Wes Douglas
Wes intro

Wes is formally trained as a graphic designer from Northern Illinois University. During his nearly 30-year career, he has designed corporate identities, advertisements, product brochures, logos, retail spaces, tradeshow booths and promotional vehicles (think Oscar Mayer Weinermobile).

In recent years Wes has been the artist in residence for brainstorming meetings, concept development sketches for testing, and a graphic visualizer for corporate meetings (fun, memorable highlights from a meeting incorporating words, pictures and lots of fun colors). He is Co-founder and Director of the Innovation Agency Maddock Douglas Inc. in Elmhurst.

Wes became an Urban Sketcher in January 2013, but he has sketched nearly every day his entire life. He has sketched with many kinds of tools but his favorite ones for Urban Sketching are your basic pens (Sharpie® Fine Point, Uniball® Vision micro, and even the simple ballpoint pen). He also likes his portable set of Prismacolor® markers because they do not require water or clean up.

Wes will be teaching two workshops during our June Seminar:

Workshop 1: A Crash Course in Urban Sketching (in tandem with Barbara Weeks) and
Workshop 3: Urban Sketching with an iPad.

Sketches by Wes in traditional media

And on an iPad

Wes is one of the admins for USk Chicago group, a USk Chicago Correspondent and an altogether wonderful guy! Be sure to say hello to Wes when you see him online or at a sketch meet. Oh, and sign up for his workshops!!

Barbara Weeks
Barbara intro


Barbara received her BFA from St. John’s University New York and has been fortunate to have worked in the field of art in many capacities ever since. For two decades she worked as art director and production manager in the magazine publishing industry. In 2005 she took that experience and founded Remarque Paperworks, LLC, a company dedicated to personal and corporate graphic design services.

Barbara is a member of the Illinois National Watercolor Society, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Midwest and Urban Sketchers Chicago. She’s won many awards for her watercolors and her work hangs in collections throughout the US and Canada. In the summer of 2012 she served as the guest blogger  “Urban Sketcher Meets Urban Farmer” for

She teaches private sketching and journaling classes that use watercolor and sketching to record everyday life.

During our Chicago Sketch Seminar Barbara will be teaching one workshop together with Wes Douglas:

Workshop 1: A Crash Course in Urban Sketching

Some of Barbara’s sketches as a preview for her workshop:

Barbara was an Urban Sketcher long before the Chicago chapter was started. She was instrumental in creating our group, serves as one of its admins, is a USk Chicago Correspondent and an amazingly talented lady in every way! See more of Barbara’s work on her blog –

Don Colley
 Don at Whole Foods 1-18-2014

Don graduated with a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin. His illustrations have appeared in Inc. magazine, Playboy magazine, eCFO magazine, Andante Records, Faber-Castell USA, Inc. catalogs, as well as other publications. He taught drawing at Drexel University, Philadelphia PA.

Don has exhibited regularly since 1983. He currently shows with Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago. He tours the country lecturing and presenting demonstrations on behalf of Faber-Castell USA, Inc.

Prior to attending his first Urban Sketchers Symposium in Portland in 2010, Don had kept a regular practice of documenting the urban scene for 30 years. Don has been sketching with USk Chicago since 2012.

See more of Don’s work on his website –

Don will be teaching Workshop 2:  Creating a Rich Drawing on Saturday morning. He will also facilitate Workshop 8:  Sketching as a Team Sport  together with Alex Zonis on Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss his rock star like appearance, rarely in Chicago!

Drawings by Don:

The idea of having a sketching seminar in Chicago started last spring. Don and Alex were drawing and drinking tea in cafe Metropolis on the North side when Don asked an innocent question “Why won’t we have our own conference…?” So if this endeavor will turn out a disaster, we will know whose fault it is!!

Allana Pierce
 Allana Pierce

Allana is a self-taught artist who studies Library Science. She is a wife, hedgehog mom, and self-proclaimed art supply addict.

Allana has been sketching in Chicago since 2013 and sketches most often with ballpoint or fountain pens or watercolor. Her style is still evolving, but her most recent work has been compared to Quentin Blake.

See more sketches by Allana on her blog and Instagram Imaginerhetoric.

Allana will be leading our Workshop 4:  Supply Speed Dating on Saturday afternoon.

Drawings by Allana using various media:

Allana brings a wonderful mood of enthusiasm, fun, humor and love for drawing to any  sketch meet she comes to. Don’t miss her workshop – it is going to be enormous fun!

Alex Zonis
Alex sketching in Architectural Artifacts profile 2-15-2014

Alex always wanted to draw and paint, but thought she couldn’t because she lacked “talent”. Instead she got a degree in mathematics and worked in IT for 20+ years.

Because she just wanted to make art Alex started making beaded tapestries woven on a loom. Her tapestries were shown in galleries nation-wide, including SOFA Chicago and New York.

