Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016

Sketch Club is Going Virtual for August 20, 2016

Tomorrow is the Air & Water Show, which will mean noise, crowds, parking problems and closure of the Lily Pond. Also, it looks like we may be rained out. Too many issues!

So...instead of meeting physically on August 20, we have pledged to draw at home (or somewhere) and then take photos and share. See you there.... virtually!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 6, 2016

We had a wonderful time sketching Steve's magnificent garden.

We'll be skipping this weekend (August 13), but will meet again on August 20 at North Pond. North Pond is north of Fullerton, between Cannon and Stockton,  west of  (behind) the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

All are invited! And feel free to comment if you'd like to specify a particular spot you're interested in.

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 30, 2016

It's our last day of class before summer break and we all painted magnificently—as if we were actually being graded or something! Settle back with a nice cold drink and see if you don't agree. And if you stick with us, you'll be rewarded with an invitation to join us for Sketch Club. But first, we compare and contrast Alan's two versions of a rusted antique car. One is painted on Yupo; the other on traditional watercolor paper. We can't decide which we like best. The Yupo is perfect for capturing the textures of rust and old paint...

... while the traditional paper allows for a sense of space in the grass and background foliage. Alan says the Yupo was more fun to paint but we still can't choose a favorite. We like them both!

Greeta's quick study evokes the same sense of rustic Americana... probably because she's chosen to picture a girl with her pet goat. Greeta's intent is to paint people as easily as she paints fruit; after all, she has no "fear of fruit." We think she's on her way to succeeding admirably.

You can't tell from the online sizing, but Greeta's painting of five boys in a boat is much larger than her small sketch above. This has the same idyllic feel of a lazy summer day; we can even feel the gentle movement of the water and the boat.

Ken's painting is also large and it's also the essence of summer. This corn painting emphasizes the quartile divisions even more than previous versions. This one seems almost musical as it moves rhythmically from fluid to staccato.

Susan also paints summer flora. This is a flower garden in a Chicago senior center. We love the curving paths and the explosion of flowers, beautifully painted en masse. 

 Rosemary is also inspired to paint summer's flora and fauna. Her stylized bird and flower actually feel like embroidery. Simple, sunny and very classic. She's also experimenting with masking fluid, as you can see.

Another bird, but much more intricately handled. Madeleine's added a warm grey concrete street and patio and, in the process, taken this painting to new heights. Notice how that one touch united all the elements.

Madeleine's back from an Irish vacation and bravely tackled this painting of Irish rooftops. We admire her skill in perspective drawing and are already loving the shadows as she adds color. We can see what drew her to this scene.

Bill, too, is inspired by Irish cityscapes. Here he paints the distinctive rooflines and chimneys as seen from the Guinness Brewery rooftop... how quintessentially Irish!

The only thing green in this Dublin cityscape is the lamp post. Bill eschews the typical Irish landscape for this rugged city view of rowhouses, graffiti and a single man.

In the same vein, we invite you to look closely at the next three paintings. All three seem quiet, subtle and minimal in their use of color—but look closely! You'll see much more color than you'd expect and you'll see how limited color palettes bring out the best in some of us. Elaine, for instance, is using only two colors for everything from warm brick to cool glass and stone.

Sara is also using soft colors for her self-portrait below. Unlike Elaine, she keeps her values close, and yet she's achieved a deep, rich painting.

Remember Steve's vibrant, tropical merman from last week? He's gone to the other extreme here... painting a winter scene. In what is basically a white painting (snow-covered trees against a cool winter sky at the end of a snowy path), look at all the soft subtle color he begins with. There's yellow and pink in the sunset and blue and violet shadows defining the foreground. This is going to be beautiful.

Upcoming events and important announcements:

Sketch Club. Our informal sketch club is back—and you are invited to join us! Here's how it works: Beginning August 6 and continuing until our break ends in September, we'll meet on Saturday mornings. We'll meet at 10 am and sketch for the next two hours or so. Here are the details:
  • Who: You! This casual meetup is open to anyone with a pencil and paper and an urge to sketch
  • When: Saturday mornings, 10:00am
  • Where: Different places every week. We'll post a list of sites here. Feel free to join us when and if you can.
    On August 6, we'll sketch Steve's gorgeous back yard.
    Address: 5622 North Kenton, Chicago
It's fun, relaxing and very casual—join us if you can.

Save the date! We know it's early, but we also know how quickly your calendar fills up. In September, our own Bill and Madeleine will be showing at Ten Cat Tavern. There will be an opening reception  and you'll all be invited.Watch this space for details!

 And with that, we say goodbye until our next class begins on September 10. See you!