Wednesday, November 23, 2016

USk Chicago at the Garfield Park Conservatory

On November 20th 2016, USk Chicago met at the Garfield Park Conservatory. We had a great turnout of sketchers. I think that we all would agree that this mega greenhouse was the place to be during this cold November day. The "Desert House" seemed to be very popular due to it's warm but dry conditions (also good for drying watercolor paint).
I'm sure we'll be back again. Here are a few photos from the outing.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

USk Chicago Sketches in "The Loop"

By: Andrew Banks

Photo by Andrew Banks
On October 29th 2016, USk Chicago sketched in "The Loop". Blick Art Materials, one of our group's sponsors generously hosted us at their Loop store location, and provided us with space to share our sketches, to enjoy refreshments, and to participate in a gift card raffle. The group gathered inside the store for a brief introduction to the Urban Sketchers group. We were happy to see many new sketchers join us and to be able to introduce them to our group. Sketchers then spread out throughout the Loop and sketched at sights from Millenium Park, to the Riverwalk to all different architectural landmarks on surrounding streets and plazas. We gathered back up at Blick Art to share our work, and were impressed with such a great turnout. Thank-you to all who came out, to Blick Art Materials for hosting us and to Fernanda Vaz for joining us all the way from Brazil for preparations for the 8th annual 2017 International Urban Sketchers Symposium, which comes to Chicago in summer 2017!

See more pictures from the event on our Facebook Page.  Make sure to "like" the page to stay up to date with the group and for announcements regarding the 2017 International Symposium #uskchicago2017.

Photo by Fernanda Vaz

Photo by Fernanda Vaz

Photo by Andrew Banks
Photo by Fernanda Vaz

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Kinda Town, Chicago Is…


Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to be hosting the 2017 Urban Sketchers 8th Annual Symposium. We'll be welcoming over 450 urban sketchers from around the world to meet, sketch, and share our city! As a teaser of all the sights in store for you next year, over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of our sketches (both new and old) of our beautiful, diverse, and exciting Chicago. 


First of all – Congratulations Cubs! 


Chicago is sports. I must add a W flag remarque to this print!

You name it Chicago has it and then some! Sports, music, art, iconic architecture, Lake Michigan, pizza, hot dogs, gourmet food, parades, history and on and on and on!

Chicago is music



Chicago is art and architecture


Chicago is "The Lake"



Most of all for me, Chicago is a great place for Urban Sketchers  to show the world one drawing at a time!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Urban Sketching at "The Bean"

URBAN SKETCHING AT "THE BEAN"
By: Andrew Banks

Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to be hosting the 2017 Urban Sketchers 8th Annual Symposium. We'll be welcoming over 450 urban sketchers from around the world to meet, sketch, and share our city! As a teaser of all the sights in store for you next year, over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of our sketches (both new and old) of our beautiful, diverse, and exciting Chicago.
The Bean.  Fountain pen and Faber Castell PITT pens in a 5.5"x8.5" Stillman and Birn Epsilon soft cover sketchbook. © Andrew Banks
The Bean.  Millienium Park.  Sears Tower....  If you are visiting Chicago these are probably just a few of your must do's and must see's.  If you are a local, however, you've probably been there and done that.  You commute past these architectural landmarks on a daily basis and after a while they may start to blend in with the rest of the buildings and sights in the city.  Not for me...

Even after having lived in Chicago for 6 years now, urban sketching has kept all of the "touristy" places in Chicago intriguing and enjoyable for me to visit.  I've sketched here before, but there is always new inspiration for capturing it differently than before.  I've found that as my skill sets develop, and as I continue to explore different media, there is always some new or improved way of seeing and representing a scene.  These iconic spaces, structures and views aren't recognized around the world for no reason.  If you have even have the smallest interest in design, art, or architecture, it will be hard not to have a great time in Chicago.

This sketch took about 45 minutes, and as I sat on the ground, on a particularly busy day at The Bean, I had the chance to chat with several people who were interested in what I was working on.  I always enjoy sharing my work, and popular public places like this are great for introducing people to your work and to the Urban Sketchers community.
The Bean.  Fountain pen and Faber Castell PITT pens in a 5.5"x8.5" Stillman and Birn Epsilon soft cover sketchbook. © Andrew Banks

See more of my work:

Know It All?

Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to be hosting the 2017 Urban Sketchers 8th Annual Symposium. We'll be welcoming over 450 urban sketchers from around the world to meet, sketch, and share our city! As a teaser of all the sights in store for you next year, over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of our sketches (both new and old) of our beautiful, diverse, and exciting Chicago. 

Morning light in the alley

There's always something new to learn! I spent Saturday in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood at the workshop "FEARLESS Sketching in Pen, Ink and Watercolor with Adriana Gasparich."  What a fun day! The workshop was held in Ingrid Albrecht's studio in Ravenswood.

As an artist, no matter how much experince I have or how much I know (or think I know) there's always more to learn. That certainly was the case last Saturday. Thank you Adriana and Ingrid for an inspiring, friendly and encouraging day!

These sketches were done in a Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook.

Afternoon light 

I'm looking forward to the wealth of knowlege coming our way at the Symposium next summer!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Hancock Tower – 360° and 365 Days – Chicago


Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to be hosting the 2017 Urban Sketchers 8th Annual Symposium. We'll be welcoming over 450 urban sketchers from around the world to meet, sketch, and share our city! As a teaser of all the sights in store for you next year, over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of our sketches (both new and old) of our beautiful, diverse, and exciting Chicago. 


Northwestly view from Olive Park

The Hancock Tower is the fourth tallest building in Chicago and surely one of the city's architectural icons. I don't know if it's one of my favorite building to draw, but from the number of times I've sketched it, it sure calls out to me. Though sometimes it plays hide-and-seek, it's always there for me to draw. 

It's my directional beacon. It's also my neighbor, greeting me when I look out the window.


Looking East


Good morning, Chicago!


It's always there, calling me home.






Thursday, September 29, 2016

Urban Sketching The Art Institute Lions

The Art Institute of Chicago's famous western entrance on Michigan Avenue is guarded by two bronze lion statues created by Edward Kemeys. The lions were unveiled on May 10, 1894, each weighing more than two tons. 

The sculptor gave them unofficial names: the south lion is "stands in an attitude of defiance," and the north lion is "on the prowl." When a Chicago sports team plays in the championships of their respective league (i.e. the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Finals, not the entire playoffs), the lions are frequently dressed in that team's uniform. 

Evergreen wreaths are placed around their necks during the Christmas season.


Funny thing about sketching Chicago architecture: you sketch it once and you feel pretty good about it until months or years later, when there's a voice inside your head that says "Let's try that again." And that is why you see two renditions of the same defiant lion.