Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sketch Class Sat 05-26-12 Cancelled

To students in the Chicago area:

Unfortunately due to illness, I am going to have to cancel tomorrow’s (05-26-12) sketch class. I don’t have a horrible illness, just sore throat, chills, fatigue…I’m sure a few days of rest will be what I need.
Bummer…a holiday weekend too.

I plan to resume class on Saturday, June 30th at the Little Red Schoolhouse.

Until then, keep on practicing your sketches!


Kennedy Park Field House watercolor sketch


Last Saturday I had the chance to visit my old stomping grounds and have a picnic with a friend at Kennedy Park in Chicago. I always had admired this field house. It is all stone and quality built. They don’t make them like this anymore. Now it is all about cheap materials, cheap labor, and more profit.


With a large blanket and our shoes kicked off, we enjoyed chicken salad sandwich, grapes, sun chips, an oatmeal cookie, and a juice box. Ahhh… we felt like kids again. Was it sucking apple juice from a mini box? Was it laying on the ground? Was it something in the summer-like air? Maybe it was a little of each, but we definitely felt like kids…and it felt so good!

This struck up a very interesting conversation. When did becoming an adult get to be so boring? Too much responsibility and not enough play? Work, work, work, bills, bills, bills. O, yay, you’re an adult now.
Talking at great lengths about the feelings of freedom and not having a care in the world led us to the conclusion to schedule in fun, a mandatory event.

Go (with a big grin on your face) run barefoot. Jump up and down for no reason while flailing your arms. Have a picnic. Lay on the ground. When was the last time you did that? It feels good. And make sure to schedule it in…or dullness will get the best of you.  Oh yes, and don’t forget to paint!

Sketch Class Results April 2012


Last Saturday a group of us met for another Little Red Schoolhouse Sketch Class. Because of the recent rains, we knew that if we painted outside our watercolors would take forever to dry, so we decided to start with an indoor sketch of the fox family display.


We went slow…step by step…and boy did they turn out great! Did I ever tell you how difficult still life could be compared to landscape? Yes sir…but the artwork is fantastic.

The end result is not the goal. It’s all about the process! We are documenting our view and our feeling when we experience nature. They are all unique and beautiful in their own way.
One student said that her friend was interested in attending the class but couldn’t gather enough courage. I replied, “There is NO COURAGE REQUIRED for sketch class!” Everyone is welcome even if you’ve never painted before.


Photo by Alanna. (Christine, Theresa, Alanna, and Katie)
After we painted the fox family display, we decided to take our sketchbooks and a micron pens with us on a short hike, to draw the pines along the field at the beginning of the Black Oak Trail.


Here are the pines we wanted to sketch.


Photo by Alanna. (Katie, Alanna, and Theresa)
We sat down and got right to work. Because we were not using color, we focused on lines. Which way are lines going in the pines? What different lines do the pines have that the trees in front do not? Those are some of the questions we asked as we drew our sketches.


It’s hard to see, but here are our simple black micron drawings. Another great sketch by the class!


I went home and added some color from memory. That was fun and relaxing because I didn’t care if my colors matched at all!


And here is a close up of my fox family watercolor sketch.

I hope you enjoyed April’s sketch class results. Maybe you would like to join at the end of May?