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The Great Minnesota State Fair Sketch Together Is Almost Here!

August 14, 2017
Chicken sketch in pen and watercolor on a 9 x 12 inch watercolor board, made in the Poulty Barn in 2016. I like to use my time at the Fair to sketch the birds. You’re able to get up close to all the animals and see details you might not normally see!

The name has changed slightly but don’t be confused, the best sketch out of the year still offers the same great fun—two sketch out days to choose from (attend them both if you can); four fun meetings to attend and meet other sketchers, and a whole world of live subjects to sketch and interesting buildings and scenes, and food, and…

Illustrator Marty Harris now organizes the Great Minnesota State Fair Sketch Together (which is a fun play on the Fair’s tagline of “Great Minnesota Get Together”). 

Join Marty and a bunch of other dedicated sketchers on Saturday, August 26 and Monday, August 28 for this fun event. There will be meetings at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on both days. A map of the meeting location and additional details can be found on Facebook at this link.

This rain or shine event is free (you have to pay your own Fair admission) for all sketchers of ANY skill level. Marty has even created a commemorative button for the event that will be given to the first 50 participants (you’ll need to show up at a meeting to receive a button).

Ink sketches of sheep made at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. (Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.) Because there are so many live models “hanging out” at the Fair you can make quick studies, experiment with different media, and work on your sketching goals.

This is a great event whether you’ve sketched out for decades or only two weeks. Come and experience the Fair through your sketchbook. Capture sights and memories of the event. Enjoy the great variety of sketching subjects all in one location. There is literally something for EVERYONE to sketch whether they like to sketch animals, people, parades, buildings, etc. It’s all at the Fair.

If you want more ideas on how to prepare for the event please go to my blog post “Minnesota State Fair Round Up.”

That post will give you links to posts explaining strategies for sketching live subjects, dressing for success at the Fair, preparing your kit, selecting paper or a journal, selecting collapsible chairs (it’s not necessary to have one!), and even how to indulge in the Fair Food yet still get your sketching done.

There is no sketching event during the year when you’ll find so much variety to choose from! Come and join in the fun.


    • Tina Koyama
    • August 14, 2017

    So wish I could be there again! Have fun!!

    – Tina

    1. Reply

      I wish you could be here too. It would be fun to see you and your sketches. I hope your summer is going great and that you make it back in the future.

    • Nancy
    • August 22, 2017

    I’m excited to join you and everyone else for my first State Fair sketchout. I took your beginner online course several years ago and looking forward to being able to meet you!

    1. Reply

      Nancy so glad you are going to be able to join us. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. (Even though the weather reports say it’s going to rain it’s still a fun day at the Fair, because there is so much inside the buildings.) I’m going to be in the barns during the first meeting, but I’ll be at the 4:30 meeting if we don’t bump into each other before that. Say hi if you see me.

    2. Reply

      Nancy, I didn’t see you at the sketch out today? Did you make it but not find us? I got a good start in the barns at 9:15 a.m. Met a friend, sketched, bumped into James Nutt who had been at the morning meeting, kept sketching and managed to avoid most of the rain. There were about a dozen of us at the meeting at 4:30—since it was raining we were in the center of the Ag-Hort building. People did some amazing stuff. If you didn’t get to go I hope you get out on Monday. They are going to have meetings again at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Family duties prevent me from attending on Monday, but I’m still hoping to get out for a couple more hours at the Fair before the end.

    • Jeanne Rothberg
    • August 25, 2017

    Ever since learning from you in Sketchbook Skool, Roz, I have been an admirer and fan, studying your blogs on techniques and materials. So now you got me jazzed about sketching at our Gillespie County Fair this weekend. Yesterday evening, I geared up and managed to sketch a Barred Rock Cock and 2 sheep- a ram and ewe. This being Texas in the height of summer, I was using my paint rag to wipe my brow, but in the end, I was happy with my sketches and so pleased to have done that exercise and plan to do it again next year. Thank you for your fastidious and superlative notes as well as your humor and just plain enjoyment of the process that shows in your paintings and writings. Bravo and harrumph. Have fun next weekend! Cheers, Jeanne

    1. Reply

      YAY! I love hearing that you’ve been to your county fair! I’m so happy for you. I don’t know where you are in TX, but I hope you and your family are all safe. I had a great day Thursday and today painting with a friend at the Fair, and today of course was one of the Sketch Out days so we ended it with a meeting where we got to see all the fun work that everyone else did.

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