Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Tango Event

One of the NYC Urban Sketchers is an avid tango dancer. Often in the summer Shawne does tango dancing in Central Park with a group of people. We were invited to come and sketch at one of their indoor events held at Session 73 at which they were celebrating their founding member's birthday. So Shawne sent out the invite to us...and over 40 sketchers showed up. There were as many sketchers as their were dancers. It was held at a restaurant so we had brunch and drinks and just a fun time...but sketching people dancing the tango is NOT easy! They move and circle around, and depending on the step they are doing, their arm positions change. I did the best I could but I was concentrating too much on the positions and not the heights of the bodies.

 For my first sketch I wanted to capture Lucille (the birthday girl who does have red hair) but partway into the sketch she left and Shawne took her place dancing with Danny. So the woman in the sketch is a combination of two people which often happens when you sketch people who are moving.

This one below was done with my Elegant Writer pen because I knew I would be able to get some shading done with a water brush.

I should have stuck to the Elegant Writer because the watercolor pencils didn't work as well. It didn't help that I was working on sketch paper which didn't really take well to a lot of water.

I could have been happy just sketching some of the ladies shoes.

These dancers were relaxing a bit before they started dancing.

Sometimes I just couldn't get the whole sketch done before the dancers moved away.

These two turned so often I gave up trying to get them in an embrace where they were facing each other.

I think this was my most successful sketch of the afternoon. They danced through several songs so they were in front of me for a while.

At the end of the afternoon we try to gather and share our sketches. Some of the dancers came over to see the sketches and took photos of some of them. One of the men, Danny, spoke about the tango and showed us a bit about it. When we were done he came over and told me he was going to show me how to do a basic hold and step so I could realize why they changed arm and body positions so often.  It was really a fun event to be a part of and it gave me a new appreciation for the tango.


  1. I love the different poses you captured! I'm sure it must have been dizzying to try to keep up with them as they moved around! But what fun, too.

  2. You know no fear do you, Joan, going for the complex stuff like moving figures no less. I applaud you. Some really good work came out of the event.
    Loved the boatyeard paintings WOW!

    1. Julie, thanks so much. Good to see you back and able to comment on blogs again. This was such a fun event.

  3. What a hoot! I imagine it was as frustrating as it was interesting. super work Joan!

    1. Val, it was a bit frustrating, but so much fun!