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Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday in New York City

I took the bus to NYC and visited friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday. I took my sketchbook with me and tried my hand at my first sketches for Urban Sketchers DC. Normally, I sketch with pencils but I'm trying my hand at quick sketches with a pen.

Bryant Park 11.28.2010

The Met 11.26.2010

Below the Astoria Blvd stop of N/R train 11.26.2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two women commuting

I drew these two women on the way home on two separate occasions -- the younger woman on the metro, and the older on the bus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Colorized sketches

East Indian man in a business suit June 3rd 2010

High Schooler reading NYT June 11th 2010

I have been a urban sketcher on DC's metro for a number of years. I enjoy drawing bumps and all, to fill the time 'on off peak hour' trips around town. I use a fountain pen and hand made pocket sized sketch book which travels easily. After studying my friend  Michael Nobb's illustrations. I figured he must be using the flat colors in Adobe Photoshop to color his pen drawings and I was interested to give it a try on these two metro rider sketches. It is fun to add a cartoon look to my sketches but not something I would do with most of my work because it takes a lot of time at the computer. 


A view of Georgetown from across the river in Rosslyn.

I was on my way to a figure drawing session which ended up being canceled. This unexpected turn of events "opened my eye" to the landscape depicted in this drawing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DC Sketchers Class @ Trapeze School of New York - DC - Saturday, 11/20/2010

The DC Sketchers class from Capitol Hill Arts Workshop met at the Trapeze School of New York in DC. I introduced the challenge of gesture drawings while we observed the brave and talented students of the school's Intensive Flying Workshop. The sketchers captured the dramatic movements of the flying trapeze.

Gesture drawing proved to be a challenge for all. This mode of drawing is very quick and intuitive and not easily understood in an intellectual way. It needs to be experienced and practiced. At the end of the session, the sketchers gathered to share and discuss each others work.

Kent Gay - Teaching Artist

maurice after surgery

this is a sketch i made back in august after my dog had emergency surgery. it was very scary because we thought we were going to lose him, and i was a total wreck. shortly after this, we discovered a large mass on his leg that that was obviously rapidly growing that had to be removed 3 weeks later. luckily it was not cancerous, and he has made a full recovery from both incidents.

the paragraph in the sketch is transcribed below, and explains a little more:
"on 8-13-10 (friday) maurice had emergency surgery for bloat. luckily andy acted quickly + was on the way to the emergency vet as i came home from work. he got through surgery okay but vomited all day yesterday. today he started eating again so was allowed to come home. i am sitting in the bedroom with him so he will rest + digest + hopefully make a full recovery. he won't be in the clear until at least the end of the week, but i am thankful for more time with him."

Gate B67, Dulles International Airport

Gate B67, Dulles Airport

I did some traveling this week for work, and had a bit more airport downtime than usual, due to delays, missed connections, and canceled flights. But in the end, I got where I needed to go, and got home safely, which is the important thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet the sketcher: BETHESDA, MD > Robin Mahler

"I have been a graphic designer since the days of type spec’ing and wax paste-ups, but now keep myself gainfully employed using my computer and Adobe software. Sketchbooks are a way to get my hands on the basics again—paper, pencils, paint and ink. I have been experimenting with different styles and materials as well as differing subjects in my sketchbooks.

A workshop on traveling with a sketchbook turned me on to Sketchcrawl and I immediately loved the idea but it was a while before I finally found the time to join in. Tackling the art and architecture of Washington DC is in its nascency for me but I look forward to taking on this new challenge."

Robin's Flickr

Monday, November 15, 2010

DC Sketchers Class @ US Botanic Garden - Saturday, 11/13/2010

The DC Sketchers class from Capitol Hill Arts Workshop met one more time at the US Botanic Garden. And once again, we were working on contour drawings, with an emphasis on developing a sensitivity and responsiveness to the relative hardness/softness of an edge as observed and recorded. We worked with pencil and varied the pressure of the stroke to create a range of soft to hard edges.

DC Sketchers Class @ US Botanic Garden - Saturday, 11/06/2010

The DC Sketchers class from Capitol Hill Arts Workshop visited the US Botanic Garden on a chilly Saturday, 11/06/2010. Five students met at the entrance at 10am to share coffee and introductions.

Kent introduced the morning's introductory exercise - blind contour drawing. We began by focusing on and recording the fascinating edges in our wrinkled palms and proceeded to observing the varied edges in the variety of plants and flowers in the Garden.

Students found the relaxing atmosphere especially suited for the meditative nature of blind contour drawing, with beautiful plants and flowers, trickling water features and soothing music. They were also challenged by drawing in public with the curious eyes of roaming tourists.

Registration Information

On The Fly

On the Fly food truck
This is the last sketch I finish working on from the Rally To Restore Sanity a couple of weeks ago. Technically its the first sketch I worked on, but I never got a chance to finish it up until recently.

On The Fly is another food truck in town, and it made a good choice coming to the Mall during the rally, as I never saw it without a line. They found a nice spot in front of the Hirshhorn sculpture garden and caught a lot of the foot traffic heading to the big show. Time dictated that I get moving towards the crowd and events, so I didn't join the line. But I like the On The Fly methodology; supporting local companies, using smart cars as trucks, eco-packaging, etc... they've got their green bases covered.

