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.


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.


Looking for Inspiration? Look at your phone.

Whether it’s social media, podcasts, books, magazines, or just sitting outside, there is a wealth of inspiration for Urban Sketchers.

I’m always inspired by watching USkTalks Live on Instagram. The broadcast was just recently moved to every Saturday at 6pm which is convenient for us in Hawaii. 

This past Saturday featured Gabriel Campanario, founder of Urban Sketchers and the author of “The Art of Urban Sketching.” Gabriel (Gabi) is also a Staff Artist/Writer of Seattle Times.

Not only did I learn a lot about sketching and storytelling, I also learn about cool places to visit in Seattle. Gabi challenged fellow urban sketchers to let your sketches “Tell a story”.

Using Mililani as my subject, I took a short walk to the top of Meheula Parkway early in the morning. Not much cars on the road, but there were joggers and walkers taking advantage of the breezy, nice day.

The journalist in me wants to start a series of sketches of Mililani to tell a story. Here is my first one.

Look around your neighborhood. What story can you tell about your community or places you love?

You can follow Gabi on Instagram @gabicampanario
View other challenges #usktalkschallenge
Follow the Urban Sketchers community @urbansketchers
Catch up on past episodes on YouTube at USkTalks

Stay safe and happy sketching,
Terri


National Drawing Day

Happy National Drawing Day!

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Gardenia

May 16 is National Drawing Day!  Besides sketches for our Urban Sketchers virtual meet ups, what have you been drawing?  Here’s what I’ve been doing:

Earlier this week I watched a Metropolitan Museum of Art Drop In Drawing session on composition and shapes, which focused on botanical drawings.  The idea was to build a drawing through simplified shapes that you then go back and refine.  For example, you sketch out ovals or oblongs for the petals of a flower, and then go back to draw in the specific shape of the petals.  I decided to try this technique on a gardenia blossom in a vase.  I drew a circle for the vase as well as simple ovals and rectangles for the petals.  Then I went back and drew more specific petal shapes.  Although not exactly an Urban Sketchers scene, I think these principles can be applied to sketches other than botanical drawings.

Something else we often practice drawing is hands.  This week I watched a drawing session sponsored by the Princeton Art Museum and the Arts Council of Princeton, featuring a lesson on drawing hands.  I drew my left hand holding a pencil.

A picture containing tattoo, drawing

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Hand

Happy drawing on National Drawing Day and beyond!


A day late….

Sketches of Restaurant Row, looking down from the 40th floor of One Waterfront Towers and looking up from ground level.

Yesterday I intended to sketch Restaurant Row from two perspectives — looking down from my apartment on the 40th floor at One Waterfront Towers, and also from ground level. But somehow despite having nothing to do all day, I only finished the sketch from up high looking down. Today I finished the sketch from ground level. The bird’s eye view is kind of interesting, but on the whole I think I prefer to sketch at eye level, perhaps because that’s what I’m more accustomed to.


Oil Sketching in the Time of Coronavirus

Hi guys, it’s Joel. Times have been tough lately, but luckily for us, we have art to keep us sane (relatively). For yesterday’s virtual sketch event, I thought it might be fun to document the process in my oil sketch. Oil paints have a reputation for being unwieldy especially for sketching, but I’ve fallen in love with the medium since picking it up about a year and a half ago. Although oil paints are associated with more finished works that take days or months to finish, you can lay down a lot of color quickly for a kind of quick rough impression, an aesthetic that I’ve always admired in oil sketches and the great alla prima masters.

The subject I’ve chosen is once again, the topical Corona. This is my second attempt at sketching Corona, I wasn’t too happy with my first attempt. About a month ago I sketched a can rather than the iconic bottle and the measurements were a bit off. The bottle offers more color variation and the translucency of the glass and beer plays interestingly with light. I should note that I rotated the bottle slightly to make sure I got the logo facing me as I painted.

For my palette, I’m using titanium white, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and ivory black. The medium I’m using is Liquin, which I’ve found works best for me so far. It has a strange gel like quality and the more you play with it, the more it flows. I also have containers of Gamsol on hand as solvent/brush cleaner. While they are still flammable and should not be ingested, these chemicals are safer than some of the other medium and solvents used in oil painting. Linseed oil should be used with caution as it can cause rags to spontaneously combust and turpentine is highly toxic.

While I don’t always start out this way, the first thing I did for this sketch was lay in a drawing. Using a mixture of alizarin crimson and ivory black, I start scumbling lines across the canvas. For this sketch, I’m using 9″x12″ linen panel board. I use the sight sizing method and as you may see, my measurements are far from perfect, but I know that I’ll have the opportunity to correct as I lay increasingly opaque layers of paint down.

Next I start blocking in color, keeping the layer thin with the help of Gamsol. At this point I’m mostly trying to identify shapes of color in the subject. In looking at a 3-dimensional form, finding the shadow shapes that define that form is important in making it read properly in 2 dimensions.

Semi-satisfied with the measurements and color placement, I start bringing in more opaque color. Titanium white and yellow ochre are the most opaque colors on my palette so mixing those colors in will bring the color forward. I do want to keep a transparent quality to my shadows so I try to keep some portions of ivory black and ultramarine blue pure to help them recede.

The devil’s in the details. While there is merit in drawing every line accurately and providing an exact replica of the subject, I am limited by time (I want to drink that beer while it’s still cold), canvas size, brush size, and, frankly, my own ability. It is often the artist’s job to be nature’s editor. In this case, I did not want to write out every letter and design on the label and chose to focus on the main logo, giving impressions of the other words and designs. The logo itself isn’t legible and it’s my faith that the viewer has enough knowledge of this subject that they will complete it with these suggestions.

The thing I save for last are the highlights. Pure titanium white applied by palette knife to ensure that the color stays pure and sharp on the canvas.

Well that’s pretty much it for this oil sketch. The great thing about working in this manner is there is an aspect of finality to it. You make choices in shape and color, and learn to live with them. This is especially true for watercolor, which I hope to improve on some day. Thanks for reading and stay safe :).


Happy Earth Day!

It is even more important when you’re staying at home to be thankful for what you have and give back to our planet.

Every little thing helps: recycle your water bottles, conserve electricity, or reuse what you already have.

Fifteen years ago, Bill gave me a worm composter so that we could turn our food scraps into rich soil for our garden. It’s a 3-level simple home for hundreds of red wigglers that munch on potato and carrot peelings, eggshells, and melon rind. We have much less waste and dark, nutrient-rich compost to amend our herbs and fruit trees. It’s a little thing but it feels good to reuse and recycle what we already have.

Happy Earth Day.

Stay safe and happy sketching,

Terri

worm composter