In 2009 she threw the idea about “talent” to the wind and started drawing in graphite. A year later she picked up watercolor, a year after that – oil. Today Alex is a professional painter and a painting instructor. She teaches Indirect Oil Painting technique and Flemish painting method in her studio in Chicago. She offers a similar oil painting course online via Skype for long distance students.

More of Alex’s work on her blog and web gallery Alex Zonis on DailyPaintworks.

Alex will be teaching Workshop 5:  Taking Guesswork out of your Color Work on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon she will lead Workshop 8:  Sketching as a Team Sport  together with Don Colley.

Some of Alex’s sketches:

Alex discovered Urban Sketching in 2009. For three years she sketched alone and waited for someone to start Urban Sketchers Chicago so she could join it. In 2012 – tired of waiting – she started USk Chicago chapter.

Keelan Kaiser
Keelan photo

Keelan has always loved to draw; he started young with imaginary cars and robots. His parents never discouraged him from drawing, probably they should have. He was often in trouble in school because he drew a lot and didn’t read or do his math. He made his way from engineering to architecture as a major after stumbling through the first year of chemistry and material science and seeing how much fun the architects were having. He learned to draw like an architect in college at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he completed the M.Arch. with a specialty in representation and design.

Keelan enjoys travel drawing, mostly the travel and gastronomical parts, but also the drawing. Most recently his drawing and painting has sought to hybridize an airy drawing technique, inspired loosely by the drawings of John Singer Sargent and Alberto Giacometti; with the Velasquez Palette of Burnt Siena, Ultramarine Blue, and Yellow Ochre, common to architectural watercolorists; as well as the rich and deep technique present in Chinese watercolor. Architectural watercolor artists Moh’d Bilbeisi, Douglas Lew, and Huck Scarry are also influential. While a professor of architecture at Judson University, he is largely a student.

Read Keelan’s thoughts on architecture and environment on his blog –

Keelan will be teaching Workshop 6:  Rapid Travel Sketch with Watercolor twice: once on Sunday morning and then again on Sunday afternoon.

Some of Keelan’s sketches:

Keelan’s credentials include the most impressive collection of abbreviations we have ever seen: Keelan is AIA, NCARB, LEED AP bd+c | Chair, Department of Architecture Judson University. Not that we know what half of this means. Perhaps you can ask him during his workshop.

Joel USk instructor









Joel Berman, LEED-AP, is the founder and president of Joel Berman Architecture & Design, Ltd., a Chicago architecture firm specializing in inner city adaptive reuse and heritage restoration for restaurant, hospitality, institutional and residential development. Project work includes an award winning historic preservation renovation of a 1920s White Castle Hamburger building, and conversion of a 1906 Chicago fire station into a major video production facility. For Joel, clear and fast sketching has been a factor in the success of his design work and architectural practice.

In addition to running a successful practice, Joel has taught architectural sketching at the Art Institute of Chicago (1997), Columbia College School of Interior Architecture (1997-2004), the Chicago Architectural Foundation Adult Education Program (2005-2011), and for the United States National Endowment for the Humanities/Chicago Architecture Foundation Urban Gateways Program (2009-2013).

See things Joel built –

Considering all this great architectural experience, it is not surprising that Joel will be teaching Workshop 7: How to Sketch like an Architect on Sunday morning.

Some of Joel’s sketches:

When Joel is not building, renovating, designing or sketching you can generally find him on the river, boating or kayaking.


Banks Headshot for web









Andrew Banks is a freelance illustrator living on Chicago’s north side. Earning his Masters of Architecture degree from Judson University in 2011, Andrew seeks to use his design education, passion for watercolor illustration, photography, and urban sketching to build his career doing what he enjoys most: making art.

Andrew has always enjoyed sketching, but it wasn’t until a transformational 6 week study abroad trip to Europe in 2008 that solidified his passion for on location sketching. Visiting cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, Andrew was inspired by the ancient architecture, urban fabric and vibrant city life. For the duration of his trip, Andrew captured these experiences in sketchbooks, illustrating architecture and recording sights, sounds and smells of each new location. His favorite sketching tools are watercolor and fountain pens.

Andrew started following the Urban Sketchers movement in 2008 and has been a member of USk Chicago since 2013. Andrew is a contributor to the USk Chicago Blog and will serve as this year’s Sketch Seminar Correspondent.

In his free time Andrew enjoys biking, exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants, cooking, traveling and has a hard time passing up a good rock show.

During our Seminar Andrew will be our Correspondent, reporting live and in real time from our various classes and activities. He will be sketching and photographing the Seminar’s progress and posting his documentary on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. You will see him everywhere!

Some of Andrew’s sketches and illustrations. More on his Facebook page – Andrew Banks Illustration & Photography



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