Sunday, January 31, 2021

Lebanon Sketch 1

 Yesterday the NYC Urban Sketchers joined USk Lebanon for a joint virtual sketching event in Lebanon. One of our members is/was an economist who worked quite a bit in Lebanon and has often sketched there with their Urban Sketchers group. Joy spoke to Judy Abi Roustom from the Lebanon group and a plan for sketching together was put into action. We all met on Zoom in the big group to start and Judy told us a little about Lebanon and her favorite areas. She had provided a number of links to photos and references for us to use. After the introduction we split up into "breakout rooms" of anywhere from 5-6 people. Each group had a member of USk Lebanon to provide additional ideas and information. Arin was in my group and spoke about the areas that were damaged from the recent explosions and some of the other areas in Lebanon that she would recommend.

I usually try to get a head start on the reference otherwise I would spend the morning just trying to decide where and what to sketch. On Friday I downloaded about a dozen references that were possibilities. I have to say that I knew nothing about Lebanon except what I've seen in news reports, and those usually focus on damage or problems. Lebanon is a beautiful country and I focused on some of the lovely references I found of Beirut. I also found out that right outside of Beirut there is an area that has an incredible amount of ancient Roman ruins and the oldest continually inhabited city. It was quite impressive.

Here is the first sketch that I did of Gemmayze in Beirut. This area had some damage from the last explosion, but not as much as the center of Beirut. There are a lot of areas with big, steep staircases and wonderful textured buildings.

One of the nice things about zooming is meeting people from all over the world. You can join in from anywhere as long as the time difference works for you. This was my breakout group in the morning.

We had (left to right in the top row) Terri (NY), me, Nimal (NY), 

(second row) Ingrid (Germany), Marta (Spain), Arin (Lebanon)

(bottom row) Patricia (CA), and Karen (NY). 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

View Toward the Bay

I recently did this sketch in Sayville while parked on River Road, where the ferry terminals and parking areas are located. There is usually a nice view of the boats but you can only park on the street during off season. Right now a lot of the boats are shrinkwrapped for the winter and the views aren't so great. I sketched this with one of the pens in my pen case assuming that the ink was waterproof, but when I added watercolor there was some bleeding. I decided to go with the flow anyway. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Lefty Lucy & Zoom Sketches

 Tuesday night Lefty Lucy posed for us. I liked her outfit which seemed to have designs of big cats on it. So how to do such a pattern??? Simplify! I couldn't tell what she was wearing on her head until the last sketch. It was some sort of bandana.

These are 10 minute sketches.

This is her final pose which lasts 20 minutes.

Wednesday night the South Bay Art Association had their monthly general meeting on Zoom. That is also the night that the Patchogue Sketch Club meets and they usually join together since some people are members of both groups. During the meeting everyone got to talk about what they have been doing lately with their art and some of the attendees were working on art while listening. That's what I did, but I was busy sketching the participants. Things were going fine until there was some screen sharing and I couldn't focus on a close view of the people. Then my Zoom audio started crackling so I switched from my laptop to my iPad. That gave me really small images to work from, but I kept going. Here is what I was able to sketch.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Roadside America - Twistee Treat

 I like the idea of sketching roadside America. I only wish it didn't have to be done virtually. My next stop was this fun Twistee Treat stand in Hudson, Florida. Apparently there are quite a few around the country. I definitely plan on seeking out a few more interesting roadside locations.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sky Views

It seems like I've been doing a few small sky paintings lately. I love looking at the patterns of the clouds over the beach grasses here. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Roadside America - Coney Island Hotdog

 For the NYC Urban Sketchers theme on Saturday I continued sketching with this cute eatery in Bailey, Colorado. Being from NY when I think of Coney Island I expect Brooklyn, not Colorado. Apparently this stand has been in business quite a while since I've seen updated photos of it. I did a bit of a combination of several reference photos.  This was done in watercolors and ink.

Since I was enjoying this so much I continued with another roadside attraction that I will post soon.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Roadside America - Lucy the Elephant

The NYC Urban Sketchers theme on Saturday was Roadside America. Links were given to many places where we could find information and references, or you were free to use any references you had or found. For my first sketch I picked Lucy the Elephant, a national landmark in Margate City, NJ near Atlantic City. Lucy, who is 65 feet tall, was built by a real estate developer in 1881 to attract potential buyers to his properties. Lucy has survived hurricanes, mild rot and brushes with fame while standing in this location. Recently she was listed on AirB&B, so technically you could stay there and say you slept in an elephant. lol Apparently tours are given on most weekends. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Lucy in person, but maybe that will happen some day.

