2016 USk Chicago Sketch Seminar begins!

Opening speech by Alex. #uskchicago2016

Going green!

Dear seminar participants,

In order to reduce paper waste, we decided not to print individual workshop location maps this year. Please save a copy of the workshop map on your mobile device, or print a copy for yourself. If needed, we will have one master copy of the map at the seminar headquarters (i.e., The American Academy of Art).

Thank you for your understanding. See you all tomorrow!


2016 USk Sketch Seminar map


Dressed for Sketch-cess (repost)

Are you ready for the seminar? If you’re still deciding on what to wear and what to bring-Here’s a repost from Wes Douglas that might be of help:

Hopefully you already know what to bring, how to pack and what to wear. Fear not because, thankfully, urban sketching is nothing like going on vacation or climbing Mount Everest. All you really need is something to draw on and something to draw with…a pencil and a sketchbook. Done. Beyond that it is a personal preference for your style of sketching and whatever your workshop instructor has suggested for you bring.

If you scan through the past Tuesday Tips & Tricks, you will see a vast collection of techniques and how-to’s that mention recommended brands of art supplies. And as long as you trust the Chicago Sketch Seminar Sponsors*, you just can’t go wrong. But unless you want to drag a rolling suitcase around with you all day, decide how you plan to sketch that day and simplify your supplies to fit in your shoulder bag or backpack.

So how about that third question: “what to wear?” Perhaps you have heard the phrase “travel light?” This is very good advice when you will be walking the streets of Chicago with a few too many art supplies. And yet with Chicago weather you never really know what to expect so you have to plan for contingencies. Here then is my survivor’s guide to urban sketching in Chicago.

> wear something to protect your head
> wear something to protect your eyes from the sun
> wear something to protect your skin from the sun and possibly insects
> wear something because we are a casual group, just not THAT casual

The diagram below shows the anatomy of the properly outfitted Urban Sketcher:


A collection of Urban Sketchers’ Popular Seats, Stools and Chairs:


Preparing for the Seminar

Only 4 more days until the 2016 USk Chicago sketch seminar! To help you prepare, we’d like to share with you the workshop location map. We hope you’re excited as we are to  sketch around the magnificent Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, and the American Academy of Art.

Don’t forget to meet at the American Academy of Art at 9am on Saturday for the seminar opening.

At this time, the weather is looking great for this sketch seminar weekend. If there’s any chance of rain, we’ll keep you posted of all “rain delay” workshop locations.

See you all soon!


2016 USk Sketch Seminar map

Sponsor Announcement: Dudek Modern Goods

Dudek 6x6The+Daily+Promo

Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to announce Dudek Modern Good’s sponsorship of the Chicago Sketch Seminar!  Dudek Modern Goods is a small business based in Arizona which produces hand crafted pen, pencil, notebook and inkwell holders.  These modern, and unique holders are perfect for keeping your most used urban sketching tools organized and ready to use on a a daily basis.  Visit Dudek Modern Good’s website to see the full line.

Participants at this year’s Seminar will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a chance to win “The Daily“, a pen and notebook holder in one.

Many thanks to Mike at Mike at Dudek Modern Goods for sharing his work with our group and for his support of the arts and small businesses.

Make sure to visit Dudek Modern Goods website, and follow them on social media!

Website: http://www.dudekmoderngoods.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=dudekmodgoods
Instagram: @dudekmoderngoods

Sponsor Announcement: Blick Art Materials, Daler-Rowney, Quarto Publishing Group

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For the second year in a row, Urban Sketchers Chicago is excited to announce Blick Art Materials sponsorship of the Chicago Sketch Seminar and the Chicago urban sketchers community!  This year, Blick Art Materials will be sponsoring the 2016 Sketch Seminar as the sole retail art materials provider.  Blick is generously contributing colored pencils  to participants in Workshop #14 Urban Sketching with Colored Pencils, Pentel Pocket Brush Pens for participants in Workshops #5 Drawing Urban Dwellers and #6 Creating a Rich Drawing Drawing, Pentel Aqua Brushes for Workshop #1 Fearless Sketching with Pen, Ink & Watercolor as well as several goodies that will be found in each participants gift bag and several items available to be won at Sunday afternoon’s raffle!

Visit the following website for an exclusive in store coupon at your local Blick Art location:

In addition to Blick’s generous donations, they were also able to introduce us to two new vendors who will be supporting the Seminar in their own unique capacities:

Daler-Rowney2Daler Rowney.  We were thrilled that Blick could introduce us to Daler-Rowney!  Daler-Rowney will be providing materials for Workshop #4: Flora & Fauna in Situ, including Acrylic Black Ink and brushes to be used by participants in this workshop.  Thank-you for the contributions!  It is a pleasure to have you on board!

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Blick Art was also able to introduce us to Quarto Publishing Group USA.  According to their website, “Quarto Publishing Group USA, formed in 2004, creates and publishes illustrated books in North America and sells co-editions of them internationally.”  One of the books that Quarto has published is the book written by Gabi Campanario, Urban Sketchers’s founder and is called The Art of Urban Sketching.  The Art of Urban Sketching highlights urban sketch artists from around the world, sharing images of their art work, and descriptions of their techniques and areas of expertise.  Quarto Publishing has generously provided numerous copies of the book and they will be available to be won at Sunday’s raffle.  We look forward to sharing these great books with you!  Many thanks to Quarto Publishing Group for this generous, and fitting contribution!

