Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Urban Sketching on Manhattan's Lower East Side

We started the day on Eldridge Street in the heart of Manhattan's historic Lower East Side, and sketched the Eldridge Street Synagogue, built in 1887 by Jewish immigrants.  I remember this place fifteen years ago - it looked like a bombed out shell.  Now it is completely restored and designated a National Historic Landmark.  It is a museum and cultural center dedicated to telling the story of the neighborhood's early inhabitants.  

I did this sketch in three sessions, finishing it up on Sunday morning with the Sketchers, some of whom I photographed below.

While everyone was concentrating on the Synagogue, I slipped into a Chinese Buddhist Temple next door and did a quick watercolor sketch of the prayer ceremony.

We had lunch in a very inexpensive Chinese restaurant nearby, and I sketched Pat, sketcher extraordinaire and author of the reclinerart blog.

After lunch I tried my hand at plein air watercolor at the produce market next to the Manhattan Bridge.

Then I noticed an intense group of men watching Chinese Chess and decided to give this a try with a sketch using a pre-soaked bamboo stick, Chinese ink, and watercolor.

Finally we met up at Union Square where there was a plein air art event, and I sketched one of my favorite Instagrammers, @susandrawss.  This one was in simple pen and ink using Micron pens.

Later over drinks I sketched another Instagrammer, @floodfish.  This was done with various pencils including water-soluble wash.

This was a long, productive, exhausting, and enjoyable day with the sketchers.  I wish everyone a Happy 4th of July, and hope to see you all again soon!  You can also follow me on Instagram @jlevinemd.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NO Weekend Sketch - Happy Fourth of July

Childe Hassam painted NYC’s
Fourth of July
exactly 100 Years ago.

Long Weekend - No Sketch Event Planned.

For anyone interested I will be painting in the New York Botanic Garden on Sunday and Monday.  I'll be at the Gazebo in the Home Gardening Center from 11 to 3 PM on both days.  You're welcome to join me.  It's a wonderful sketching place.

Also, if you're going to be somewhere else in the city sketching - why not post it to our Facebook page and share the idea.

Enjoy the Holiday!

Weekday Urban Sketcher meet St. Joan and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Continuing on our quest of drawing the statues of real women in NYC, this week we will meet St. Joan.  Located in Riverside Park at 93rd St. we will have an opportunity to sketch her as well as other park and river scenes.   After lunch we can move a few blocks south to 89th Street to sketch the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, located on a beautiful plaza along Riverside Drive


TIME: 10:30 AM

                          Riverside Park at 93rd Street

TRANSPORTATION: 1, 2, 3 to the 96th Street Station.  Walk two blocks west to Riverside Dr. and walk the few blocks south to the statue.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SUNDAY: Sketching Triple Play Day

It's a Triple Play Day 
      planned for you by Jeff Levine

Sketch the 


Followed by


and then

3. The NYC PLEIN AIR PAINT-OUT in Union Square.   

A genuine slice of Old Manhattan! The Eldridge Street Synagogue, built in 1887, is a breath-taking National Historic Landmark located on New York City's Lower East Side.  The Museum offers an intimate, authentic portal to the past for people of all backgrounds. Step into the footsteps of the synagogue's immigrant founders. Discover how the immigrant experience transformed and continues to transform communities today.

The Chinatown Produce Market at Forsyth Street - There are so many fruit and vegetable stands.  Which one is the best?  The one to choose is easy to spot -  it has the longest line. The line moves a little slow. You’d better know what you want by the time you get to the front of the line  you don’t want to hold up everyone else.  After all - this is New York!

The action never stops - a site worth sketching!

The PLEIN AIR PAINT OUT in Union Square.  From 3 - 8 PM.  A total Be-In for art types who are gutsy enough to sketch in public.  Sounds like us!

Free gifts from Jerry’s Pallet Shop for the first 100 people. Union Square is full of energy and the perfect place to set up and paint on the second longest day of the year!


What:  Sketch the NYC Immigrant Experience, on the Lower East Side

When:  This Sunday - Our Three-Part Day starts at 10 AM

Where:  First stop, The Eldridge Street Synagogue -
12 Eldridge Street between Canal and Division Streets.
Note:  There is a $14 tour given on the hour that you can take. They know we’re coming and know that we’re sketchers.  If you prefer - stay outside and sketch.

