June 16, 2015

Fast Sketching

This is from my last Fast Sketching class at Flicker Street Studio, which I'm teaching again in August. Later this month I'm teaching a Workshop all about sketching supplies called What's in Your Bag. It's on June 27 - you should sign up! It'll be fun!


June 15, 2015

Memphis Monday: Elmwood Cemetery

In late April the Memphis Urban Sketchers spent an unusually cool morning at Elmwood Cemetery. See more of our sketches here.
Watercolor and Lamy fountain pen and Pentel Aquash Pigment Ink Brush in Laloran sketchbook.

Watercolor and Lamy fountain pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook.

(click images for more detail)

June 13, 2015


In May we had a quick little trip to Montreal. We spent our time wandering around, reading, napping, and eating. And I did a little sketching.

This was at an excellent place called Dolcetto. Small plates of Italian food, excellent atmosphere, and friendly service. We went there twice.

That's the moon down there. It was actually orange, but if I'd painted it orange it would've looked ridiculous!

We found the bus route to the movies and found the bus and found the movies, but they were all in French, so we got drinks instead.

Then we got more drinks at a different, better place, where we had delicious fries. We also figured out how to get to a movie in English.

Visited the botanic gardens.

See, there's Dolcetto again.

We stayed just blocks from the Cathedral.

Then just like that it was over!

(click on images for more detail)

June 12, 2015

Just Some Apples. And Some Ink.

I was comparing inks here - Platinum Carbon Ink in my new orange Lamy, and a Pilot fountain pen with Pilot ink. I love the Pilot pen and ink, but I looooove the Platinum Carbon Ink! The waterproof ink is pretty awesome.

June 11, 2015

Say Cheese!

I sketched this a few weeks ago in the time it takes to make a grilled cheese sandwich!

(click image for more detail)

June 02, 2015

Still Sketching

Since it's been a while, I'll post these from a while back.

I've noticed lately that my random sketches often have apples in them, because I often have an apple on my desk.

Not sure how many ways I can draw this building, but I do dig those trees!

See you again soon, I promise!

May 15, 2015

A Night with Friends

Post fish-fry (the fish had long ago been fried and eaten), we sat around the table talking, drinking a South African liqueur, and eventually putting estate-sale beer coasters in satisfying arrangements.

May 04, 2015

Memphis Monday - Food Truck Fest

Here are more pictures from the Food Truck Fest. See the scans on Memphis Urban Sketchers.

(click the images for more detail)

May 02, 2015

Urban Sketchers Symposium Participant – Introducing Myself! #USkSingapore2015

I am on the International Symposium Team, helping to organize this year’s Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore in July. Earlier I posted on http://singapore2015.urbansketchers.org/ asking Symposium participants to introduce themselves using their favorite platform, and sharing on social media with the hashtag #USkSingapore2015. I figured I should go ahead and introduce myself!

Hi it's me.

My name is Elizabeth Alley and I am the president of the Urban Sketchers Executive Board, and I am one of the people organizing the Symposium in Singapore. It’s a great team and I’m proud to be working with this group! This is the fourth Symposium that I’ve helped organize (Santo Domingo, Barcelona, Paraty, Singapore), and the fourth that I’ve attended (Portland, Santo Domingo, Barcelona, Singapore).
After returning home from the first Symposium in Portland, OR (USA), I started Urban Sketchers Memphis.

Same sketch subject by fellow Memphis Urban Sketcher Martha Kelly (top) and by me (bottom).

Since being involved with Urban Sketchers, and particularly attending the Symposiums, my sketching has greatly improved AND I have gotten to know so many wonderful people from around the world. I am an artist – I make oil paintings – and my improved sketching habits have improved my work in the studio. I have also started teaching sketching at a local studio (Flicker Street Studio, where I also teach oil painting) since being involved with Urban Sketchers. The sketches that are shared by correspondents on urbansketchers.org, and by Regional Chapters on their blogs, and by everyone on Flickr, and everyone on the Urban Sketchers Group on Facebook inspire me daily and challenge me to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

Airport sketch after the first Symposium in Portland.

Airport sketch after an Urban Sketchers Workshop with Jim Richards at the Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA.

Recent vacation sketch - The Tablelands in Newfoundland.

Recent sketch in Memphis, TN.

The Symposium is the ultimate push outside of one’s comfort zone. You’re out in the street in another country sketching and learning with a group of like-minded people, and there’s really nothing better than that! 
From Paraty, one of the best Symposium photos ever!

I can’t wait to see you all there!