Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reportage Sketching at the Tanger Mall, Riverhead

You really never know when a sketching opportunity will present itself...and you should always be prepared.  I decided to go out to the Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead and do some shopping and then I planned to find a spot to sketch.I was on line in the Loft Outlet waiting to pay for something when the fire alarms went off. They made all of us evacuate the store and many people were clustered outside including all the sales people. I decided to use the opportunity to sketch while we waited. I had a good ink pen for sketching in my purse but my sketchbook was in the car at the other end of the mall. I did find my book of outlet coupons so I sketched on the back few pages which had coupons for hotels and assorted things in the area which I knew I wouldn't use. I did the ink sketches on location but added the watercolor when I got home. Without the color it was just to hard to make out the figures over all the print on the page.

These two women were sales personnel from the store. Luckily it was a warm day and they really didn't need coats.

The woman on the left worked in the store but the woman on the right was a customer.

There were a lot of emergency vehicles in the parking lot by the affected stores. I sketched those too. It took about 45 minutes before they finally let everyone back inside. (No, that isn't fire behind the firetruck. It was trees and once I put the color on I couldn't get it to lighten. lol)

That's my reportage sketching from my day! Hope yours was fun too.

Weekday Urban Sketchers at the Ford Foundation and the Swedish Church on Thursday

This week we move indoors to two venues only open during the week: The Ford Foundation and the Swedish Church.

The Ford Foundation is an award winning building with one of the first indoor public atria in the city.  Beautiful architecture and soaring views framed in a lovely indoor garden is ripe for Urban Sketchers.  We will then move to one of the hidden gems of NYC, the Swedish Church.  Housed in a beautiful building in midtown it offers the public a warm and welcoming cafe/reading room with beautiful leaded windows, cozy chairs and great woodwork.  The best part however is the small cafe that serves open Swedish sandwiches called smorgas and (the best part) homemade cinnamon buns.  Bring your lunch or by a sandwich, your choice…but you must have a cinnamon bun and coffee!


The Ford Foundation: 320 E 43rd St bwtn 1-2nd Av  The Swedish Church:  5 East 48th Street (5th Ave)

Ford Foundation Building

Times:  Meet at the Ford Foundation at 11 AM and then move to the Swedish Church about 1 PM


To the Ford Foundation: Any subway into Grand Central and walk to 43rd between 1st and 2nd Ave

To the Swedish Church:  Those who come in the morning will be walking to the second location. If you are coming in the afternoon there are numerous subway stops around midtown that will leave you in walking distance to 48th St and 5th Ave.  


CAN'T FIND US?  Call Raylie at 201-978-6387

Toto, I don't think we're in New York!

By popular request - well, okay, no, by request of Mark Liebowitz who created this blog - I'm posting a few sketches from a different city.  Mark says anyone who comes to NY urban sketching events can post other stuff too, so here we go!

View of the highway and high-rise buildings, from my office in downtown Beirut.   I just discovered what I can do using a little gouache over the water colors - great for night scenes!

This one - in duplicate - was done from the balcony of my apartment in Beirut.  I accidentally changed the image to black and white in Gimp (freeware photoshop clone) and then decided I actually like it better than the color version.

Beirut harbor at dusk is really lovely, as the lights start coming on in the houses and along the roads in the northern suburbs and on the mountains.  The gouache was great for this sketch.

And then I figured I should try one at night, see how that would work out.

I kind of like it.  Gold gouache is cool stuff, too!

Sketching in Patchin Place, Nov 29

Wonderful sketching event yesterday in Greenwich Village, thank you Mark!  I'm sorry none of us could arrange the weather better, but what can you do...

First we met on Patchin Place, a little cul de sac with charming townhouses - the way much of New York once was, I imagine.  

We pretty much froze to death sketching there, unfortunately, so then we retired to a sandwich shop around the corner to eat hot soup and warm our fingers (plus other parts of our anatomy, that didn't take so well to sitting on cement steps).  

After lunch the idea was to sketch the Jefferson library - the building in the background of the Patchin Place sketch - from outside.  It's a really impressive building - contrary to what I first thought, not a converted church, but in fact a converted courthouse & prison.  Most of us thought the outside would just have to wait, though, and we explored the nicely heated inside of the place.

So I settled on this staircase to see what I could do with the spirals.  Pretty impressive place for a public library!


After the library we ventured to a local pub, but it was closed, so we had to settle for coffee and more soup at a nearby French restaurant.  Great event!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Saturday - Yes! - Sketching the West Village

For November 29, 2014

Morning- The Last Gaslight of NYC:  In it's day, thousands of gaslight lamps used to light up the streets of New York.  The last one can be found at the end of a little cul-de-sac in Greenwich village. This 19th century landmark block was built around 1850,  … once famous for housing writers like Theodore Dreiser and E. E. Cummings. Now a designated landmark, the cul-de-sac remains almost completely unchanged.