How:  Nearest Subway is the Grand Street Station, B or D trains, that leaves you off at Forsyth  and

Grand. Walk to Eldridge Street Synagogue.

Lunch:  Lunch 12:00-1:00 PM at New Wong Restaurant 103 E Broadway, which is 1 block from our afternoon sketch at the market.

Afternoon:  1 PM to 2:30 PM.  at the market, at the corner of Forsyth and Division Streets,  Sketch the Forsyth Street produce market in Chinatown, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge.

Late Afternoon Special:  3 PM The NYC Plein Air Paint-Out in Union Square.  Go immediately to the Jerry’s Table.  Then let’s meet by the statue of Ghandi which is located on the lower west side of the park

Show and Tell:  (My personal favorite time when we all get to be together to share our work.)  Not this weekend.  Too much going on.  Let’s share as we can during the day.

Hoping to see you!

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trying Again: 

Weekday Urban Sketcher in Brooklyn at Piers 5 & 6

(Hopefully we won't get rained out again!) 

Alan Wernicke  has invited us to his part of the world: Brooklyn Heights.  We will be going to the waterfront by Piers 5 & 6 to sketch views of the Manhattan skyline from the East River, the activity on the piers (volleyball, soccer, skaters), marinas, the rescue ship Nantucket, tug boats, sailboats, barges and views of Governor's Island and the Brooklyn Bridge, to name "picture ops" 


TIME: 10:30 AM TO ?

                                         MEET IN FRONT OF AMPLE HILLS CREAMERY (blue awning)

TRANSPORTATION: 2, 3, 4 or 5 train to Borough Hall. Use the Joralemon St exit and walk down Joralemon Street towards the river, away from the Municipal Building and into the beautiful Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. It will take about 10 minutes to walk to the riverfront. At Furnam Street walk under the BQE highway and continue one block to the pier. 
                  Alternate Subway: R train to Court Street. Exit to street and walk south a few blocks to Joralemon St and then follow directions above. 

RSVP directly   If running late, call or text Alan at 917-685-5748. 

Bring lunch or buy something at the vendors on the pier.  Bring a cap/hat and sunscreen.  There is plenty of seating but you can bring a folding stool/chair. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

SATURDAY: Draw the High Line

Meet at the Urban Theater on the High Line
(located at 17th Street and 10th Avenue)

A little unusual.  Yes, we have a planned sketch for Saturday.  No, I will not be there - it is an un-hosted event.  I have a work commitment this weekend (see below).  

On June 18th from 10:00am to 12:30pm artists and art lovers will take in the beauty of the High Line, one of New York’s greatest combinations of contemporary architecture and native greenery. This event has been advertised and will likely include loads of non-urban sketching people around the city.

Everyone will meet at the Urban Theater on the High Line (17th street and 10th avenue) between 10:00 and 10:30am to check in and pick up drawing supplies.  Participants can then explore the park on their own and return with their drawings by noon to get feedback from the artists and enjoy drinks and snacks with fellow art-lovers.

Participating artists and guests should be sure to register for the event through Eventbrite, and present their ticket for FREE drawing supplies and refreshments, sponsored by Sugarlift.

I’m going to be at the New York Botanic Garden doing Plein Air Painting in the Gazebo at the Home Gardening Center.  It’s a program to interest people to sketch in the gardens.  The Garden will provide art supplies to anyone who wants to try their hand.  I’m there to encourage people to try.  As an Urban Sketcher that’s a role that I relish.

I’ve committed to be at the NYBG on several dates this summer which cuts into my time planning and hosting Urban Sketching events.

Rather than just cancel I’d like to find a way to occasionally hand-off the responsibilities to someone who feels committed to what we’re doing.  If you might be interested in acting as a backup please send me an email.


What: Draw the High Line:  Free art supplies available by registering - Click for details:

Where:  Meet at the Urban Theater on the High Line (17th street and 10th avenue)

When:  Saturday June 18th from 10 - 12:30.  Arrive between 10-10:30 for the free art supplies if you’ve registered.

Weekday Event Canceled

Due to the weather today's event in Brooklyn is canceled.