Thursday, September 29, 2016

Is this the LAST Draw-mania! ?

Draw-mania! 55, on Tuesday, October 18th., will be the FINAL DRAW-MANIA!

It's been a great run! 5 years (longer than most jobs I've had!), and in that time, we've had artists come from all over the world to draw-with us, we've probably entertained you with 200 performers, 50 figure models and 2 renown DJs! Not bad, huh? But all things must come to an end. So if you've been putting off experiencing our unique artists' experience, please come and celebrate with us on October 18th!
For more details:

So come and join us!
As always:
Over 21; Bring ID--they won't let you in without it
Bring you own art supplies

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 8pm-midnight $20 at the door

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th st.
Between Ave A & B
New York City

Monday, September 19, 2016

This Year's Boat Trip with the Seaport Museum

I just wanted to fill everyone in about this year's abortive boat trips. It was a great disappointment to everyone that we were never able to successfully hit the waves this year. We had sails scheduled twice, but a combination of scheduling issues, weather and mechanical troubles foiled pour plans both times. We'll be working on trying to "bulletproof" next year's events so that it'll be "smooth sailing."
A big thanks to everyone for their support and enthusiasm!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Change It Up!

Figure drawing is an endless process of observation and refinement. The more we draw, the more we look for detail, and the more we look, the more we find. At the same time, we're always improving our technique (at least in theory!). The more we draw and get comfortable with out preferred drawing materials, the more we develop confidence that is reflected in our finished drawings. And sometimes it works out just that way.

Nevertheless, there are other times we feel stuck, or we're not happy with something about our drawings. Sometimes we know what that something is, other times we're just, well, stuck. A common complaint people have about their own drawings is they don't like the line quality, or they feel like they're not adequately seeing the subject of their drawing. Still other times, we're drawing well, but we just lose our enthusiasm.

For me, the process of drawing is one of endless learning. I had a painting teacher who said "the purpose of painting is to learn something to take to your next paining." I don't know if that's the only purpose, but I get excited to find something I can learn from every drawing I do. Maybe it's some anatomical detail I never noticed before, maybe it's something about shading or about foreshortening, maybe it's the way the marks I'm making on the paper better define the image.

One of there best ways to get out of a slump, or to challenge your way of seeing, even your way of drawing, is to just change up your style or materials! In figure sketching alone, we can draw big, or draw small, we an use pens, pencils, crayons, brushes, watercolors, even oil paints. Typically, we settle on one way of working and try to perfect that, but you can find a lot of inspiration and perspective by simply trying to draw the same thing in a new way!

So next time you want a little more input, just change up your usual way of doing things, and see what you see.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Draw-mania! SAIL and SKETCH (on an antique Schooner!) Sunday 8/14

Pier 16 at South Street Seaport
New York, NY 10038, New York, NY
Our next SKETCH and SAIL is August 14th. ticket are strictly limited so don't wait, 'cause it's gonna be a blast! We've got a specially discounted ticket price ($32 adults/$28 kids and seniors). Please order directly form the Museum's website:

Schooner Pioneer, the 1885 sailing vessel, and Draw-Mania!, the long-running downtown draw-a-thon and variety show, will be offering artists, art students, and all comers, the opportunity to draw and paint during a two-hour Pioneer sail. You’ll have the opportunity to draw three live art models, the harbor, shoreline, other boats, and the Pioneer’s crew as they hoist sail and go about their tasks! You can even help raise the sails if you want to!

Please bring your own art materials, bearing in mind that there will be no space on deck for easels. Pioneer can provide extra water, paper towel, and even a place to keep work till ashore, and once ashore, fixative for those who wish to use it.

The vessel, first launched in 1885, was built as an iron-hulled sloop to carry cargo along the Delaware River and was even featured in an episode of "Boardwalk Empire,” and frequently seen in NYC tourism promotions.

We will depart at 4:00 pm; return at 6:00. Pioneer is docked on the South side of Pier 16, (past the big ship Peking) on the East River. Walk east on Fulton Street and cross South Street to arrive on Pier 16.
You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch, afternoon snack, a bottle of wine or other favorite beverage to enjoy while sketching under sail!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Feedback from You!

The New York Figure Drawing Group AKA The Summer Sketch Group, has been going strong for years before social media, but with the advent of social media, we've really been able to reach a lot of people in New York and around the world! Draw-mania!, our monthly draw-a-thon and variety show has become a vacation destination for artists from around the world (Brazil, Canada, Australia, Austria,Germany and France, to name a few).

One thing that makes us unique from other figure drawing groups is that we are willing to offer different kinds of events based on member suggestions. This year, based on member suggestions, we've added a long-pose class and brought back basic drawing classes with instruction, as well as workshops and special events.

What would you like to get from this group? I've set up a poll on our Meetup site to get some general feedback, and if you have a minute, please use it to let me know what you think! And if you'd like to email me with more specific questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Old Man Mad About Drawing (Hokusai)

I'm fond of paraphrasing this (badly) but it's about time I stop mangling the master's words and let him speak for himself. If you've asked how long it takes to get good at drawing, here's the simple answer.


“From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things.

When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. 

But all I have done before the the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. 

At 75 I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. 

When I am 80 you will see real progress. 

At 90 I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. 

At 100, I shall be a marvelous artist. 

At 110, everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. 

To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
Hokusai Katsushika

Got 5 minutes? Treat yourself to this delightful little documentary:

Monday, March 7, 2016

What's New for 2016

Been a while since I updated the blog! I actually have a bunch of half-finished articles I think you'll find really useful, but it's been so busy, I haven't had a chance, and I'm kind of a stickler about making them the best articles I can. But I'm making a point of catching up! Stay tuned for more fun articles to come.

We have a couple of new, fun offerings for 2016:

Single Pose Class We're now presenting a 2 hour long, single pose class. It's a great opportunity to really hunker down and develop your visual acuity and get a very detailed, finished drawing. One nude model in a single pose for two hours (with a break every 20 minutes). We're currently doing it twice a month on Thursdays.

Classes WITH Instruction If you'd like a little formal instruction (or a lot), these classes are great. We have a nude model, and each class begins with some very basic exercises, and tips to help you capture the figure on paper and maybe see a little differently. These classes are usually pretty small, so you can get plenty of individual attention.

Special Events We're planning them now for the warmer weather! I hate to give too many specifics before they're finalized, but most likely you can expect more art sails aboard the Schooner Pioneer, Some unusual art workshops, and some social gatherings. And we;ll continue to list third-party events around town that may be of interest to our meetup members, even the ones that we don't organize.

Old Favorites We're still doing Sunday afternoon sketching featuring a nude model in an academic figure sketching class with both short and long poses, and our ever-popular draw-a-thon Draw-mania! that combines a variety show with a drawing event.

To find out all about these events join our Meetup group
It's free to join and will keep you updated with all our fun events.

Is there some kind of art event that you'd like to see us offering? Let us know! If it's possibly of interest to our membership we'd like to know!