Patchin Place is a gated cul-de-sac located off of 10th Street between Greenwich Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) in the Greenwich Village

Afternoon - The Jefferson Market Branch, New York Public Library, once known as the Jefferson Market Courthouse, is located at 425 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), on the southwest corner of West 10th Street, in Greenwich Village.

1935 Photo shows 6th Ave IRT El
The AIA Guide to New York City calls the building "A mock Neuschwansteinian assemblage ... of leaded glass, steeply sloping roofs, gables, pinnacles, Venetian Gothic embellishments, and an intricate tower and clock; one of the City's most remarkable buildings."  In other words a cool subject for Urban Sketching.


When:   We meet at 11 AM.  Running Late?  Come anyway  You'll find us.

Where:   At the entrance to Patchen Place. 10th Street between Greenwich Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas

Lunch:  We'll warm up and get a bite to eat at 12:30 at The Original Sandwich Shoppe of New York, 58 Greenwich Ave.  

Afternoon:  At 1:45 - Off to Sketch the Jefferson Market - 425 Ave of the Americas.  Each sketcher will choose their own best view.

Show and Tell:  At 3:30 we'll head over to the The 55 Bar, located at  55 Christopher St, for talk drinks and a chance to share the day's drawings.  The 55 is also a noted Jazz and Blues Bar.  The first set starts at 6 PM on Saturday talk.  We can discuss staying to sketch.

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fulton Street Station Sketch!

The Sketchers were out in force on Saturday, November 22nd at the brand new Fulton Street Station near Ground Zero. This was a bit too shiny and flashy for me so I went into the bowels of the subway where I set up my chair and did two sketches.  The first was in watercolor and painted carefully with a pencil underdrawing:

We went to lunch and I ordered a tuna sandwich but was served ham.  But WTF this is the sketch group and food is only the fuel for more sketches... tuna... ham... it all goes to the same place.  Afterwards I went back into the underworld to the D Train with Joan and Pat and completed this sketch which was drawn freehand with a Stabilo 88 fine point pen then painted.

I really liked the more spontaneous feel of this one and here is a detail:

Afterwards a few of us went cross town to a Dr. Sketchy event on the Lower East Side, through a pretty creepy subway station I think was the J train.  My kind of place... true Old New York!

We survived the trip and had a great time with Dr. Sketchy on Orchard Street.  All in all, a wonderful day with the Sketchers!

Fire Museum, Sunday, November 16, 2014

On Sunday, November 16, the NYC Urban Sketchers met downtown on Spring Street at the Fire Museum. No, no ,no. We didn't spend the day toasting marshmallows. Hmm. Not a bad idea.

This museum is filled with everything used to fight fires. I was, as per usual, overwhelmed with all the detail on all the magnificent very old fire engines and equipment and, after spending some time exploring the first floor with my mouth agape - the main water line was a log with the center bored out!! back in the old times - I went up to the second floor.

This floor was also chockablock with more old ornate fire engines, equipment, portraits, doodads on every surface. I rested my eyes on some old illustrations and eased my way into sketching.
I do like sketching wooden sculptures.
Still floundering around I returned to another illustration of this actor in an 1848 NYC play.
Lunch was at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Nicolas is the son of one of the sketchers and seems to have picked up the lunchtime sketching habit as well.
Fortified, I was back on the second floor. Everyone was drawn to this machine.
The previous drawing wore me out so I moved my chair and regrouped.
Ok. Eyes all rested I walked around the displays and found a model of "Red Rover" and then it was time to leave.
Downstairs everyone (there were many) was getting ready to exit the museum when a couple of us (Mark and I) realized we hadn't sketched Jim. He was all packed up and ready to leave but stood nicely for a couple of minutes (literally) while we sketched him. It's mandatory.
After that it was off to the Mandatory Bar for show and tell, etc.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used:
#1,2,5,6,7: Finngr Pro and ArtRage
#3: Zen Brush and ArtRage
#8: Sketch Club
#4: Gridded notebook and Pilot V-ball pen/Tombow pen, sketch photographed using iPad and then imported into ArtRage for color.

Brooklyn Museum and More, Saturday, November 15, 2014

(compilation of two of my blog posts - better late than never?)

Saturday, November 15, after some weekend subway musical chairs due to construction, I joined the Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group in the Brooklyn Museum and happily copied paintings with about 30 other sketchers.