Most of this was done in a grey toned Strathmore sketchbook with watercolors and ink and some white gouache for her tusks and the clouds. Of course this is not an urban sketch since it was not done on location.


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Boats on the Canal

 I found a place to pull in across the canal from Weeks Boat Yard.  Over on their side there were so many boats in drydock that it was too crowded. This side was better. I was surprised that there were still so many boats in the water at this time of year. Usually almost everything is out by now.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Sunken Meadow View

I seem to be a bit behind posting some of these sketches. I took a trip to Sunken Meadow State Park on Sunday. It is on Long Island Sound and across the way is Connecticut. I was planning on sketching this view with the path when these two people decided to step into the scene, so I included them too. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lefty Lucy in Blue

After Lefty Lucy didn't have a session last week, it was fun to be sketching her on Tuesday night when Let's Art with Lefty Lucy returned. Her blue gown was very stylish!

A few 5 minute poses.

10 minute poses.

Her final pose of 20 minutes.

Just in case you are interested here are the 1 and 2 minute sketches.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inauguration Day

I started sketching this morning around 10:00 and finished this around 3:00. Most of this was sketched live from the TV broadcasts.  When the inauguration itself was over I used some internet references to refine the sketches and add color. I couldn't find a member of the Marine Band with a red cap, but I specifically wrote that in my sketchbook so I wouldn't forget.

My congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Over the Grasses


Around Long Island, especially near the water we have a lot of phragmites growing by the marshes and he fields. I always like seeing these reed grasses.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Ian Fennelly Workshop

When I attended the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Porto, Portugal I attended a demo by Ian Fennelly from the UK. I really like his style of sketching and I like him as a person. Since Porto I've been wanting to take a workshop with him. Recently Etchr Studio promoted a mini-workshop with Ian that was 2 hours long and was taking place on Saturday at noon. 

In addition to a live demo and the ability to interact with Ian the participants also get to download the video of the actual workshop to keep. All of this is for the bargain price of $5. Ian was so good and would demo a section of his painting and allow us time to do the same. He worked with a limited palette of 4 colors, some grey brush pens and assorted fine-line markers. When he did the demo in Porto he was sketching a street scene, so I know his method can be adapted to other subjects besides boats. I really enjoyed this!

I will be watching for other workshops being offered by Etchr Studios. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

San Miguel de Allende

 On Saturday the NYC  Urban Sketchers took a virtual trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It is a location that I have never visited but I have a connection to it. 

 Many, many years ago my sister, Fran went to San Miguel de Allende for the summer to take art classes. I'm not sure what year she went, but I think it was after she and I toured Europe together two summers in a row. I know I was jealous that she was going, but I think I must have been taking classes over the summer at Queens College to complete my degree. She did bring back an onyx candleholder for me which I still have some 45+ years later.

Our guide on Saturday provided a lot of links to walking tours and photographs of the city. I could happily sketch there in real life. I started with a sketch of this balloon vendor in the park. It was a scene I had to sketch.

Then I focused on La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, a beautiful neo-Gothic 17th century church.

It wasn't quite the same as being there in person, but I had fun anyway.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Assorted Sketches

I take part in the Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunts and do some small sketches or assorted still life sketches that I save like these.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Figure Drawing

 There was no figure sketching with Lefty Lucy on Tuesday, but on Wednesday the Patchogue Sketch Club met on Zoom to do figure drawing. We didn't have a model. Instead Mark shared several photos he had found of models posing online. Everyone really seemed to get into it and enjoy it. The first photo was probably the hardest because of all the shadows. I worked in pencil for the first two and then water-soluble ink for the third one.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Bayport Water View

 There is a nice small dock with parking on the Great South Bay in Blue Point. It has a nice gazebo too, but right now it is behind fencing while they are doing renovations to it. Facing out there are water views in both directions.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Boarded Up

 I took a ride the other day down to East Moriches which is about a half hour away. That's where the Silly Lily Marina is located. It is a fun place to sketch because it is so colorful and there are lots of boats around. This time almost all the boats were in drydock for the winter and the building itself was closed for the season and boarded up. It still had some charm so I sat and sketched the building. When I first started sketching over there the buildings were a little derelict. Then Hurricane Sandy came through and they rebuilt a lot of it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sayville Dock

