraser for sketching.  Or if that is too scary you can just make a very light and very quick pencil drawing and then go over that with pen.  I have found that the more I sketch with pen and do contour sketching in particular it helps improve my accuracy faster than pencil sketches do.  I use Lamy Safari fountain pens with various inks alot but also Staedtler pigment liner 0.5 or 0.7 and Pentel Pocket Brushpens ( I cannot live without them)

2 - Get a sturdy sketchbook with at least 90 lb paper.  I prefer hardbound ones to wirebound but use both.  My favorites are Stillman & Birn hardbound and softbound, Strathmore with the 500 series 90 lb paper for mixed media and Hahnemuhle sketchbooks (the only place that has those is Wet Paint in St. Paul, MN. - they are great for ink but pencil and watercolor or gouache works on them too.)

3 - Sketch alot with ink.  No erasing.  I think quantity is often more important than quality because you just improve the more you do it.

Here's the link to Liz Steel's blog where she offers tons of great advice about urban sketching.  I was lucky enough to enroll in one of her workshops for this summer's symposium in Chicago.  It will be fun to meet her after admiring her work for years.  I found  my way to Urban Sketchers from her blog years ago.

Hope this is helpful!  If anyone has more advice please add it in a comment.  Happy Sketching!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pizza & Frozen Yogurt - Sunday April 9th

Clockwise from left front: Mercedes, Jean, Gretchen, Elsie & Ruth
 We sketched at Pizza Brutta in Middleton on Sunday.  Great Pizza and sketching inside and then went outside around the corner to Menchie's outdoor tables and had some frozen yogurt for dessert.  Nine sketchers came out and we all enjoyed the warm weather.  We discussed doing some more Saturday sketch meets and I will post some very soon.  Ruth is our newest administrator as Louise is stepping down (but will always be "Administrator Emeritus").  Thanks to both sketchers for keeping the group afloat and thriving!  Also be sure to take note of the cover on this week's Isthmus; the byline is our own Mike Hirshon!  Well done, Mike - it looks great.
Some of the day's sketches
Left to right: Deborah, Mike, Ruth, Gretchen, Elsie, Pat, Sarah and Jean

My indoor sketch

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Update from Florence, Italy

We have been in Florence for two months now and, even with our busy schedules, I have trying to make some time for painting and sketching. Most of the sketches have been relatively quick ones squeezed in when time allows, often standing with my sketchbook cradled in one arm. Here are a few samples. I'm looking forward to catching up with the group when we return to Madison at the end of the semester.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Busy sketching at our Saturday morning 
Sketch meet!
Pat's sketch and new paintbox handmade by Craig Young in the UK

Monday, March 13, 2017

And One More!

I too was at the Union meet-up but needed to leave a bit early. I headed up to the second floor and found Sorval drawing the beautiful globe of the earth you see in the post below. This study room was so peaceful and quiet.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Memorial Union March 12th

Salvor - old world globe on the 2nd floor

Gretchen - the Red Gym and dinosaur bird!

Victor - sketching the scene

Mercedes - love the Walking Ice Cream Cone!

My new Stillman & Birn Alpha Soft Cover 

Elsie is working on 100 faces in 30 days!
Nine sketchers came out today to the union.  Welcome to Victor, his first time sketching with our group!  Lots of people to sketch and good ice cream and good company!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sketching at the Memorial Union Saturday February 25th

Pam, Mercedes and Gretchen

Sketches in the Union Theatre's "sun room" overlooking the lake
Welcome to Mercedes who joined us for the first time today.  She also draws wonderful cartoons!  It was a nice bright morning if a bit chilly.  There are so many great places for sketching at the Union now but the 2nd floor was still closed off for remodeling.  Still there is plenty to sketch on the first floor.  We wandered over to the Union Theatre's cozy room overlooking the lake and it was a great place for sketching with a nice gas fire going, potted plants and lots of students to sketch.  We will be going back to Memorial Union on March 12th from 1-3pm.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday February 12th - Olbrich Gardens

Mike, James & Betty


Louise, Ruth & Elsie

Loiusa's sketches on Strathmore greeting cards

My sketch using Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and crayon
Olbrich Gardens was a perfect place for sketching on a windy day but Louise ventured out in to the gardens for several plein air sketches!  Louisa sat right down on the bridge to get a close up of the koi.  Thanks to Mike for bringing a visiting friend, James with him and we encouraged him to check out Urban Sketchers  Denver when he gets home but when I looked online I see there isn't a regional chapter there but there was a site for urban sketching so I hope some group sketching is happening in Denver.  We were happy to have a visitor.  I believe I counted 9 of us sketching today but I think I am missing one - sorry!

