Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SATURDAY: Sketch Madison Park

August 29, 2015

The Golden Glow is Coming from Madison Park

In the shadow of the Flatiron Building, Madison Park is a NYC Jewel.  We will be treated to Teresita Fernandez's installation - Fata Morgana (an Italian phrase meaning mirage).  It's the Park Conservancy’s largest and most ambitious outdoor sculpture to date. The outdoor sculpture consists of one and a half football fields worth of golden, mirror-polished discs that create canopies above the pathways around the Park’s central Oval Lawn.

The sculpture hovers above the viewer in the Park’s winding walkways to define a luminous experiential passage. The metal forms, perforated with intricate patterns reminiscent of foliage, will create abstract flickering effects as sunlight filters through the canopy, casting a golden glow across the expanse of the work, paths, and passersby.  Should be a fascinating challenging puzzle to sketch.


When:   10 AM.  Sleeping late?  Come when you can.  No one takes attendance and we'll be happy to see you.

Where:  We'll meet at the park entrance at Fifth Avenue and 23rd St.  There are loads of ways to get there.  The N, R train to 23 Street is the closest (see map for other choices)

Lunch:  12:00  We'll take advantage of the fine weather and have a picnic (try that in February!)  Bring your own food or purchase from the numerous stores and stands in the area.  We'll find a shaded spot on the grass.

Afternoon:  Sketch from 1 to 3. Don't forget to step out of the park for a view of the Flatiron.

Show and Tell:   3:15 Live Bait, 14 East 23rd St. to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.


-  Added bonus - we expect to be joined in the morning by Elizabeth Alley the President of Urban Sketchers (we are the NYC Chapter).  Elizabeth is in town for a brief visit.

-  Bring a hat and a sketching stool for added comfort.

Click Map to Enlarge

Can't find us?
Call or Text Mark - 973-809-9128

There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My New Sketch Partner

Really sorry I missed the sail and sketch event, but I picked up a new puppy in Ohio and drove over 450 miles back to NYC.  The drive took 2 days and we did some serious bonding, taking our time sketching along the way.  Here is our journey…

Our first stop was a defunct factory with an old diesel locomotive in Mansfield, Ohio.  He watched me from the car, his first exposure to a sketcher.   He is thinking, "Hope he feeds me as well as he draws..."

The pooch slept in the car while I grabbed some breakfast and made a quick sketch of people at the next table - a couple taking the parents out.  

Saw this incredible nuclear reactor and stopped to paint it. 

My dog (named Winslow after my favorite painter) enjoyed watching me paint. Check out the reactors in the background.

Painted this farm late afternoon from the top of a hill.  While sketching, my car battery died because I left something on, but thats another story…

Winslow looked at the sketch and said, "Great job human, now feed me."

Enjoy the remainder of the summer Sketchers, and I promise to see you all soon!

The Sketch and Sail

What a great day.  The weather was wonderful and we had a great group.

This is a sketch of the Titanic Memorial.  It's a spot that's easy to overlook, although it must have had awful significance at the time it was built.  It might have also been a tall structure originally but it's now completely dwarfed by the immensity of the Wall Street neighborhood in which it stands.

I took some video while we were on the boat sailing in New York Harbor.  If you were there - I'm pretty sure you'll see yourself.  My wife commented that the music is pretty zippy≈ considering that it's a video where everyone is basically concentrating on their sketching.  I don't know, the day felt pretty zippy to me and the music felt appropriate to the day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fun first time out

Thanks to all at the urban sketchers boating event. My wife--Val--and I enjoyed it thoroughly. While it was fun to sketch with like minded artists, it was especially nice to see all the approaches to handling the subjects being tackled.

I've posted these sketches to FB. but thought, on this page I'd try to conjure up a thought or two about them if only to highlight my favorite bits.

Showed this one as a pencil sketch afterward at the Highwater bar and mentioned that I intended to put some color on it. The figures were indicated in the simplest of terms, so when adding color, I stuck to that gestural standard. I used a signo white gel pen for some of the rope. The coil specifically. For that I just laid down a darker value and spiraled out with the pen. I'm particularly pleased with the sail and whatever those little rope things dangling down from it are called.

A confabulation amongst sketchers. Drawn from the shadow side of the Kiosk in the middle of the pier.

Bowne & Co. Stationers A challenging subject to get right and I'm not quite sure I did it right, but got some good stuff down. I worked directly with pen in this and established proportions based on the central pillar by the red door. A nice subject to go after.

Erika, the young lady modeling on the boat. I draw the figure in a studio setting at least once a week, and found the modeling here to be a bit artificial. Seems for a vintage ship, a vintage costume would best suit it. Drew this one with a Derwent Drawing pencil, which lays down a good black, not unlike charcoal, but does not easily smear due to the makeup of the lead. There is a superior version of it I use in the studio with a 5mm chuck holder by Cretacolor. May bring that along at some point in the future.

Thanks for showing your work and having us along.

Weekday Sketchers Special Event

 Sketch crawl through Jersey City to coordinate with design exhibit from Rutgers University

NYC Urban Sketchers has been invited to support a very special event on Thursday August 27. 2015.  Jeanmarie Hartman, professor of Urban Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University, has asked that Urban Sketchers bring our skills to a project currently on display in Jersey City. 

Rutgers students have designed urban landscapes for sites in Jersey City.  The designs have been on display in Casa Columbo in Jersey City with closing ceremonies on Thursday evening at 6 PM.  We have been asked to create sketches of sites in the city, placing people and atmosphere into our works.  We have been invited to display our work along with the students' work at the ceremonies.

DATE:  THURSDAY August 27, 2015

TIME:  3:00 PM to 7:00 PM


First Session:  3:00 - 4:00 Meet and draw on the plaza at Grove St Station.  Lots of action, people and traffic. 

Second Session: 4:00 - 5:00 City Hall.  Beautiful Beaux Arts building with lots of architectural detail and a shady plaza in front.

Third Session:  5:00 - 6:00 Van Vorst Park. Beautifully restored urban Square with playgrounds, bandshell and lush gardens.  Optional site is the Main Library adjacent to the park. Another Beaux Arts beauty

Fourth Session: 6:00 - 7:00 Closing ceremony at Casa Columbo, an Italian American Club and Museum. 

Optional Fifth Location: Dinner.  Lots of place to choose from on the walk back to the PATH along Newark Ave, Jersey City's Restaurant Row. 

NOTE: all locations are within a few blocks of each other.  Each is rather different and will afford us the opportunity to put people into three rather different settings.

TRANSPORTATION:  PATH train to Grove Street Station which is only two stops and less than 10 minutes from the World Trade Center.  You can use your NYC Metro Card in the turnstiles. The PATH trains leaving from either 33rd St or the World Trade Center will stop at Grove Street.  Come up to the street level and find us on the plaza. Use this link for more information about using the PATH:

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the unusual format of this session it is important to RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at if you are going to attend.  If you are looking for us at a location please call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Here is a link to the students' work:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Last week: Sun. Aug. 16

Alwyn Court (and a subway rider)

Carnegie Hall (and a foot)

Sunday Aug.23, 2015: South Street Seaport and Draw-Mania on the Pioneer

Anchor outside the South Street Seaport Museum

The Titanic Memorial Lighthouse

The Captain on the Pioneer

On the Pioneer