Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mark your calendars!

Fun upcoming sketching events to have on your radar...

Lan Su Chinese Garden. Sketch by Katura.
  • Sunday, Dec 29: Our friends at Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School are doing circus-themed figure sketching. 7 pm -10 pm, $10 charge. Event details:
  • Saturday, Jan 4: Our friends at Portland Drink & Draw will be sketching the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at OMSI! Museum charges admission (though you can sketch in the free public areas of the lobby if you're on a budget, of course.) Event details:

  • Sunday, Jan 5: We, the Urban Sketchers of Portland, are meeting up to sketch at the Lan Su Chinese Garden! Bring a donation of non-perishable food to get the free admission. Meet near the entrance at 10:30 am, regroup to share sketches at 12 noon. Details on the eight free days that the garden offers to celebrate the new year: (Rumor has it that this can get quite crowded, be advised)
  • Saturday, Jan 18: Our regularly scheduled Urban Sketchers meetup will be in the North Mississippi neighborhood near Fremont. The entrance of the ReBuilding Center, which is sculpted like a 3-D forest, could be super fun to draw, and there are lots of neat little cafes and shops all through that neighborhood in general. Gather at 10 am at Muddy's Coffeeshop ( and then share sketches at 12:30.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hanging out at the Kennedy School

At least 15 people were at the Kennedy School sketchcrawl, so cool! We kind of took over a big table in the restaurant and I spent most of my time there chatting and sketching other sketchers...

But I also took a crack at that nifty iconic fireplace/chimney thing in the courtyard.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December sketchcrawl at Kennedy School

It was great to see all of the regulars and some new sketchers at the Kennedy School.
I stayed away from doing any people and concentrated on some interior and structure outside in the courtyard.

Some 'warm up' sketches were needed since I needed to get in the grove. I sometimes forget this step but when I do a thumbnail it usually is very helpful to the final sketch.

exterior fireplace chimney- watercolor pencils and Noodler's Lafayette Grey ink in a waterbrush

interior scene- watercolor pencils
Wishing all sketchers a very merry holiday....and hope to see you at a sketchcrawl next year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tubas and the Kennedy School

Tuba Christmas last Saturday - a little too hard to see tubas because of crowds.  So I drew friends and crowds instead.  Finished my little water color sketchbook, and the Pete Scully sketchbook too.


Kennedy School today.  I started off drawing people like I've been doing lately.

There was a lot to look at in the Courtyard Restaurant, a lot to think about drawing.   I started drawing the room we were in and kept messing with the drawing until lunch time.

I enjoyed seeing everybody today.  Looking forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.  Happy Holidays!

Kennedy School Sketchcrawl

We had a wonderful sketch crawl at Kennedy School today. Katura came with the precious Magpie, who modeled for some of us.

There were some new folks as well as some returning sketchers. I'm sorry I didn't get everyone--or the best photo of each person.

It was such a pleasure to draw people again...

and who could ask for a better group to draw?

Thank you for a lovely morning, all who were here...and to everyone, the very best holiday and New Year's wishes!

Watching From The Sidelines

I've been following all of your adventures, but haven't been participating much. I went to the bar across the street and brought the sketchbook with me tonight. Here's a  link to a of a video of a couple sketches from tonight. I couldn't figure out how to embed the vid.
Hope to join you all again soon.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sketchcrawl at the Kennedy School

It seemed like a good time of year to go sketching indoors with a big warm fireplace...

Join us on Saturday, December 21, from  9:30am – 1:00pm at the Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211 (map)
We will meet at the Courtyard Restaurant (part of the Kennedy School) to welcome new people and introduce ourselves. Then let's spread out (or stay put) to draw. We'll re-convene for sketchbook sharing at noon at the Boiler Room Bar (also part of the Kennedy School).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More at Portlands Tuba Christmas

It was great to see other Portland sketchers at the Pioneer Courthouse Square to hear (and see) the Tubas.
We had initially a pretty good spot for viewing but it would have been better to be a little further down to have a better view of the whole Tuba ensemble.
Eventually more people arrived and we were 'forced' to sketch those other intrepid Portlanders around us. Most of my views were from behind....!
Tuba Christmas- ink with some watercolor pencils and some not

Other spectators- Lafayette Grey Noodlers ink in waterbrush

Umbrella Man with hand knitted sweater- ink and watercolor pencil

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tuba Christmas

About 7 sketchers turned out for a chilly and grey (but not at all rainy!) Tuba Christmas event. At first I could see where the tuba and euphonium players were assembling...

 ...but as the crowd packed in more densely, all I could see were the folks standing around me. Time to sketch the sketchers, then!

Andrea was all bundled up and sporting a nice knit hat.

Aaron was drawing with a Magic Pencil, fancy! It was fun to draw his puffy coat's texture.

 Young Bucky requested his portrait...

...and then drew my portrait in exchange! (Notice how he included the top of baby Magpie's head, as she snuggled in the carrier on my chest?)
I added the watercolor to this sketch of a bright pink raindeer kid at home, since none of my modest sketch kit supplies that I had packed with me could capture her incredible pinkitude. Quite a fun afternoon people-watching to the tune of 300 tubas, and folks in the crowd around us were very entertained to watch is doodling away.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Impromptu Sketchcrawl: Tuba Christmas!

