How will you draw Aloha?

Hope you are ready to get together for our next sketching event. If you are, get your pencils sharpen and meet us at Aloha Tower.

About Aloha Tower
Built in 1926, Aloha Tower served as a lighthouse that could be seen from 15 miles away. Aloha Tower welcomed visitors to O’ahu for nearly 100 years when ships arrived to our ports. In the early days, Aloha Tower celebrated the arrival of ships with entertainment by the Royal Hawaiian Band, hula dancers, and lei makers. This tradition lasted until planes started to welcome visitors to our islands. After the attack of Pearl Harbor, Aloha Tower served as the Pacific control center for the military.

Unfortunately, the 10th floor observation deck is currently closed due to COVID-19. But we can still gather at Aloha Tower and appreciate its history as one of Hawaii’s most iconic symbol of hospitality and aloha.

Let’s meet in front of the Aloha Tower on Saturday, Feb. 27th at 10am. If you plan to attend, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, Feb 26th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, please read this previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings.

We look forward to seeing your happy faces!


The Return to Virtual Sketching

Sounds like a sequel to Star Wars, right?

As we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 numbers, we will return to virtual sketching in January.

This Saturday, January 23rd, let’s sketch together while remaining safely apart. The theme, “A Day in the Pandemic” is inspired from USk Talks Season 2, Episode 2. You can watch the entire episode on YouTube here.

You can choose to sketch throughout the day or share one sketch that captures the mood of the day.

The challenge of sketching throughout the day is filling the page as day progresses.

Choosing to sketch a moment in time allowed me space to journal my emotions.

I hope you enjoy this process. At the very least, you’ll have a page of your day documented to always reflect upon. 

Please share your sketches on our flickr page this Saturday or Sunday. Looking forward to see your day in the pandemic.

Happy sketching.


Take your sketching to a new level

If you are looking for inspiration to up your sketching game, here are a couple of suggestions worth trying.

A few weeks ago, spoonflower.com announced their second-annual #doodleadayJan challenge with daily doodling prompts. Anyone can participate. Keep in mind, this is not urban sketching, rather a way to practice sketching on a daily basis. Post your doodle on Instagram and tag it with @spoonflower and @ellolovey with #DoodleADayJanELSF. Special prizes will be awarded at the end of the month. Visit www.spoonflower.com for more details.

Last year, during the first lockdown, Urban Sketchers launched USkTalks on Instagram. It was a wonderful way to connect to other Urban Sketchers around the world. On January 3rd, they launched their second season. This time, it’s on YouTube. It’s a live broadcast at 5 a.m. HST every Sunday.

It’s fun to sketch during the show.

If 5 a.m. is too early for you night owls, you can watch the replay anytime. 

Every episode offers sketch challenges. These are fun. You can participate by posting your sketch on Instagram with #usktalkschallenge. 

Save the date!

Our next event will be Saturday, January 23rd. More info will be posted shortly.


Looking Back at 2020

One thing is for sure. No one will forget 2020. We survived COVID-19, lockdowns, furloughs, unemployment, the 2020 election, and more. Through it all, Urban Sketchers was the bright spot in my long year. I hope it was for you too.

Thank you to everyone who sketched with us every month. A special thank you to those who joined us for virtual sketching during both lockdowns. Your dedication to urban sketching is commendable.

As we say aloha to 2020, we gladly welcome 2021 with optimism and hope.

Best wishes and happy 2021,

Terri, Bill, and Christine


Happy Holidays

Poinsettia watercolor by Terri & Bill Dux

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

Happy Sketching,
Christine, Bill, and Terri


Planting for the future

Well, we didn’t get to do any sketching at Ka’ena Point on Sunday BUT we did plant native trees and plants on the shoreline!

Christine digging a hole for her native plant.

Mission accomplished!

Bill and me scouting for suitable spots for our Milo trees. Photo credit: Kia Atkins.

Years from now, we can say “Hey, we planted that tree!” Photo credit: Yan Li.

The heat cut our outing short. I nearly fainted a few minutes after this photo was taken. It was touch and go for awhile. But rest assure, I am fine now. I guess I’m not a sun person!

Shout out to Kris Mar from DNLR for organizing this opportunity to meet each other and give back to our community.

Kris on the left. Photo credit: Kia Atkins.


Jolly time sketching at Honolulu Hale

There were certainly less decorations on the lawn of Honolulu Hale this COVID holidays but nothing could stop our Urban Sketching spirit!

It was so wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones. And of course thank you to our devoted sketchers who make it to every sketching event in 2020.

Thankfully the crowds were small (mostly just us and the security guard). And Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus were watching over us beaming in the Hawaiian sun.

Here we are in groups of 5 or less.

As for announcements, don’t forget our unofficial Urban Sketchers event at Ka’ena Point tomorrow at 9am to 1pm. See post here. (I baked more cookies!)

As we say aloha to 2020, we at Urban Sketchers O’ahu wish you and your families a very happy and safe holidays. See you in 2021!


Sketching, hiking, and giving back to our community

We have a last minute opportunity to sketch, hike, and give back to our community that we hope everyone can participate.

Sorry, this is really last minute! One of my online classmates (I’m taking a Digital Design class with the O’ahu Back to Work program) has offered our Digital Design classmates and us at Urban Sketchers O’ahu a rare opportunity to plant native trees at an endangered Yellow-faced bee site and then guide us on a 2-mile coastal hike to a bird sanctuary. Our guide, Kris Mar works for Wildlife and Forestry Division for DNLR. He is also a talented artist.

Artwork by Kris Mar. Created in Adobe Illustrator. ®2020

This is not an official Urban Sketcher Oahu event. But a great opportunity for us as artists to experience the beauty of our island in a personal and reflective way.

Kris will bring garden gloves and trowels. But says you can bring your own gloves if you want. Also he says to bring plenty of water, snack, and sun protection.

Planting is at the entrance of the park. Then he will take us on an optional hike to see a bird sanctuary.

Please email us if you are interested in attending at uskoahu@gmail.com


Are you ready to ho-ho-ho?

Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus are donning their facemasks and waiting for us at Honolulu Hale. We are so excited to see you as we sketch together this Saturday, December 12th at 10am. Please read previous post here for location.

To RSVP, email uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, December 11th with your name and phone number. It looks like there will be 9 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.


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!