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September 12, 2014

Urban Sketchers NYC in Bryant Park

I was meeting the Urban Sketchers Group in Bryant Park, behind the New York City Public Library.  When I arrived, there was a photo shoot in the middle of the lawn, which we assume is a publicity shot for the upcoming revival of On The Town.

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When I arrived at our meeting spot, I met Valentina, from Palermo, Sicily - someone who just looked up the NYC USK group and showed up!  I love that the International Urban Sketchers Group provides this level of communication worldwide between artists.  Valentina is the artist on the right.

 

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I am using a new accordion watercolor book - with a cover of paste paper that I made last winter.

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I used this for painting the Planetarium from the outside, last Thursday, at the American Museum of Natural History, and for several paintings this week when Urban Sketchers met in Bryant Park. 

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Planetarium

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These paintings, the Southwest Porch Patio, and the Fountain are from Bryant Park. 

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As I was leaving Bryant Park I took a photo of another fascinating NYC site.   Any ideas??

 

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September 9, 2014

Wedding Weekend in Minneapolis

We spent this past weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a very special wedding.  And I actually made time to sketch in my daily watercolor sketchbook and finished 5 pages in 3 days.  I haven't done an airport - waiting plane drawing in a very long time - but I had a few minutes to spare.

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There was a beautiful flower arrangement in the area around the elevator, so I sat for a few minutes - long enough for a quick sketch and painting on our way out Saturday morning. 

 

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On Sunday we had a few hours before we had to leave for the airport and were with our wonderful friends Jeff and Sara.  Sara and I sketch at the beach each summer, so we voted for a walk and some sketching while our husbands talked.  We walked down Nicolette Mall and chose this huge fountain sculpture called Minnesota Birds.  I only could fit the heron and grouse on my page.  The Loon was on the other side, and only a few tail feathers were visible from our angle. 

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I gave Sara a choice of a few Tombow water-soluble markers and taught her the continuous line (or almost continuous line drawing) with watercolor washes that Brenda Swenson gave us for homework in Sketchbook Skool Semester 2.  Here is my wonky lamp post with hanging baskets of flowers.

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With an extra few minutes right before we had to leave, I sketched the man sitting in front of me on the wall around the sculpture. 

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September 4, 2014

Making a Travel Sketchbook for Paris

I love to make special travel sketchbooks for our vacations, recycling old books about the location.  I found a $2.00 damaged book of Eugene Atget photographs at the Strand bookstore in New York City.  By carefully clipping the old binding threads, I was able to preserve some of the folios, using two of them for my end papers and inserting two others amidst the watercolor paper.

The book is 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, a perfect size for my purse or backpack.  I filled it with Fabriano Artistica 140 lb soft press watercolor paper, with some irregularly-sized pages for fun.  

 

Front Cover:

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Front End Paper:

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Back End Paper: 

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I sketched an Eiffel Tower that I will place on the title page - and then make a grid for  a daily small image, a calendar for daily events, and a map showing the location of our rented apartment.

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Several years ago I posted a 3 part  tutorial for recycling an old or damaged book as a travel sketchbook.   The book was called Italian Dreams and I made it for a trip to Venice and can be seen here.

  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

August 29, 2014

Battery Park City Figure Drawing August 20th

I love figure drawing.  And often practice drawing faces from photos that I collect.  This portrait is an exercise from an unknown source, but it allows me to try to work with the same facial proportions as the original photo.

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I also clip and copy hand photos from magazines in order to practice drawing hands.  Live model poses are too short to draw hands carefully, and slowly I am making progress.

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Battery Park City Figure Al Fresca uses clothed models and here are my first 4 one minute sketches and 3 ten minute drawings.  These are photos from 11 X 15" paper.

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August 26, 2014

Urban Sketchers - NYC Aug 14th

We went to Madison Square Park for my second day with the Urban Sketchers - NYC.  I took the accordion book that I used for my first day with them and completed the first side of the paper with this sketch of the Flatiron Building and my friend Benedicte sketching in front of me.  The accordion book is here:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/07/_xxxxx.php 

This group meets weekly and I just created a new category for drawings done at these events.  My category list in way down under the monthly entries for my blog.

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I did a few preparatory sketches, based on Liz Steel's recent demo in Sketchbook School Semester 2 - and overcame my fear of failure sketching this iconic NYC landmark. 

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After lunch I searched for another building to draw around Madison Square Park and was drawn to this one because of the multiple rooftop water towers.  These sketches were done with a Tombow marker and then "painted" with clear water in a Niji waterbrush. 

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