Sketching in Chicago

Artists-bloggers have been extremely kind to me. It deserves a separate post to express my gratitude. Pete Scully sent me a very useful tutorial and a title of a book that talks about sketching techniques. Christy DeKoning stopped by my blog and offered me useful advice and suggestions out of the kindness of her heart. Roz Stendahl answered my newbie questions. And finally Barbara Weeks of Drawing Breath, a fellow Chicagoan, a sketcher and a blogger, invited me to her sketch group. Thank you all!

On Monday I went to sketch with a new group. Chicago weather did not cooperate. It was blistering cold and windy, probably 20 degrees lower than it should have been this time of the year. But a group of women gathered to sketch in Mariano Park was undeterred. All 39-years-old and not a day more, we were sitting there – our noses red, pencils firmly clutched in our blue fingers – sketching, laughing and chatting. Barbara, it was a blast, even if it took several hours to regain my normal body temperature, – thank you so much!

This is what I produced on location.

Mariano Park 1

Mariano Park 1

Well… When I showed it to my husband he asked which Chinese restaurant is this. I knew at that moment that I have to do the sketch again. The little building in my sketch is a coffee stand that was designed and built by Birch Burdette Long, a Frank Lloyd Wright student. I was blissfully ignorant of this fact until yesterday, when my fellow sketchers told me. Here’s my second attempt. I think this time it looks more Prairie School and less like a pagoda.

Mariano Park 2

Mariano Park 2

Reading on it later I learned that Birch Long was the architect who brought Asian influences into Prairie style architecture, so my husband wasn’t that off the mark.


9 thoughts on “Sketching in Chicago

  1. You’ve done a wonderful, wonderful job here! I cannot believe you are a beginner. I would at least say intermediate! I, too, find art bloggers to be the most generous group, offering support in so many ways. Great job on that fountain…most beginners would have butchered the ovals. I am so glad that you were able to attend that…I think I learn the most from outdoor sketching. Welcome to art blogland!

  2. LOL! louis thought it was a Chinese restaurant? thats hilarious. i really like the 2nd attempt. i only wish i knew where this was so i could know if you captured the likeness. you’re doing a great job mama!

    love you!

  3. i recognized it by the drawing! i used to walk that way from downtown to my parents house and i always passed that little cafe type thing, i never paid it any mind till u drew it. i like it a lot, very cute drawing!

    • Tom… you cannot believe how pleased I am that you recognized the little building! It just made my day. Thank you for telling me.

      Shelly… yea, it was pretty funny when L. said that. Yet, this first sketch is really lame, so a person would struggle what to say. Now, Tom knows where it is – it’s where Rush and State and Cedar streets cross, a walking distance from your place. They call it “Viagra Triangle”, I don’t know why.

    • Thanks, Christy! Being new to blogging I am trying to get a sense what works and what doesn’t, feeling my way around so-to-speak. Your blog is very cool, I am learning from it as well.

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