Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Full Day Sketching - March 1, 2014

(this is a compilation of three blog posts)

Part 1.

On Saturday, (yesterday), the NYC Urban Sketchers had a Totally Full Day planned. Literally. Mark  and I were the only ones who completed the whole day. For each venue we would gain and lose sketchers. The official day was to be from 9:30 am until 8:00 pm but when you figure in the travel time to get into and out of the city it was, for me, sixteen (16!!!) hours of here, there and everywhere sketching. It was probably the same for Mark. Phew. I was seriously concerned about keeping up but it turned out not to be an issue since it was such a fun and stimulating day.

First stop was Spring Street Studio in Soho. Three hours of figure drawing with a fantastic model that just flew by. I brought a notebook and some vine charcoal for the one and two minute poses and then, a bit self-consciously, took out iPat. This is a Very Serious Figure Drawing (7 days a week, day and night) Studio. I needn't have been concerned - no one was paying any attention to me except for one or two people who were interested in the iPad.

Since this is not considered Urban Sketching go here if you want to see some of my sketches from the morning venue.

Part 2.

After lunch we headed further downtown to Wall Street and the NYC Police Museum which is housed in temporary quarters since Hurricane Sandy did a major number on their permanent location.

Earlier, during the figure drawing, we were four urban sketchers. Mark  and I were the only constant all day. Now two different sketchers replaced those and we were still four.

Mark was fascinated with everything and sketched whatever crossed his line of sight.

Outside the four of us walked to the stock exchange and sketched until our fingertips turned blue.

We took the subway to Chelsea, losing the other two sketchers at different points along the way. No, they're not lost. Just had other plans. Mark and I were early for the next venue so we stopped for coffee and BROWNIES.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
1,3,4 = Sketch Club
2 = Finngr Pro

Part 3

After the BROWNIE (yum) we entered a building on W20th Street between 7th and 6th Avenues, took the elevator to the Third Floor and entered a bright, noisy, Tango Party at Triangulo. There were probably nine sketchers and it was already crowded with dancers when we arrived and got more crowded as time passed.


The fencers from the previous week were as if standing glued to the spot when compared with these dancers.

I couldn't figure out where their arms and feet were. One second they were still, in position waiting for the music to start, then a slow pivot, and ZOOM - off they ALL went. I thought I could look at one couple, then keep drawing using the next couple to pass by and so on - a composite of body parts. I tried every single app I possessed. I took out paper! And Pen! Nothing.

I had no rhythm. Any sketching rhythm that is. My foot was oblivious to my quandary and happily tap tap tapping.

So I resorted to scribbling.

Next I tried to capture the various head positions of the couples. Sigh. I was wearing myself out. I can't count the number of times I shut off iPat, put it away, took it out again. Is this an example of Hope Springs Eternal?

Funny thing. They all had interesting faces and shoes.

And during all my angst Mark was here and there happily sketching dozens (you know I exaggerate a lot but this time it is cross-my-heart actual numbers) of zipping along tangoing couples without breaking a sweat or missing a line. I was disgusted.

Afterwards while four of us (a different configuration again but still the constants of Mark and I) were walking back uptown we stopped in an Italian place for beers (them) and a soda (me). Then Jason split off for a subway, some blocks later Denise and I both went down into Penn Station where we headed in different directions and Mark kept walking to 42nd. A long fun day, scribbles notwithstanding, and my car was just where I left it a zillion hours ago.


iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
1,2,3 are composites assembled in Sketch Club of many similar drawings done while watching the tango dancers have a fine time for 3-1/2 hours.
1= Sketch Club
2= Finngr Pro and the small sketches are Sketchbook Ink I think.
3= Sketchbook Ink
4= Finngr Pro


  1. Very nice. I especially like the policemen's jacket.

  2. I'm exhausted just reading about your day! Sounds like a marathon.