Archives for the month of: March, 2016

Chapter 4: In Which I Find Myself In A List

Off to Grand Central Station we all happily traipse. Quite a few long crosstown blocks and quite a few uptown blocks but no one was lost because, after all, who are we? NYC Urban Sketchers. We met up by the stairs leading to the Apple store (uh oh temptations) and disbursed to start putting our newfound knowledge/skills to use. I took out my stool, settled near a wall and began. Sheesh. No one stood still for longer than 5 seconds. It was at this point that I was approached by a group of 3 or 4 young people, from Philadelphia, with a scavenger hunt list in their hands. Seems I was on the list – red coat. Benedicte passed by to tell me where everyone else was and the plans for later. She also satisfied one of the items on the scavenge hunt list. The scavenger spokesperson offered me a candy filled Easter egg from an Easter basket, but I told her as a New Yorker I couldn’t accept candy from a stranger. Thank goodness it wasn’t ice cream.

I don’t know whether it was a good or bad thing that, on a Saturday, the hectic workday commuters were absent, leaving all the tourists and suburbanites, who, while not hectic, refused to stand still.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only) Sketched from direct observation. Color added later at home.

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Chapter 3: Where The Sketchers Take It Easy

At noon the formal teaching element was complete. The plan was to have lunch until 1:00 at which time we had to vacate the premises. I, as per usual, ate a healthy and hearty breakfast while in Penn Station so was not hungry. Instead I drew the ever-changing circle of sketchers surrounding Tom as he answered questions and they examined his glorious sketchbooks.

At 1:00 sharp all of us….well, stay tuned. Tomorrow.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only) Sketched from direct observation. Color added later at home.

Chapter 2: We Have To Work Now

Our more sedate leader, Mark, volunteered to model for us while Tom explained his ideas and techniques for placing figures while sketching on site. He, using a Wacom tablet hooked up to a monitor, sketched as he explained how to handle constantly moving people in a crowd.

Obviously, Mark was not moving, but we were learning how to sketch big figures in the foreground, tiny ones in the distance and intermediate sizes in the middle ground.

He demonstrated how to make a one-point perspective grid and how to place the figures in that grid in relation to a horizontal line. Mark took advantage at this point to play with his phone.

Because this workshop was being held in a studio space utilized by performers there was one wall completely covered in a mirror. He explained how to utilize the images in the mirror to sketch figures not readily seen directly.

Tom, all the adventure drained out of him, posed as we sketched large Tom, tiny and medium sketchers on a grid we drew out. I actually intended to use paper and pencil and drew the grid but quickly realized today’s mojo was iPat, Procreate and me. I also faked the grid. Full disclosure.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only) Sketched from direct observation. Color added later at home.

(Yes. This is going to be a multi-part/day blog post but you all are used to this by now.)

Chapter 1: Intro and a few Death-Defying Demos

On Saturday NYC Urban Sketchers hosted a workshop taught by Tom Thorspecken at Pearl Studios (519 Eighth Avenue) to which approximately a zillion sketchers attended. What a wonderful turnout. I was surprised to see Benedicte and she was astounded to see me. It was a regularly scheduled workday for me but I exchanged it for another day. First Tom spoke for awhile explaining about his methods and showing us sketches and diagrams on a video screen. That’s Mark listening raptly. He comes in handy during Chapter 2 tomorrow.

Benedicte is in front taking copious notes. She also managed to sneak into a sketch by Jeff who earlier saved me from getting knocked down by a bicyclist on Eighth Avenue. Close call.

Now comes the death-defying demos.
Tom actively demonstrated his ideas about how to quickly place constantly moving figures properly.

This particular pose elicited a number of gasps and “be careful!’s.
He stressed the importance of quickly putting down the placement of feet. Sigh. We all have noticed how I try to ignore feet.

He’s a quiet person. Who knew how adventurous he would be.
Also. Noting the horizon line and where the butt is in relation to it.

Stay tuned.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and (for 1&2) Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

After Degas at MOMA we went over to 57th Street and ate lunch in the Great American Health Bar. Next stop was DAG Modern, a large gallery showing contemporary South Asian (Indian) paintings and sculpture, located a couple of blocks eastward. Independently, and without consultation, the three of us stood before this painting and sketched. I was the only fool copying the whole thing. (Full disclosure: I finished the sketch, took some color notes, photographed the painting and finished the color at home.) Phew! Wore me out drawing this holding iPat (heavy after lunch) standing on my tired dogs.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

On Thursday my friends and I went to MOMA for the members preview of the wonderful magical marvelous Degas exhibition. Check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/arts/design/the-moderndegas-you-havent-seen.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

There were many things begging to be copied and I chose this one that took me a long time – longer than I thought it would. Shirley and Benedicte were elsewhere in the galleries doing their own sketches and, when I was not quite finished, I heard “we’ll be sitting outside the entrance”. Meanwhile, instead of looking at the incomparable Degas pastel painting, passersby were ogling iPat and declaring me a genius and even, “can I take a picture of you drawing that?” I finally finished but decided to eliminate the ground – couldn’t quite get it anywhere near correct. Looked awful.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: ArtRage

That’s what he was doing.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Art Set Pro, Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

I forgot to draw the BIG bag of chips and Large bottle of coke she pulled out of her bag. I noticed them when she put them out on the table because that’s a library no-no but I totally forgot about them when I started drawing.

I didn’t forget her bag – just couldn’t see it from where I was sitting.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

It was nice of them to arrange themselves and not to all wear black.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Procreate and Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)