I met Joel & Ginny around there for a loose Sketch Crawl, covering the Rally, but we parted ways as things started. Joel & I managed to meet up afterwords to share some sketches, and frankly just sit for a few minutes while the crowd thinned out a bit.

I love the food trucks in this town and have sketched a few of them, but I think I need to take a break from them for a while and get back to some of the beautiful architecture we've got over here.

Welcome to Urban Sketchers > Washington DC

"Urban Sketchers is the brainchild of Spanish-born illustrator and journalist Gabriel Campanario, a staff artist and blogger at The Seattle Times. After seeing an increasing number of people sharing their location drawings in the blogosphere, Campanario joined forces with a few of them to launch this initiative.

He started USk as a Flickr group in November 2007. A year later, he invited a small group of artists to join the group blog as correspondents and post drawings from their cities and from their trips on a regular basis."

It has been two years since the launch of Urban Sketchers and there are now nearly 100 USk correspondents with 18 (and counting) satellite Urban Sketcher blogs devoted to specific regions and cities around the world. The Urban Sketchers network is constantly growing, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

I was very excited to be asked to join as a correspondent for Urban Sketchers two years ago, it's been a great motivator to explore the city, and not only show off, but discover some parts of DC I never would have seen otherwise. I'm really happy now that there is such a great and talented group of sketcher in DC to do the same.

As Gabi says "There are not many rules. Post your location drawings, share your thoughts on the ones posted, and let the group know if you're going out to sketch in case somebody else wants to come along. Just have fun with it. "

We here by the Beltway hope to continue and maintain Gabi's mission with Urban Sketchers in our corner of the USk network. Keep an eye on us, as we still have a few more sketchers to introduce to you & we'll be keeping track of scheduled drawing events happening in DC. And of course come back to get a look at Washington DC through our eyes, pens, and paper. Welcome to the Urban Sketchers > Washington DC blog!

Urban Sketchers Washington DC

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meet the sketcher: BROOKLAND, DC > Frederick Nunley

"I grew up in Northern Virginia just outside Washington DC. I wanted to be a ballet dancer as a youth. Professional ballet didn't work out after seven years trying, so I turned to fine art print making and photography. Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY took me in and I studied there for five years leaving with a bachelors degree in Fine Art Printmaking 1980. I attended modern dance classes at Pratt by invitation because I already knew a lot about dancing and still had hopes of a dance career. That experience lead me into Trockadero ballet performances and other performance events at a club called the Pyramid on Avenue A, in the East Village scene of the early 1980's. I tried performance art there when it was just being developed but the path wasn't clear and I got lost in the wild night life.

Eventually, I returned to Washington DC. I survived a close call with AIDS but I lost many of my closest friends and lovers to the pandemic. After a long period of severe illnesses and activist work I returned to drawing and printmaking and learned a new skill at the Corcoran school of art, book binding. I began to make my own sketch books which I had always wanted to do. Drawing was heavily emphasized at Pratt and I learned artists draw every day to keep up the skill. I wanted to draw better figures so I hosted a weekly male figure drawing group here in Washington DC for fifteen years. Recently I have been inspired by artists like Christian Tribastone and poet Dan Vera to go on quarterly sketch crawls with other artists in Washington's streets. I learned to do urban drawing in the bumpy subways of NYC, now going out into the well trimmed urban scenes of Washington DC is a smooth ride but none the less challenging to draw.

I draw my sketches with water based sepia ink in a fountain pen. I am currently working on a series of etchings inspired by several trees in Lafayette park near the White House. The first tree was drawn on a hot July sketch crawl, sitting under these enormous branches in the shade."

Frederick's blog
Frederick's website
Frederick's Flickr
Frederick's Twitter

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meet the sketcher: GERMANTOWN, MD > Erin Antognoli

"Erin Antognoli was born in a small town in northeastern Ohio, and raised in an equally small town in western Pennsylvania. she realized from a very early age that she was not like the other girls. while her classmates were all joining the brownies, taking ballet lessons, and dressing up like fairy princesses, Erin wanted to be a ninja assassin, started a bicycle gang, and lit things on fire. she was bound to go far in life.

After completing college with honors and without getting kicked out, she got another degree in art, which in no way prepared her for the real world. she then married a guy who thought all the crazy things she did were endearing, and moved to the Washington DC area.

Erin's main activities include creating and exhibiting artwork, spending time with her husband and dogs, and conspiring new and exciting ways to take over the world."

Erin's blog
Erin's website
Erin's Flickr

More Erin:

[Awesome photo also by Erin]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet the sketcher: CAPITOL HILL, DC > Erin Malick Thompson

"A Philly native, I have been living in DC since 2000. I'm a graphic and web designer and love it.

When I'm urban sketching, my interest is in the people. I started figure drawing through the first-Sunday gatherings at the MOCA Gallery in Georgetown, and over the past few years, I've enjoyed a few sessions of life drawing at the Capital Hill Arts Workshop.

But what I really enjoy is non-posed, spontaneous pen sketches of my fellow commuters and coffee shop goers. Because my subjects are unaware that I'm drawing them and naturally move so frequently, I don't have time to be fussy, as I would be on long-pose drawings of a paid model. The result is always more free and expressive. And it's been really surprising and rewarding how many people show interest as I'm sketching and how many ask whether I draw for the courts!"

Erin's portfolio
Erin's blog
Erin's sketches on Facebook
Erin's Flickr