Prince Kūhiō Day Festival

Hula performances, music, Hawaiian arts and crafts, and a parade down by the waterfront at Kapi‘olani Park – Prince Kūhiō Day did not leave us short on sketch subjects. Attendance was fabulous too, with half a dozen newcomers joining us as we took up position around the Kapi‘olani Bandstand. As always, the highlight of the event was our show-and-tell session, which not only covered a wide range of styles and materials but also provided opportunities to exchange tips and ideas. One of today’s themes was set by newcomer Bill. How do you sketch a tree canopy? Although this worthy question probably has no single correct answer, a consensus was reached that great results can be achieved by combining shading (to outline the overall shape of the foliage) with drawing (of individual leaves to add detail about their size and shape). The first sketch in this post illustrates the technique nicely.

Today also marked Kev’s final attendance for the season; his predilection for small-format sketching and tiny watercolor sets inspired several of us. All the best, Kev – we hope to welcome you back in our midst this fall!

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Check out the artwork on the USkO Flickr Group!

Art on and near the Zoo Fence

Upon arrival at our meeting point, we found our view of the exhibiting artists setting up for “Art on the Zoo Fence” mostly obscured by three large fire trucks in front of the zoo. Unfortunately they managed to negotiate the sharp turn onto the zoo grounds before we could sketch them.

Some 15 sketchers came out this morning, both new and returning. It was impressive to hear what distances some of them had covered to attend the event. Noyita traveled by bus for almost three hours to join us. Now that is commitment to the cause!

As usual, we gathered for a show-and-tell at the end of the event to share our artwork, techniques, and thoughts on materials. Pen, pencil, watercolor, color pencil, and ink all made an appearance in the artwork on display. Our lively discussion covered a variety of topics ranging from where to buy supplies, through layering of media, to the mesmerizing effect of the zoo cacophony and the contemporaneous zumba performance at the Kapi‘olani Bandstand. Below are a few photos.

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We hope to see everyone at our next event, which will be announced at the start of next week.

Windward, finally!

Although weather forecasts predicted heavy rain for the weekend, our event at Windward Community College only received a sprinkle. Nevertheless, it seems that the weather did deter some people, as we were a small group – small, but enthusiastic!

Apart from a team of students promoting higher education (they wore great t-shirts with the slogan, “Keep Calm and Go to College”!), the campus was largely empty. The vibrant colors of WCC (undergoing renovations and construction after receiving a federal grant) and the clouds sinking into the Ko‘olau Mountains created a great atmosphere for sketching.

We got together for our traditional show-and-tell toward the end of the event to share sketches ranging from a hen and her eleven chicks to views of the lush grounds and buildings. Below are a few photos of us.

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We hope to see everyone at our next event! We will be alternating between windward and Honolulu locations, as well as others, in an attempt to be in everybody’s neighborhood at some point.

A Morning on the Towne

Yesterday morning, we gathered in the courtyard of Hawaii Kai Towne Center for two hours of leisurely sketching. The weather was perfect and the venue provided ample shade and seating under beach umbrellas. Attendance reached double digits, and we saw several new faces.

We assembled at 11:00 a.m. to share our accomplishments. Many of us sketched Koko Crater and the Hawaii Kai Marina Bridge (the most prominent views), as usual employing different approaches and techniques. We yet again found ourselves marveling at the artwork on display, but noticed too late that we should take better advantage of the group’s diversity to actively learn from each other. In our next meeting we would like to encourage participants to share their choices of scene, composition, media, etcetera to increase the educational aspect of our get-togethers. Next time!

So, mark your calendars, we’ll be out again on September 12. Location to be announced soon!

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A Humid Morning of Sketching at Kewalo Basin Harbor

Despite former Tropical Storm Ela passing the islands this weekend, we lucked out this morning with good weather at Kewalo Basin Harbor. Not that we were totally unaffected: we know of at least one person who was unable to make it because of poor weather elsewhere. The setting at the harbor was pleasant though, with moderate tourist activity, generally involving diving, parasailing, and pirate-ship tours.

We struggled again with attendance this weekend and had only six participants. Despite the low numbers we spent a productive 1.5 hours sketching a variety of scenes in the harbor and then shared our work with each other. Even with a small group, the post-sketch discussion always offers great opportunities to compare our various drawing styles, backgrounds, and equipment (micron pens, different pencil leads, and paper thicknesses).

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Having experienced active and vibrant Urban Sketchers communities on the mainland and elsewhere, we remain committed to our goal of developing a similar group here. We hope former participants will keep coming and new / curious artists will check us out! Our next event will be on Saturday, August 8, so save the date on your calendar.