Monday, December 23, 2013

Saturday Sketching in NYC

Even though I didn't get home until after 9 on Friday night and was exhausted, I wanted to go into the city and sketch with the NYC Urban Sketchers on Saturday. Because it gets so crazy in the city at this time of year, my friend and I decided to go by subway instead of the LIRR or by move. That gave us the opportunity to sketch on the subway.

We met the other sketchers at Columbus Circle. I think there were about 12 of us who showed up at various times during the day, which was surprising since it was the last Saturday before Christmas. Who knew so many people had time to come in and sketch? We even had someone from Melbourne, Australia join us for a while.
Here is my sketch of Columbus Circle which is on 59th Street.

We moved on to the Hurst Building on 56th Street.

Next we moved over by the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle.
We had lunch and continued sketching. Here are a few members of the group in action.

I sketched one of the booths before a few of us broke away and shopped a bit.
Who could resist shopping? But it was a madhouse especially in the aisles between the booths!!!

Later we ended up indoors at Whole Foods to get warm and continued sketching.
Mark and Svetlana were busy sketching people.

I sketched some people too.

At about 4 o'clock people started leaving. Susan and I decided that before we went home we wanted to go over near Radio City and sketch. For anyone who hasn't been to NYC at Christmas time, this area of the city is nearly wall to wall people, often pushing and shoving as they try to get where they are going or trying to line up a good shot of their family or friends with the colors behind them. Radio City was in front of us, and a colorful lit Christmas train (with a tooting horn) was behind us in the middle of a pool that is normally a fountain. People were coming over to take photos there too...right next to us on the wall. We were probably in half of the photos. lol Susan and I ignored everyone and set up our painting chairs across the street from Radio City Music Hall. Of course people were constantly blocking our view and the sun had gone down and it was getting dark. But we rose to the challenge and sketched anyway! I think this was the most crowded location I have ever sketched in. lol
This was the view we had.

I was able to get most of the view sketched on location and had started painting when I decided it was  getting too dark for me to see what I was doing. So I packed it in and finished painting this at home. In addition to watercolors and regular ink, I used some metallic gel pens to give it a shine.

We didn't sketch on the return trip on the subway since we weren't able to get seats and it was so crowded. I hope this view of Radio City brings you a little holiday cheer!
(I hope you saw my city sketches posted yesterday.)


  1. Oh, THIS is the place you said was the most crowded place to be on the last Saturday before Christmas! Brave ladies! And it was worth it -- terrific sketches!

  2. Fabulous sketches Joan, I love the way you have conveyed the size and height of the buildings. Merry Christmas!!

  3. Oh how stunning is that Radio City sketch especially! I love how you did the tree and added the gold to the wreaths. All of the sketches are wonderful. I am so not a plein aire person. I couldn't take any temp extremes or bugs. Glad so many do as they offer such delicious treats as you do, Joan. Merry Christmas!

  4. Tina - Thank you. LOL A woman stood right in front of us to take pictures blocking our view and said "Get over it! It's Christmas in NY!"

    Kevin - Thanks so much!

    Sherry - Thanks. There weren't any bugs and it was fairly warm for this time of year, so it was a good day to be sketching there.

  5. Dear Joan - this was absolutely fabulous. I especially loved your sketch of Radio City. I can only imagine what NYC is like at Christmas time...lights, crowds and great places to eat and shop. So glad you took me along to this beautiful city. May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas - God Bless!

  6. Thank you so much, Debbie!!! Merry Christmas!

  7. Looks like an awesome sketching trip! I love your sketch of Radio City!