Meet the Instructors!

Meet Marek Badzynski! Workshop 12: Chicago Skyline with Fude Nib and Water-Soluble Graphite

Trained in Poland as an Architect, Marek Badzynski now spends evenings, weekend and vacations going around his city, Toronto, and other interesting destinations sketching what he want to remember most. This activity has brought him plenty of enjoyment, countless new friends, and the occasional sale, sponsoring his travels.  A true believer in “live like the locals do”, Marek favours small towns, with their original charm, over better known congested destinations. He sketches places to experience their unique character.

Marek’s sketching activity started during his time at University; as a student from underprivileged Eastern Europe, traveling West required planning and a way to address exponential cost of living abroad. While studying Italian language in Perugia, Marek tried sketching and selling his work, and has never looked back! His first customers were locals and tourists from all corners of the world, rich and poor but equally interested in urban sketches. His most memorable customer was the owner of a chocolate factory, grandson to the inventor of Baci Perugina – the chocolate with a hazelnut, wrapped in a multilingual love note! 

Currently involved with the Toronto Chapter, Marek has been pursuing Urban Sketching since 2011.  He participated in the 2017 Symposium and is currently looking forward to Amsterdam!

Meet the Instructors!

Meet Paul Ingold! Workshop 16: Light & Shadow – Urban Sketching with Pen and Watercolor

Paul has a B.A. in Design (Visual Communications) and has been a UX/Visual designer in the corporate world for over 10 years. Paul currently works within a corporate design team that helps build web solutions used by many fortune 500 companies. 

Paul first started taking private oil painting lessons in the third grade.  Since then, he has been fascinated with both scientific and simple watercolor illustrations. Paul was introduced to urban sketching about five years ago when he stumbled upon The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario. He met the USk Chicago group at the Lincoln Park Zoo shortly afterward and the rest is history!

Today Paul focuses on honing his urban sketcher skills using micron pens and watercolor.

When he is not building web sites or filing pages in a sketchbook, Paul likes to spend time at the lake with his dog (Scout), run marathons, bike, hike, camp, fish, and do pretty much anything outdoors! 

In the future, Paul hopes to attend more USk workshops, classes, and events outside of Chicagoland and, inspired by his experience at the the 2017 Symposium in Chicago, perhaps even attend another USk International Symposium.

Meet the Instructors!

Say hello to Brian Wright! Workshop 5: Composition Tells the Story!

Brian has been an active member of Urban Sketchers Chicago since 2016, and a co-administrator for Urban Sketchers Chicago for over a year .  He regularly contributes sketches and commentary of posts to the Chicago Chapter, as well as contributing to many other chapters as he travels for business and pleasure.  Brian been sketching buildings with great passion since architectural school, where he developed a series of sketch field trips that took a group of students all over the United States visiting great buildings.  As a practicing Architect, his passion for sketching has exploded since discovering the Urban Sketchers group. He’s enjoyed developing his skills as a sketcher, exploring different media and techniques.  Brian’s passion is pen and ink drawings and watercolor wash.

Meet the Instructors!

Meet Suzala Zahler! Workshop 5: Composition Tells the Story!

Suzala is a graphic designer, living in New York and a member of the Urban Sketchers New York chapter.  Professionally, she specializes in branding, websites and advertising work.  She has forty years experience in the graphic arts industry.  Since taking up the brush again and sketching and painting, Suzala has developed several workshops and taught at the New York Chapter 10×10 classes.  She is passionate about tonal value and bringing life to a drawing, and assisting others in their artistic journey.

Meet the Instructors!

Meet Barbara Weeks! Workshop 4:Watercolor: Focused, Fast, and Fun

Barbara Weeks received her BFA from St. John’s University in New York and has been fortunate to work in the field of art in many capacities ever since.

As Vice President of Design and Production in the magazine publishing industry, she oversaw the design and production of three monthly magazines as well as corporate promotional pieces. In 2005 she took that experience and founded Remarque Design, LLC, a company dedicated to fine art, illustration, and design services. Barbara loves the variety of projects she has completed at Remarque, such as series of watercolor illustrations for a national children’s ballet school, a Christmas storybook, logos for businesses large and small, and invitations, advertisements and brochures for Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.

Barbara is a member of the Illinois Watercolor Society, Urban Sketchers, and Urban Sketchers Chicago. She has been an administrator for USk Chicago since the beginning and was one of the three local administrators for the 2017 International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago. To help celebrate Urban Sketchers tenth anniversary, Barbara acted as the Chicago organizer for 10Years-10Classes. She is a monitor of a monthly sketch group at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago  and an online mentor at Sketchbook Skool. She serves as a master docent at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA)

Meet the Instructors!

