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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sketchcrawl at Union Station

Statue at Union StationColonnade at Union Station

Today was the 32nd World Wide Sketchcrawl, and the D.C. sketchers met indoors at Union Station to stay out of the heat. I spent most of the morning focusing on the architecture, which I really enjoyed. But in the afternoon, I switched to drawing innocent bystanders:

Figures at Union StationMan checking messagesAnother man checking messagesChecking messages at Union StationFigures at Union Station

Saturday, July 2, 2011

DC Sketchers @ U.S. Botanic Garden

DC Sketchers visited the U.S. Botanic Garden to concentrate our study of contour drawing - reviewing blind contour and trying our hand at modified contour.

We escaped the hot sun under the protection of some trees in Bartholdi Park. We also avoided the 4th of July weekend crowds.
The park is one of DC's hidden jems, with Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's Fountain, now being renovated. See images.

Take a look at the students' impressive work. Everyone improved in the sensitivity and confidence of their observation skills.

And take a look at one of the student's blog entry from last week at Mount Pleasant Farmers Market.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

National Sketch Draw Month

This is Day one of the month long July challenge presented by artist & poet Dan Vera to the Urban Sketchers of Washington DC and the world at large to draw a drawing and share it with the world each day of this month. He was inspired by the National Poet's daily poem challenge to invite us sketchers to do with sketches what so many poets do with poems in April. Make a new one every day for a month. We discussed this a little on the Sketch Crawl Washington DC facebook group page where many artists seemed interested and willing to post shared photos of their efforts. We don't have another big International Sketch Crawl until later this month but this is a great way to help everyone create a niche in their daily routine for some meditative drawing to prepare.

I have been doing the daily sketch since about May of 2010 and I find that it is a great routine to begin each day. At first I started out small just line drawings in a very small book I made to fit in the hip pocket of my jeans. I quickly bored with still life drawing around the house early in the morning but I found that flowers in my garden were a great subject to attack early in the day and study closely. Soon I had a routine and found that public responses were much stronger if I added a little watercolor to the sketches. Over the winter season stuck inside I turned to cut flowers and colorful vases.  I had plenty more botanical subjects to report with my pen, ink and water colors.

I found that drawing every day showed me that some days the drawing skills are great and some days they are less great... it seems to give me a measure of how I am feeling by doing the drawing and judging the results. I see if it is early in the day and you are a little off center or tired or just not liking the weather it shows in the lines and the care you use to compose the sketch but even a poorly result is worth the effort. The 10-30 minutes of sketching helps me know where I am in the world and how well balanced I am feeling.

 I am truely looking forward to seeing all the sketches from the other members of this group. I am very glad Dan Vera came up with the idea and presented it for July.  I hope lots of artists will share their work and the news about this national drawing sketching challenge with all their artist friends to give it a try. If you aren't ready to draw this year  you can follow the results and enjoy the sketches at our facebook group page. Urban Sketchers of Washington DC on facebook

My first sketch for the challenge Friday July 1, 2011