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Union Square Christmas Scene

Sketch a gigantic Christmas tree, ice skaters, buskers, choirs, festive store windows—and an awful lot of shoppers. And if you want to just ignore the whole Christmas thing, Union Square is a great place to sketch city buildings.

We'll meet at the top of the steps on the corner of Geary & Stockton, opposite Macy's. (Call/text Laurie if you can't find us,[masked]-9983.) After wandering off on our own to check out the scene, we'll sit down together at 2:30 at Emporio Rulli's outdoor tables (on the East side of Union Square, off Stockton) where we can sketch the ice skaters and warm our fingers on mugs of hot cocoa. 

Note: If it rains we'll go inside the Westin St Francis to sketch the Sugar Castle. Check this page on the day before for details.


Lots of layers of warm clothes. Sitting still and sketching does not warm you up. A folding stool can be nice if you don't want to sit on the cold concrete steps and walls, but you can also pick up a Bay Guardian to sit on.


It's a short walk from Powell or Montgomery BART/MUNI stations. Most of the buses in the city pass through this area, along Market Street, Geary, Post or Stockton.

There is paid parking under Union Square and at the Sutter Stockton garage two blocks away.

You can ride a bicycle along Market, but throngs of shoppers around Union Square are hard to get through on a bike.

Last year a few of us sketched here at night. The blazing Christmas lights were spectacular, but it was cold. I'm hoping that there will be enough afternoon sunlight this time to keep us going a little longer. You can see sketches from last year here:

If you want to come early and do some ice skating, read about it here: 

More about Union Square here:

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  • Cheryl H.

    Cold and crisp, lovely day, thanks for arranging Laurie.

    December 8, 2013

  • Prabin B.

    Wheather was cold but clean and colors were just perfect for watercolor. I enjoyed doing watercolor.

    1 · December 7, 2013

    • Liz S.


      December 7, 2013

    • Liz S.

      Prabin, You are one amazing water colorist!

      1 · December 7, 2013

  • meli

    great one, lots going on. thanks laurie, +everyone
    here is the link to the quick vine:)

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Sandra

    Good, but cold out

    December 7, 2013

  • Jennifer W.

    Aaaaargh. I can't make it after all. Too tired! But wish I was there.

    December 7, 2013

  • Lowell

    I am going, but a bit early. Cannot make the 2:30 "after; sit-down"

    December 7, 2013

  • Francisca R.

    Sorry I cannot make it today. If I feel better, I will be there. I will try for another time. Thanks

    December 7, 2013

    • Laurie W.

      I always enjoy seeing you whenever you can make that long trip from the south bay.

      December 7, 2013

  • Laurie W.

    HOORAY! The rain is now supposed to end early in the morning, so we should have a dry (but COLD) meetup in Union Square. The interior of the Westin St Francis should still work as a refuge if you need to sketch somewhere warm for a while.

    1 · December 6, 2013

  • Rhoda D.

    Sorry, can't make it this an Open Studios event in Sausalito all weekend.

    December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't make it to SF so Spokane Sketchers are going to Christmas a Tree Elegance at the Davenport Hotel, Spokane, WA.

    December 1, 2013

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