After each hour we were able to find a quiet corner to display our drawings.
I impressed the security guard with this one.
After everyone left I wandered through the African art for awhile.
But my day wasn't finished yet. I got back on the only subway that seemed to be coming to Brooklyn on that day and headed back to midtown Manhattan. There was one more place to be.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps used:
#1: Finngr Pro and ArtRage
#2&4: Finngr Pro
#3: Art Set Pro)

And More:

The destination was the High School of Art and Design on East 56th Street. The event was a fundraising Draw-A-Thon. Boy, was I pooped by the time I got there. Free Coffee! Yay! I ran into Mark and Marie from NYC Urban Sketchers. I never run into people I know. This sketching thing is really opening up my world. Making me mucho tired also.

The large cafeteria was set up with numerous stations for the clothed models to pose. I found an empty chair and drank my coffee until all the models returned to pose. I was having difficulty drawing the very thin, leotard clothed model so I turned my attention to the sketchers across from me.
In this room there were stations labelled "gestural", "long pose", and "all day". There were also two areas that had students posing as cosplay characters. Don't ask me, I didn't have a clue who they were supposed to be, but it was fun to sketch them in their outrageous and threatening poses. Cute little faces with braces snarling at each other. In the gymnasium were the nude models. Same labelled stations and really great lighting on the models. No kids allowed without a parent.

I made my way to another area and while the models were on a break I, well, guess what I did?

After I finally, successfully, did a non-urban model drawing, I called it a day and started to walk to Penn Station. Now I had a mile to walk south and, since I was between Second and Third Avenues, there was close to another mile to walk west. I started walking in a zig-zag pattern to fool myself into thinking it was a shorter walk. Every time I had to stop at a traffic light I switched direction until I was stopped again. I found myself next to a subway entrance near MOMA that I didn't know about and my feet stopped zigzagging and took me straight down those stairs and into a train that let me out right inside Penn Station.

Process for the last two drawings:

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Gridded notebook and Pilot V-ball pen which I went over with Pitt Brush Pen, sketches photographed using iPad and then imported into ArtRage . #3: Finngr Pro and ArtRage for color.

Sketching the New Fulton Transit Center (plus)

Submitted for your approval:


The Fulton Street Station

A dramatic interior space filed with curves and levels to sketch.

Magical Urban Sketching:

Mandatory Jim Discovers he can Fly
in the New Fulton Street Station

Magical Urban Sketching extends the boundaries of our Manefesto.

Urban Sketchers:

Jeff Dressed for Winter

Jeff posed for a quicky sketch before we left for lunch

A Patron at Dr. Sketchy:

So many interesting attitudes and costumes at the Dr. Sketchy event we attended after Fulton Street.

I Question:

I question whether any of my sketches except the first one are really Urban Sketches, and yet ..., they were influenced by the day and in some small way captured the spirit of the time and feel of NYC November 2014.  And of course, you should have seen Jim flying! Hardly anyone at the Station noticed, but we all know that something magical happens whenever we sketch.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sketching at the Fulton Transit Center

Since it takes me so long to get into the city from out here in Suffolk County, I usually get to sketch a few commuters on the ride in. Here are the victims/commuters that I drew yesterday.

When I arrived at the Fulton Transit Center I was early so I decided to venture out into the cold to do a view from outside. I finished this but I was really cold!

I headed inside and tried to do the view looking up to the top of the dome. I used a Tombow marker for the first time and didn't realize that it bleeds until I started adding watercolors.

I could see the hotdog vendor from my next spot which was sitting over the wonderful heating vent. (It was such a cosy spot.) So this time I sketched a bit of the inside and the outside too.

Mark, Mark, and Mary were busy sketching. Mandatory Jim moved into the composition later but I didn't have room to squeeze him in.

After lunch Pat, Jeff and I headed underground to the subway. Each time a train came through the cast of characters across on the other platform changed. 

Here are the sketches that the three of us did in one photo.
(Left to right...Pat's, mine, and Jeff's.)

After sharing our sketches a group of us headed over to the "Dr. Sketchy" event on Orchard St.
It wasn't a "urban sketching" setting so I'm not posting my sketches here. It was a lot of fun though!
They will be on my blog in the next few days if you want to see them.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New York City Fire Museum - Firemannequin Sketch

The New York City Fire Museum
third floor was rumbling with footsteps of youngsters enjoying a party.

The first and second floors featured a high quality collection of fire engines, fire fighting equipment, and art.

I sketched a fire fighter mannequin suspended from above by a rope, wearing full turn out gear. It was a dramatic moment frozen in time.

I made the sketch on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition using AutoDesk SketchBook Pro for Galaxy version 2.9.2 and the S pen stylus.