Honolulu City Lights

Even in a pandemic, December brings traditional holiday decorations, a giant tree, and a little merriment to Honolulu Hale. 

It may be a scaled-down version of the 36th annual Honolulu City Lights, but we’ll be there to capture the city and tell our stories by sketching on location.

Let’s meet in front of Shaka Santa on Saturday, December 12th at 10am. We heard Santa and Mrs. Claus will be wearing their masks this year. 

Speaking of masks, as we are still navigating through COVID-19, please see previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings. If you plan to attend, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, December 11th with the following info: name and phone number. We will retain this info for at least a month for contact tracing purposes. You are still welcome to join us if you don’t RSVP, but you will be asked for your contact info on site.

We are so looking forward to seeing you on December 12th! 


Boats, fishermen, water, and more!

A little drizzle and a little wind couldn’t stop us from sketching at Pier 38 this morning. What a nice Saturday to be outdoors sketching daily harbor activities.

Thanks Nancy for suggesting Pier 38 for urban sketching!
Some of us got a great view of the harbor!
Bill sketched from Nico’s Restaurant and got an early lunch!
Christine waiting for the brief drizzle to pass.
Jen came prepared with clips for the wind.

There’s so much to sketch at the harbor: classic fishing boats with fishermen onboard, the ripples of the greenish harbor water, fallen seed pods on the ground, and the large shipping machinery in the distance. Time just flies by when you are trying to focus on your sketch.

But we did it!

Socially distancing of course!
In groups no more than 5!

Thank you all for sketching today. We are looking at December 12th for our next on location holiday sketching. Check back for more info.

Happy Thanksgiving fellow sketchers! Be safe.

On a side note: Some of my photos are missing from the slideshow. I’ve written to wordpress to inquire why.


Are you ready to to sketch at the harbor?

We are so excited to see your happy faces as we sketch together this Saturday, November 21st at Pier 38. Please read previous post here for location.

To RSVP, email uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, November 20th with your name and phone number. It looks like there will be 7 of us so far, so we will break up into 2 groups to be compliant with Oahu’s Tier 2 guidelines. You can also review Urban Sketchers guidelines here.

See you on Saturday 10am to noon!

Happy sketching.

I took this photo this morning of Honolulu harbor. Just wanted to share.

Urban Sketching with a harbor view

As requested, we have found a place with more shade for our next sketching event. So pack your supplies and join us on the pier for a fun Saturday morning of urban sketching!

Pier 38 offers a plethora of shapes and textures to challenge your artistic senses. First of all, there are boats of all sizes and colors. We will be surrounded by water with reflections, ripples, and even a fish or two. There are fishermen working on their boats. And lots of shipping containers to remind us of our urban surroundings.

There is ample free parking. But best of all, there are trees lining the pier providing us protection from Honolulu’s mid-day heat. Why is it so hot in November anyway?

As we are still navigating through COVID-19, please see previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings . If you plan to attend, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, November 20th with the following info: name and phone number. We will retain this info for at least a month for contact tracing purposes. You are still welcome to join us if you don’t RSVP, but you will be asked for your contact info on site.

We are so looking forward to seeing you on November 21st! 


HOT day at Kaka’ako Farmers Market

Thank you to everyone who endured the heat on this hot, humid day to participate at our first in-person meetup during Tier 2 of the pandemic. I promise our next event will have shade!

But look how cute our group photo turned out.

We’re smiling under our masks! L-R: Terri, Bill, Christine, Ivan, Nancy, and Susan

Having an event at the Farmers Market means being surrounded by an abundance of local food and refreshing beverages from small businesses. There were also a lot of people, tents, plants, and buildings to sketch. Kaka’ako does have it all.

We’re tentatively looking at Saturday, November 21st for our next gathering. Stay tuned.


Don’t forget to RSVP to our October 24th event!

October is flying by and soon it will be Saturday! Please read previous post here for location and guidelines from Urban Sketchers Executive Board.

To RSVP, email uskoahu@gmail.com by Oct 23rd with your name and phone number. So far, there are 6 people attending, so we will break up into 2 groups. This is just for the sharing and group photo part of the event as sketching is really a solo activity.

