Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Article on Urban Sketching

The new issue of International Artist has an article I wrote about painting in urban areas.

The article includes the paintings that my friend Garin Baker, my wife Jeanette, and I did last March in Newburgh, New York. 

(Above: Plein air watercolor painting laid over photo after the fact.)

I also list my "10 Tips for Sketching in Rough Neighborhoods." The first five tips are sensible precautions, but the second five are a little more unexpected: 

6. I travel with traffic cones on which I’ve stenciled “DEPT. OF ART” and I often wear a garbage collector or gas station uniform shirt when I’m painting, so I look like I’m doing something official.
7. Street sketching is a great opportunity for impromptu portraits. In my experience, guys with tattoos and elaborate outfits love to pose and be noticed by artists.
8. Bring a pad of paper and pencils for the kids to let them draw.
9. It’s good to paint near a fast food place, because there’s always a bathroom handy.
10. Check out the website Urban Sketchers, which has members all around the globe.

Garin Baker is currently teaching a workshop called: New York At Night—Plein Air on Location in NYC
Previously on the blog: 


Unknown said...

I like item 8. :)

Meera Rao said...

Love #6 and 8 :) and the 9th is real sensible ;) Super neat how your painting laid over photo blends in!

Leif said...

The traffic cones and uniform are brilliant. Rather than trying to act casual, you take the bull by the horns and give yourself authority.

When I sketch at the zoo, I often get people thinking I'm an employee because I'm carrying a clipboard and spending too long at each cage. And regardless, it's a pain when they start the chit-chat. Maybe I should make a name badge with something like "Quiet please, I'm recording the animals. -Art Dept."