Tubas. Euphoniums. Very shiny. Hundreds of them. Honking out holiday tunes. Yes, you know that you want to go sketch that!

Join us on Saturday, December 14 for the 23rd Annual Tuba Christmas Concert at Pioneer Courthouse Square, at 701 SW 6th Ave. Meet up at 1 pm at the "Umbrella Man" sculpture on the south side of the square. The outdoor concert starts at 1:30 and is free to the public. Dress for the weather!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Visiting Sketcher

This is what happens when a perfectly normal person comes to Portland: he starts wearing a funny hat...

The Urban Sketchers of Portland had a lovely time visiting and sketching with Pete Scully and perusing his wonderful sketchbooks. We also had a good turnout of established (doesn't that sound better than "old"?)  and new sketchers.

Here is one of my sketches from inside Fehrenbacher Hof...

and here are some of my quick sketches of fellow sketchers. The odd cropping is trying to adjust for a poorly placed ear. It would be appreciated if my fellow sketchers wore their hats or hair over their ears in the future. 

Thanks for a fun day, everyone, and please excuse my merciless portraits and photos.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloweeeeeen Urban Sketchers!

I did this sketch of my friend's front yard while visiting them in Chicago.
They live in Lincoln Park neighborhood which is full of lovely old brick town houses
that have gates and small city front gardens. They love Halloween as much as I do!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some More Fall Color in Ladd's Addition

From Saturday's sketch-in in Ladd's, seeking trees to throttle into submission on paper: a maple, a conifer, a leafless something, and some shrubbery.

I liked the watercolor paper in my new little sketchbook.

My newest tactic is to have one page open for watercolor and another for pen or pencil, so the w-c can dry a little between meddlings. This time of year, the page stays damp longer. So this one is the pencil attempt at an elm in fall color:

It was more of a study of structure than anything.

It needs to be said that I'm in a Trying Different Things mode right now. I'm working to get past the idea that every page has to be perfect. What a silly idea, anyway. But how do you know what works if you haven't tried what doesn't work so much?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trees and more trees

Our Saturday outing in Portland's Ladd's Addition was set up to have a conversation (with some visuals) and then go out to do trees. Some of the usual faces and some new sketchers were in attendance.
Some of our sketchers efforts

Some of the sketchers
All told there were about 12 sketchers on this slightly chilly and cloudy morning....setting out to enjoy the bold fall color around us.

I was influenced by the examples that Kalina had brought (Shari Blaukopf's trees especially). My efforts, like most first attempts weren't exactly what I had been hoping for, but at least I got to concentrate on this new approach and try it out.

Ladd's Addition - watercolor

A group of shrubs in Ladd's Addition circle- watercolor

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Trees

The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well, I've been wondering a lot about trees lately-- specifically how to draw and paint them.  Saturday's focus really helped me understand how others did this, even if I haven't got it all down myself. Thanks to everyone for your contributions and especially to Deb for agreeing to lend assistance. I appreciate having all the  examples and even tracing paper to use.

Here are my sketches from the morning.

(I made this extra large so that you can see Kalina sketching:)

If you care to see a summary of what I gleaned from Saturday, it's on my blog

Again, the turn out was great. It's so fun to sketch and talk with everyone and share all our wonderful, diverse results.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ladd's Addition and Trees, also Drink & Draw at the Art Museum

Another great turn out at Palio's and Ladd's Addition.  Numerous people brought pictures and books about drawing trees.  The weather was cloudy but the trees in the Rose Circle Garden were glowing.

Two names kept turning up around me: Shari Blaukopf and Danny Gregory.

Questions arose about achieving inner peace through drawing.  I do know that I forget about anything else but what I'm looking at when I draw.  I think if I sit there long enough it becomes relaxing.

I spent too much time with the books people brought to sketch more than this.  I never quite made it outside.

These are sketches from last night's Drink and Draw meetup at the Art Museum free night (draw), followed by the Rogue Brewery (drink).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Centennial Mills Building

I have sketched this wonderful tower and building many times.
I never get tired of it. This time I tried it on some #140lb.Rough watercolor paper which
was in a handmade journal. I think I like the texture with this industrial subject. It may not
work as well with other subject matter. Done on another beautiful fall day! We need to enjoy them
while they last.

Reed College

I really enjoyed the sketchcrawl at Reed College on Saturday.
It was great to see such a wonderful turnout of old and new faces.
I was attracted  to this arch by the sun shining brightly on the other side.

It seems a classic in university architecture of that age. 

Catch 'em while you can!

For some reason, this image wants to post sideways, but given the subject and my note on the page, I don't suppose it matters.

Working in colored pencils yesterday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reed Sketchcrawl

Here are my sketches from our wonderful sketchcrawl at Reed College.

One of the faces on the old residence hall

Old Residence Hall doorway (Doyle)

Anna Mann building

I agree that we had a great turnout and it was a terrific place to sketch. It could be fun just to sketch all the various gargoyles around the campus.