All of our sponsors can be found online and social media:


Website: http://www.daler-rowney.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dalerrowney/?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DalerRowney
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daler_rowney/

Website: http://www.quartoknows.com/division/Quarto-Publishing-Group-USA/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuartoPublishingUSA/?fref=ts

See the full list of 2016 Sketch Seminar sponsors here.



Our Sketch Seminar Crew

We thought that you may want to know who are the elves toiling in the background to bring you USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2016. Here is our Sketch Seminar Planning team – everybody:

Adriana Gasparish – workshop instructor

Alex Zonis – planning coordinator, USk Global liason, Workshops team

Andrew Banks – workshop instructor, Sponsorship lead, Seminar Correspondent

Barbara Weeks – workshop instructor, Workshops team

Deirdre Fox – workshop instructor

Don Yang – workshop instructor, American Academy of Art representative

Donald Colley – workshop instructor

Ed Brickler – workshop instructor

Joan Stachnik – Registration team

Joann Sondy – workshop instructor

Jodie McGovern – workshop instructor

Joel Berman – workshop instructor, Hospitality team

Keelan Kaiser – workshop instructor

Kordt Larsen – Seminar Correspondent and videographer

Lisa Flahive – workshop instructor

Mark Jones – workshop instructor

Mary Russo – Registration lead, Communications team

Mary Longe – PR team, Hospitality team

Paul Ingold – Communications team, Seminar Correspondent

Peggy Condon – Registration team, Hospitality team

Rick Russo – Rick is Mary’s husband, he just helps with everything. Amazing!

Ted Gordon – workshop instructor

Wes Douglas – workshop instructor, PR lead, Seminar Correspondent

This all looks well organized and we try. In reality we juggle numerous jobs that sometimes can be categorized only as “something that needs to get done right now” and does not fit into any other defined category. Our Registrar Mary worked as our Editor-in-Chief and blogger! Our PR lead Wes produces the Seminar map. Several crew members from various areas  will be making gift bags for our participants.

We are looking forward to welcoming you on July 9 for two days of sketching, learning and fun!

Meet Our Instructors: Wes Douglas

wes-introWes has been the artist in residence for brainstorming sessions, business meetings, and TEDx conferences for the last eight years.  He also develops concept sketches for consumer testing and client presentations for the last 30 years.  He is co-founder and innovation director at the innovation consultancy, Maddock Douglas Inc., located in Elmhurst.

Wes became an Urban Sketcher in January 2013, but has been a sketcher his entire life.  He has sketched and created art in many types of media, and his favorite has always been markers and pen & ink.

According to Wes, sketching with markers is a passion of his, and he is continually amazed at the different effects that can be achieved with them.  In addition, marker clean up is as easy as clicking the caps back on.  He is excited to share all that he has learned, and is our instructor for the upcoming seminar workshop, Sketching With Markers for Beginners.

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Meet Our Instructors: Barbara Weeks

barbara-introBarbara received a BFA from St. John’s University, New York, and is happy to have worked in the field of art in many capacities ever since.  For two decades, she worked as art director and production manager in the magazine publishing industry.  In 2005, Barbara took that experience and founded Remarque Design, LLC, a company dedicated to personal and corporate design services, including illustration.

Barbara has been a member of Urban Sketchers Chicago since its inception.  She is a member of the Illinois Watercolor Society, as well as Urban Sketchers, is a correspondent to the USk Chicago blog, and a contributor to Tuesday Tips and Tricks.  She has been a guest blogger for GoodFoodFestivals.com as “Urban Sketcher Meets Urban Farmer.”

Barbara teaches private sketching and journaling classes that use watercolor and sketching to record everyday life.  During the summer seminar this year, Barbara will be teaching the workshop, The Poetry of Speed Sketching.


To see more of Barbara’s work, please visit barbaraweeks.blogspot.com.

Meet Our Instructors: Mark Jones

mark-headshotMark is a licensed architect in Chicago, working with the firm of Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED).  He has over 26 years of experience in various project types, primarily focusing on affordable senior housing.  Mark graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and learned his drawing and sketching skills through those architecture classes.  The instructors emphasized the importance of documenting the environment by requiring students to maintain an active sketchbook.  He filled it with ideas, inspirational quotes and designs, in addition to using it as a journal.

While in school, Mark participated in a nine-month, study abroad program based in Versailles, France, documenting his travels through Europe in pencil sketches and watercolors.  He was drawn to the medium of colored pencils while working on his thesis project, and has used it predominantly since that time.  Mark continues to keep active sketchbooks filled with conceptual drawings, urban sketches, journaling, and anything else that inspires him.  He routinely utilizes freehand drawing to develop project designs and details in his work, and always encourages younger architectural staff to draw by hand.

Mark is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Construction Specification Institute, and he resides on the northwest side of Chicago.  He will be utilizing his extensive experience to teach the workshop, Urban Sketching with Colored Pencils.

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To see more of Mark’s work, follow him on Instagram, @markjones4125.