Usk Chicago Symposium 2017: Part 1

If you saw my previous post with my packed sketchkit for the Usk Symposium in Chicago, you might have noticed quite a few new colors.

Which might explain the color testing that I worked on the day before I left. Skintones and greens were my focus that day. With Potter’s Pink added to my palette I wanted to see if I got a new range of skintones mixes out of it. And that other color I really wanted to figure out, Phthalo Green: so strange and unreal on it’s own but so great in mixes…pre_colorchart

My first sketch in Chicago was as soon as I dumped my bags in my room and got out. The height of the Chicago skyline is amazing and intimidating (How will I fit that into my page!!??) And to make things more complicated (and exciting) there are all those glass and mirrored surfaces creating reflective magic. It takes a while to wrap your head around it all, so I was glad that I bumped into good friend and fellow sketcher Liz Steel, and we settled down to chat and catch up in Grant Park and whipped out a sketch. Always good to get that first sketch done without overthinking it.

Later in the day, sketch #2 of the day. One of two lions at the Art Institute. Sketched post-dinner as the light faded. On a totally separate note, The Art Institute might be one of the most amazing museums I have been to anywhere in the world. I managed one afternoon there but then had incredible-art-overload and had to walk out. I could have gone back in two-hour sessions all week long.

I drew those lions again at the Opening Sketchcrawl. Sketched to very loud drumming on Michigan Avenue.

And I followed that up with a quick skyline sketch. I sometimes think that sketching next to someone brings some of their influence into my work. Do you feel that way?

And finally, the Opening Keynote, a touching meander down memory lane with Urban Sketchers founder, Gabi Campanario. What an incredible 10 year journey!

There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to Gabi and to all those that have volunteered countless hours over this decade to make Urban Sketchers what it is. I go back to the Symposium for the last few years to teach. But equally and perhaps more importantly, to learn, to exchange ideas, to be inspired, to make new friends, and for the most fantastic annual family reunion ever.

On that same page with the sketch of Gabi, on the left, more color mixing… I needed to get a good feel for my color palette before thy Symposium started. When I’m sketching I don’t *think* my color mixes through, they just need to happen and my hand needs to know where every color is in my palette.
On the right, I finally met legendary sketcher Donald Colley and oogled at his sketchbook. Also, at the bottom of the page, a quick take on Ch’ng Kiah Kiean.

Lots more sketches from Chicago coming up soon, of course.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in chicago, Summer, teaching, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Usk Chicago Symposium 2017: Part 1

  1. jumissshop says:

    Wow! You are really good at art! i want to paint like that….!!


  2. dagmar says:

    Thxs for showing us your impressions. What a sketchbook you had used? Best wishes from germany


  3. I had a terrific time in Chicago! It was great meeting all the sketchers and seeing you there as well. I loved the workshops and really loved meeting new people, made some new friends..your sketches look great!


  4. rhodadraws says:

    Wonderful sketches, esp. the iconic Art Institute lions. Delighted to bump into you after the closing ceremony…you were glowing!


  5. Fantastic sketches from a wonderful time! I grew up around Chicago and the Art Institute was my first art museum. Now that I have lived abroad and traveled to many of the words best art museums I was wondering if my high esteem for the Art Institute would hold up or if it was simply nostalgia. Nope, not nostalgia. The Art Institute is still one of my all time favorite museums! I love that place! I got to visit pre-symposium with my little sister and I had the best time.


  6. Wonderful conference.


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