Activity Review – 09.04.21 Urban Sketchers Orlando at Leu Garden in Orlando Experience

By Nathan Wertheimer
Multi-Media Journalist

Orlando, FL – It was a nice day to be one with nature and sketch some Fairy Doors Exhibit at Leu Gardens. This exhibit ran from June 5 through September 5, 2021.

It was a busy place there on a Saturday with many families who brought their kids to enjoy at day at gardens. Urban Sketchers Orlando held another monthly sketch on location event at the gardens. The group met before 10am. There was a discount group rate admission to enter the gardens.

We briefly gathered and when over what attendees would see in the gardens. Urban Sketchers Orlando Administrator Noga Rose Grosman explained that we did not have time to draw all twenty doors in two hours. It would not be impossible to complete the assignment for most artists. This was one gathering that all of us were not sketching the same thing. I was excited to get out a sketch!

Then we were off, a few of us went on a Fairy Doors hunt to pick out one to sketch. It felt it was like a scavenger hunt. Everyone started his or her adventure at the Garden House Welcome Center. The key was to find a hidden Fairy Doors where the crowds around them. It gave it away. Next, I worked my way towards and found exhibit #17, which was the Zara – means blooming flower. This one caught my eye because of the door shape. On the exhibit description sheet says [She is a flower fairy and spreads her pixie dust on all the flower beds in the gardens. She has wavy, pink hair, lavender eyes and silver wings with purple, glittery swirls.] Information provided by Leu Gardens.

Zara Fairy Door along with completed sketch

Some of the tools I brought with on this day were a folding chair, sketch board, sketching paper, mini ruler, pink easier, mechanical pen, thin sharpie marker, and a variety of colored pencils.

Once I was setup, I was off to sketching the Zara Fairy Door. I first started sketching the outline with the doorframe and the single potted plant. Next, I added the vertical lines for the wooden door panel. Then added the rocks around the doorframe. Next, added the plants in the pot. Once I had a good layout of the scene then I filled my pencil lines with a black sharpie marker. After this process, I added color to the scene. It really changed the mood. Over time, I notice the color of the Fairy Door was changing based on the natural daytime light. Next, I was able to blend some colors together to get shadows and texture. To finish it off, I took a photo of my artwork side by side of the Fairy Door. Then I felt I had completed my assignment for the day.

I hate to admit this, but I made a mistake with the door handle in my sketch. No problem. It was an after thought so I used my best judgment to correct the problem. This happens to artists all the time. Learn to think ahead and solve the problem yourself. There were many alternative solutions to this problem. Some people might have said, just throw your sketch out and start over.  Well, that might be simple; but I would have lost some valuable time on this assignment. The key is too turning mistakes into solutions. It is ok if it is a little off. Own that mistake and make it unique.

While sketching the Zara Fairy Door, I encountered some curious garden goers looking at my artwork along with my fellow sketchers too. Many of them were inspired and asked a few questions. It is rare when you find an artists out on location. I believed many kids were inspired to try sketching on their own.

Once we hit noon, it was time to rest and gather back at the Garden House Welcome Center. We are had a throw down art show. One new sketcher mentioned about her experience. She was siting a one the garden branches sketching out of the Fairy Doors when woman with her child make a comment to her and said, “Look at these artists working away on their picture.” She did not think of herself as an artist at the time. However, anyone with any skill level sketching out on location is an actual artist. She was happy to take that title and she now claims to be an artist.

Urban Sketchers Orlando throw down artshow

Finally, we had a group photo with our artwork then we all went home for the day. What an experience it was for everyone involved. If you did not have a chance to meet up at our gathering then please consider joining us at future sketchers event in Central Florida. For more information on this group please visit

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