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My Chicago Sketch Trip: 6 Amazing Locations

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Chicago, IL

Chicago, the Windy City, is a vibrant metropolis that effortlessly blends stunning architecture, lush green spaces, and a rich tapestry of culture and history. My Chicago sketch trip was nothing short of a dream for an artist. Armed with my sketchbook and pastels and pen, I set out to capture the essence of Chicago through some of its most iconic locations.

If you love posts about sketch trips I suggest you to read about sketch trip in Rome and sketch trip in Tbilisi.

Materials I used for sketching

Micron PN pen, Pastel CaranD’ache Neocolor 2, Sketchbook Hahnemuhle Nostalgie and Brush with Tank.

Millennium Park

My artistic adventure began at Millennium Park, a modern urban park that offers a unique blend of nature and contemporary art. Of course I planned to sketch the Cloud Gate in the first place and people around.  Unfortunately, Cloud Gate, affectionately known as “The Bean,” was under reconstruction. So I can’t get much closer to it. Anyway it didn’t stop me from capturing it in my sketchbook.

Best way to explore Chicago with City Pass with tickets to 5 top attractions.

Field Museum

When I head to  the Field Museum, home to an extraordinary collection of natural history. The museum’s grand exterior, with its neoclassical columns and steps, was an impressive subject to sketch. That’s what I actually did. I sketched the exterior of the Field Museum and really enjoyed the process and results. While I was sketching, one woman told me that my sketch is good. Then she asked me if she could take a picture of me while I’m drawing, with a museum view on the front. It made me feel like I am a famous artist or something. Don’t be shy to sketch in public, people always curious about what you are doing. They usually say something nice and not judging.

Plan your visit to the Field Museum of Natural History in advance here.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago was a highlight of my trip, not only for its world-class collection but also for its majestic Beaux-Arts architecture. You can find here works such as Seurat’s pointillist wonder “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” and Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.” I’ve done a short sketch of the Rjin’s painting “Young woman at an open door”. I wanted to capture the expression of the woman’s face. One of my favorite part in museum is to sketch sculptures. It helps me to improve my skills and pay attention to proportions.

Enjoy entry with a skip-the-line entry ticket to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Fourth Presbyterian Church

After visiting a Modern art Museum near the Water Tower, I saw an amazing gothic church. I love gothic architecture, and love to sketch it. This Gothic Revival church has stunning architecture and a little courtyard. It started to rain, but I quickly found a place where I could stay dry. When it stopped I entered the courtyard, it is picturesque and a great place for photos. Unfortunately, I didn’t enter the church because it was closed, I’ll keep it to the next time.

Explore Chicago’s legendary architecture from the river with guided tour.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier, opened in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, originally served as a mixed-use public space and shipping facility. Over the years, it has transformed into a major cultural and entertainment destination. Navy Pier with its vibrant atmosphere, mix of tourists, street performers, and panoramic views of Lake Michigan, offered endless sketching opportunities. I sketched the entrance with the visible part of the Ferris wheel while waiting for the taxi.

To avoid queues plan your ride on Navy Pier Centennial Wheel in advance here.

Airport and Road

Well it’s not exactly iconic location of Chicago, but usually we spent time in lines and on the road even in our travels. While we were waiting in a long line for Avis to get our car, I saw a man with an amazing and very memorable look. The huge Pikachu toy from his bag really took my attention. So I, with no hesitation captured his look from the back and front quickly. While we drove to our destination I also captured the road, the cars, beautiful sky and clouds. Also it was a great challenge to me to sketch cars and good training of perspective.

Enjoy Fireworks Cruise, get up-close to the Navy Pier fireworks display every Wednesday & Saturday during summer.

Chicago proved to be a city of endless inspiration, with each location offering its own unique charm and challenges. I will probably return to Chicago to sketch and travel, because it wasn’t enough for me. Can’t wait to visit it next time.

Quality Art Supplies I'm using

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Liners pens and pencils
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Watercolor kits
Following Affiliate Links Are Supporting Me To Create New Content
More about sketching

Quality Art Supplies I'm using

Following Affiliate Links Are Supporting Me To Create New Content
Liners pens and pencils
Sketch pads
Watercolor kits
Cultural travel posts