The DART Board: Painting in NYC Parks

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday August 16, 2023


With four full weeks of summertime ahead, this is a great time for painting and drawing in the wild…well, let's say, under the sun. So, dive in! Above: Central Park's Bow Bridge, a favorite subject for painting in the wild

The New York Public Library Art Cart offers drawing and crafts most days on the North end of the Fifth Avenue terrace at the lion branch of NYPL. This is a drop-in event, with materials provided. Plus you can contact the organizers to schedule an event of your own for friends or co-workers. Info

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY Info

Thursday, August 17, 11am: Portrait Drawing at the Art Cart

The Art Cart offers drawing and crafts most days on the North end of the Fifth Avenue terrace at the lion branch of NYPL.  In the Portrait Drawing workshop, students will gain a better understanding of a face proportion, head structure, and the construction of each facial feature. They will learn how to utilize this knowledge to construct an accurate drawing. Students will also learn about the application of different lighting, angle, and perspective. 

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY Info 


Thursday, August 17, 2-4pm: Figure drawing with live model at the Art Cart

Within this workshop, students of all levels learn how to use the 8-head proportion guideline to determine the (live) model's actual proportion and identify unique features based on this model. They will also learn how to create a stick figure using skeletal structure (skull, spine, ribcage, pelvis, arms, and legs), add muscles and thickness to the skeleton using simple geometric shapes and finally add shading to give it a three-dimensional volume. 

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY Info

Saturday, August 19, 11am-1pm: Wire Sculpture at the Art Cart

Join artist Paul Ferrara to create a wire sculpture by bending, twisting, curling, knotting armature wire into different shapes and configurations. Artist Alexander Calder enjoyed sculpting with wire because he said it allowed him to create “drawings in space.” Info

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 

Saturday, August 26, 10am-noon: Drawing at South Cove Park

This long-running program brings participants to one of the city’s lesser trafficked but most picturesque spots. It’s a great place to do some painting, and you can take advantage of that with free drawing-in-the-park sessions, with materials supplied, but bring your own drawing boards, containers of water and favorite media. This drop-in series continues into the fall. Info
South Cove, 50 Battery Place, New York, NY Map Info


Thursday, August 24, 6-8 pm: Botanical Drawing at the Naval Cemetery

Join the Naval Cemetery Landscape artist-in-residence Jessica Dalrymple to draw an Urban Meadow at dusk! At this free workshop style event Jessica will lead participants on a close look at the specific plants and trees at the NCL. Time will be spent on those aspects of the plant palette related to its natural history, sustainability and biodiversity.

This workshop will touch on how painting/sketching can be a vehicle for observation and how the act of quieting down and focusing our attention enlivens our subject, allowing a kind of symbiosis to occur while deepening our connection to nature. Art supplies will be provided but participants are wecome to bring their personal supplies. You may email with any questions. Register

The Naval Cemetery Landscape is located at 63 Williamsburg Street West, Brooklyn, NY 



Thursday, August 24, 6:30-8:15 pm: Watercolor Workshop at the Greenbelt

In this free workshop on Staten Island, artist Noelle introduces participants to the magic of watercolor by painting sunflowers. All materials provided. All levels welcome. Presented by NYC Parks/Staten Island Recreation. Register

Greenbelt Recreation Center, 501 Brielle Avenue, Staten Island, NY


Saturday, August 26, 10am-1pm: Going BIG Watercolor Workshop in Central Park

This workshop, offered by NYC Urban Sketchers, invites participants to:
Trust your initial choices. Make more deliberate choices of color and mark-making and  discover bolder opportunities within your compositions. We will use bigger paper, a larger brush and no pre-drawing. Experience a shift and expand your own style of painting! Register

Instructors Susan Greenstein and Frieda Christofides and have been painting on-site and side by side for many years. Together they will demonstrate their approaches to painting on a larger scale. They will point out the challenges and how to find solutions to overcome them.

This Workshop is Sponsored by Strathmore Paper Company. Each participant will receive 2 large sheets of watercolor. More from NYC Urban Sketchers

Meet at Central Park, South West corner at 59th Street, near the Maine Monument, near Columbus Circle.