Introducing Amy Larsen! Workshop 3: Sketching on the iPad with Procreate and the Apple Pencil

Amy Larsen has been drawing and painting since the 1970’s. She is mainly interested in watercolor and pen and ink, but she has also explored other media including markers, pastel, oil paint, and currently, the iPad.  Amy’s work consists of portraits, botanicals and landscapes. She has been an active member of the Urban Sketchers Chicago group since its founding. 

Amy is also a freelance graphic artist. She is an alumni of the School of the Art Institute (2015) and has attended seminars by award-winning watercolor artists David Taylor and Rose Edin among others. 

Sponsor Announcement: Quarto Publishing Group


We are happy to have Quarto Publishing Group USA once again as a sponsor for our #uskchicago2019 Sketch Seminar! They have been a longtime supporter of Urban Sketchers Chicago. They publish the very informative, high quality Urban Sketching Handbook series as well as numerous other titles. Each Handbook is well written, contains tons of tips and techniques and plenty of illustrations to help with your learning process. 

Quarto Publishing will sending the complete set of Urban Sketchers handbooks and extra copies of the books they publish authored by Gabriel Campanario and Shari Blaukopf, both sketchers are traveling to Chicago end of May to teach at our event.

Thank you Quarto Publishing Group USA for your continued support and all of your education efforts to promote Urban Sketching, we are so grateful for your support.

Please visit Quarto’s website and social media to learn more:

Web: Quarto Publishing Group USA
Facebook: @QuartoKnows
Twitter: @quartoknows
Instagram: @quartocreates

Meet the Instructors!

Meet Mark Jones! Workshop 13 Go BOLD with Color Pencils

Mark Jones is an architect in Chicago with over 30 years of experience.  He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, learning drawing and sketching skills in architecture classes.  His professors emphasized the importance of documenting the environment by requiring students to maintain a sketchbook.  Mark kept an active sketchbook, filling it with ideas, inspirational quotes and designs as well as using it as a journal.  He spent his junior year studying abroad in Versailles, France and while there, documented his travels throughout Europe in pencil sketches and watercolors.  Mark was subsequently drawn to the medium of color pencils and has used it predominantly since.

Mark continues to keep active sketchbooks, filling them with urban sketches, conceptual drawings, doodles, journaling and anything else that inspires him. He routinely utilize freehand drawing to develop project designs and details in his work and always encourages the younger architectural staff to draw by hand and sketch.

Mark was an exhibitor at the 2018 OUTside the PRACTICE – Artworks Created by Architects and Designers exhibit at the Bridgeport Arts Center.  He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Construction Specification Institute and resides on the northwest side of Chicago.

Meet the Instructors!

Introducing Nishant Jain! Workshop 14: Be Sneaky: Sketching People To Liven Your Urban Landscape

Nishant Jain is a writer and cartoonist, having fallen into both professions quite accidentally. He grew up in India and studied to be an engineer.  As he earned a Master’s degree (Mechanical Engineering), Nishant was writing stories and drawing a stick figure comic to a growing online audience. 

When he first visited Chicago, Nishant was inspired by the city’s creative vibe – the jazz, the blues, and the tenacity of its aspiring stand-up comics, musicians and artists. Half-way through his PhD (in Neuroscience), Nishant quit academia to pursue the life of a full-time writer/cartoonist. Flying to a new life in Chicago, he realized that it was time to learn to really draw. Thus began an obsession with Urban-Sketching and Sneaky Art.

In the years since, Nishant has made hundreds of webcomics to an audience of over 30,000 followers, written scripts for political satire shows on Indian television, drawn graphic novels, fulfilled over a dozen private commissions, and displayed his art at multiple galleries. Urban-sketching has given him a way to appreciate the world around him, even when he feels like a stranger in a strange land. Sneaky Art is his way of finding beauty around him, even when he’s alone.  Nishant lives in Eau Claire (WI) with his wife, listens to jazz, and thinks too much.

Meet the Instructors!

Meet Paul Heaston! Workshop 15: Umbrella Perspective, Chicago Style!

Paul Heaston received a BFA in painting from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2002 and an MFA in painting from Montana State University in 2008. He first started sketching in 2007 during a semester abroad in Perugia, Italy. Rather than continue making oil paintings, he opted to bring along a Moleskine sketchbook and document his travels around Italy. Since then he has filled over 100 sketchbooks and completed multiple long term sketching projects. He has been a part of the Urban Sketchers community since the very beginning.

Paul has taught sketching workshops and demos at the USk Symposiums in Paraty, Manchester, Chicago and Porto. Additionally, he has taught painting and drawing in Montana, Texas and Colorado, and has been a visiting artist and lecturer at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Mesa State University in Grand Junction, Colorado and the University of Wyoming in Laramie. His work has been featured in several books about urban sketching and drawing and his sketches have been shown in exhibitions in Colorado, Texas, Montana, Oklahoma and New York City. Paul’s sketches can be viewed online on Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram where he has over 200 thousand followers. Paul lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Linda and two daughters.