Looking forward to seeing all your happy faces on Saturday!


Happy Sketching!


Are you ready to sketch together?

We hope that everyone is well and eager to return to in-person sketching on location! Sharpen your pencils, grab your supplies, and join us next week Saturday for a fun morning.

As we return to the new normal of in-person sketching, we do have new guidelines from USk Executive Board for all Urban Sketchers Chapters.

Guideline for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings

  1. If you feel sick, stay home. 
  2. Everyone must wear a facemark or face covering.
  3. Please maintain social distancing of 6 feet from others.
  4. If you plan to attend, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Oct 23rd with the following info: name and phone number. We will retain this info for at least a month for contact tracing purposes. You are still welcome to join us if you don’t RSVP, but you will be asked for your contact info on site.
  5. If you attend and become ill, notify one of the team leaders (Christine, Bill, or I) immediately.
  6. If we have more than 5 participants, we will break into smaller groups no more than 5 to adhere to Oahu’s social gathering mandate.

Parking at Kaka’ako Farmers Market

The Kaka’ako Farmers Market is open every Saturday 8-noon. Even in the pandemic, it is a popular place for locals to pick up fresh produce, crafts, and ready-to-go meals. Because we start at 10am, parking can be challenging. We encourage you to come early so that you have time to find stress-free parking a little farther away, such as at Ward Centre, a leisure 10-minute walk. Also, don’t forget to bring water and your own chair. It’s hot out there!

On a side note

Thank you for participating in our virtual sketching events these past few months. Even if we couldn’t gather together, it was great to be able to share our sketches every week with one another. Since we plan to gather once again, we will suspend weekly virtual sketching. But feel free to continue sketching and share your sketches with the group on Flickr and Instagram.


Celebrate Fall

Personally, fall is my favorite time of year. We don’t have the dramatic foliage like the mainland, but we do have cooler days and nights. We have shades of orange appearing in the neighborhood from seasonal decorations. People may be lining up at coffee shops to get their holiday lattes. Let’s just say you’ll have to use your imagination for this one.

The biggest difference I think is that the days are noticeably shorter. The angle of the light changes considerably. Sunsets become more dramatic. The waves in the ocean change. It’s subtle. But it’s there. Celebrate fall.

Post your sketches of fall on Flickr and Instagram, tagging us @urbansketcheroahu with the #urbansketcheroahu.

Happy sketching.

On a side note:
We are considering a meet-up for October 24th so please save the date. More details to come.


For the Night Owls

Inspired by Sebastian’s recent night sketches, here is one for the Night Owls.

I’ve never sketched at night so I’m curious to see what everyone does. Will you draw by candlelight, street light, or flashlight?

What will you see at night? Dog walkers? Late-night snackers? Shift workers? I am now very curious.

It would be great if we all sketched on the same night, Saturday. But feel free to sketch any night this week and post your nocturnal sketch this weekend on Flickr and Instagram, tagging us @urbansketchersoahu with the #urbansketcheroahu.

Stay safe out there in the dark. Happy sketching.


Take Two Challenge

We’re calling this week’s virtual sketch theme a challenge because it really is. But we hope that you will find it worthwhile and rewarding at the same time.

The challenge is to look through your sketchbook and revisit a place that you’ve sketched before. It could’ve been last year or last week.

When sharing, it would be great if you could post both drawings so that everyone can see them side by side.

What do you think? Are you up to the challenge?

Please post your sketches on Flickr and Instagram. On Instagram, tag your sketches @urbansketchersoahu and use #urbansketchersoahu.

Happy sketching.

On a side note:
I just want to share the power of Instagram with you. Normally my Instagram posts get a modest 40 – 60 likes with 120-160 views. Last week, my sketch for Urban Sketchers O’ahu got 194 likes with 3,860 views. 96% were not my followers. Of the 3,860 views, 3730 came from hashtags. I strongly encourage you to share your sketches to your personal Instagram and connect to the larger global Urban Sketchers community.