We decided to go to Memorial Union on Sat. Feb. 25th AND Sunday March 12th.  It is a good place this time of year and since the union was remodeled it offers many sketching choices.  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Pocket-size Sketchbook and Pizza Brutta

Pizza Brutta
Yesterday I had lunch at Pizza Brutta at their Middleton location (they also have one on Monroe St.) and did this sketch in the smallest Moleskine sketchbook.  This paper is fine for ink sketching but watercolor sort of beads up on it.  The night before I watched a short lecture by USK founder Gaby Campanario about why he likes using a small pocket-sized sketchbook.  He said he can do more sketches faster simply because of the small size and that learning to sketch large scenes in a small space helps him to compose drawings in larger formats, too.  I've had this little sketchbook for years so now I am determined to fill it up as fast as I can.  The staff at Pizza Brutta were so nice and enjoyed seeing my little sketch and I explained what Urban Sketchers is about.  I enjoyed the arugula salad which is excellent there.  The flat bread that goes with it is also delicious.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Worldwide Sketch Day
I pondered what to draw to connect on common ground with each of you where ever you may live. We ALL need nourishment.  I opened up the refrigerator and started to draw.  How bountiful the land; look not far to help others...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Saturday January 21st at the Geology Museum and Women's March



We had a good time sketching various rocks, bones and other visitors at the UW Geology Museum.  It was well attended but not crowded.   We went to the Women's March after along with 75,000 to 100,000 other people!   I heard a policeman laughing and telling someone they had only expected around 10,000 marchers.  My sketches below were done from my photos after the fact as I felt a bit overwhelmed to sketch on the spot.  I have been enrolled this month in Veronica Lawlor's "A Drawing a Day" online class at Sketchbook Skool and the past week focused on working with colored crayons.  One assignment was to make our own coloring book page with black ink lines so that is what I did for these sketches.  I enjoyed the class and it helped me get the new year off to a regular drawing start.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Downtown at the Women's March

I naively headed to the bus stop near my house to make  my way downtown on Saturday. The bus went by fully packed. Everyone was headed to the Capitol for Saturday's festivities. This was such an interesting event, one that was a challenge for me to sketch as it was so packed. I opted for quick sketches of some of the people around me on the right side and a view of the Capitol from a phone pic that you see on the left. Pink hats and signs were the patterns of the day!

Madison, Wisconsin 2017 Women's March

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sketching at the Chocolaterian Jan. 8th

Louise, Ruth, Pat, Gretchen & Mike - what concentration!

Linda, Ruth, Mary & Gretchen

Mike & Salvor look at the day's work

Some of today's sketches
My finished sketch
It was another cold day but warm and cozy at Chocolaterian with coffee and Parisian Hot Cocoa to keep us warm.  Ten sketchers came out and did some excellent work.  Next sketching date is January 21st in the morning at the UW Geology Museum.  Mike was glad to hear they have dinosaurs!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Plein Air" Sketching in Winter

Today was bright and sunny and a perfect day for sketching. Renowned Urban Sketcher Shari Blaukopf has a great blog featuring her wonderful watercolor sketches,  She said she often sketches from her car, especially in winter which in her home city of Montreal is even colder than Madison.  Here's one of her blog articles discussing how she paints watercolor sketches from the front seat of her car:  The palette she is using is the Mijello Fusion Airtight Watercolor Palette which is available from Dick Blick for around $15.  (I use mine for gouache along with Masterson's Sta-Wet Painter's Pal sponge and paper combo which is easy to custom fit to this palette. It keeps gouache from drying out even on hot summer days.) And here's a link for helpful hints for winter sketching from Shari and some other Urban Sketcher correspondents:

Today I stopped off at Brittingham Boat House on the way home from downtown for a couple quick sketches.  The temp was in the 30's but the wind off the Monona Bay felt pretty chilly.  I managed to find a place out of the wind long enough to do 2 sketches and then retreated to my car to finish them with watercolor.  My new Paintbox works great for in car painting. It was handmade by Craig Young in the UK and I love it!  Solid brash with a dark green high gloss finish.  It is a pleasure to use.  There is a thumb ring on the back and it balances perfectly on my hand if I want to stand up and paint at an easel in the field.
Ice Fishing on Monona Bay

I'd love to see some more sketchers post some plein air work this month, too.   Sketching from the car definitely counts as plein air in our winter climate!  Hope to see you next Sunday at the Chocolaterian.  Happy New Year to USK Madison!!