Along the Sayville Dock there are always some interesting boats and buildings. It is a fun area to sketch and I return there a lot.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Ranger's Station

 When you go to Smith Point State Park you are at the eastern end of Fire Island. There is a ranger's station as you cross the bridge to the barrier island. You can get informations about Fire Island there, and they often give classes to the public. I love going up to their top level where you can see a bird's eye view over the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Great South Bay on the other side.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Marsh View

 Here on Long Island there are so many marsh views to sketch. I never get tired of sketching them. This one was down Beaver Dam Road in Brookhaven.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Small Things Still Life

 On Wednesday the Patchogue Sketch Club had small things to sketch during our Zoom meeting. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Lefty Lucy Dinosaur

 As I've said before when Lefty Lucy models there's no telling what she will be wearing. This week she was dressed in a dinosaur onzie.  She said it is one of her favorite things to wear when she wants to just go down to the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans. It is comfortable, somewhat warm and has pockets. lol

A few 5 and 10 minute poses.

One ten and one twenty minute pose.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Boats in Drydock

There is always something different to see down by the water here. This is a view along one of the canals in Sayville. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Pride & Prejudice Model

 On Sunday afternoon, Drawing America hosted a "Pride & Prejudice" sketching event. While the novel was being read to us on Zoom, the model, Abigail Lashbrook (@abigail_artmodel) posed in a costume similar to what would have been worn at the time. She did some short poses as well as a two of the same pose that lasted 20 minutes each. I have a problem with the audio on Zoom. After a while it comes in and out and gets distorted so I didn't get to enjoy the reading of the story, but the sketching was great! I believe they will continue the reading with another model next Sunday.

Here are some of the shorter poses.

This was the first 20 minute pose which I did in watercolors and ink.

Since I had finished the above pose, I did a second one when she resumed the pose. This one was also done in watercolors and ink, but without a pencil sketch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021


 On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers had "gangsters" as our theme. We had links to lots of photos and mug shots. I thought about doing one of the famous gangsters but I figure they've had enough infamy from breaking the law already and some of their lives have been made into movies. So I found something that had a little more story to it. I have no idea who this is but considering he's outside the bank holding two machine guns, I think he must have meant trouble. One gun isn't enough??? I also liked that the old-time car was included (or part of it) in the photo.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Swan Preserve

 I haven't been over to the Swan Preserve in Patchogue for a while. When I pulled in there was a car with this boat on top and the driver was sitting at the picnic table having lunch. I started with the car and boat just in case he left. When I saw him get up from the table I was a little worried but he went off for a walk. I was able to finish most of the sketch before he came back and drove away...just in case I had a photo of it on my phone.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Still Life with Deer Head

On Wednesday the Patchogue Sketch Club members were treated to another still life display set up by Mark. He usually has an unusual item in the setup and this time it was a deer head. Its not something I would normally sketch but I'm game for anything.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

By the Water

 You know I get down by the water as often as I can. Today I went to Hecksher State Park. The clouds above the beach grasses and the trees were so interesting.

The other day I was down by the bay in Sayville. The parking lot had a lot of cars and gulls. They are always fun to sketch.

Sometimes the gulls even stay still for a little while...but don't count on it. lol

Friday, January 1, 2021

Out With the Old - In With the New

 Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a joyful, healthy, safe, and loving 2021!

Even if we haven't had the greatest year, I think most of us have learned to be more appreciative of what we have and not take our loved ones for granted. Celebrate what you can and when you can.

Here is my last sketch of 2020 done at Lake Ronkonkoma of the view across the lake.

Here is my first sketch of 2021. If I am not visiting family or friends somewhere for the holiday I try to get down to the ocean on New Year's Day. I went to Robert Moses State Park where the Fire Island Lighthouse stands. There are always so many people who have the same idea as me. I enjoy seeing so many families out enjoying the day together. 
There are also always people who come down to the beach and celebrate the new year with food and drinks, often tailgating from their cars. This group looked like they were enjoying each other's company. They visited for quite a while (of course not quite long enough for me to finish the entire sketch, but luckily I took a photo just in case). I hope they were safe being with each other. Although they were outdoors and probably far enough apart, they weren't wearing face coverings. Of course I was safe in my "mobile studio" away from them.