Zen and the art of urban sketching


Improve your art • improve your memory • improve your mood • improve your mind!

Unhappy with your sketches? Smash that negativity. Make your sketches more effective, and make sketching work for you! 
Join us for Zen & the Art of Urban Sketching, a class offered at our Fort Mason store! This fun 3-hour session is offered throughout the spring and summer.



Sunday March 15, noon - 3pm



(Sign up for this class by filling out the form below)




Class Fee - $55

This class is about getting outdoors and putting pen to paper. With a hand-picked set of tools and some simple, practical techniques, we’ll set out to sketch in a location rich with subjects, like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Sketching is fun—if you do it right. And it’s good for you. 

In this class, you will:

• Learn how sketching is linked to brain plasticity. 

• Learn how to use sketching to enhance your memory, perception and mood. 

• Learn how to make art a daily habit you look forward to!

• Get some great supplies. See supply list here.



ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORZip Lehnus is a San Francisco urban artist, citizen scientist and the creator of Big Stick Charcoal. He carries a sketchbook everywhere, and won’t shut up about it.



LOCATION: The meeting location for each class is at the FLAX Fort Mason store, located at 2 Marina Blvd, Landmark Building D in Fort Mason Center between Crissy Field and Fisherman’s Warf on the waterfront.

Fort Mason Center 
2 Marina Blvd, Bldg D
San Francisco, CA 94123


Public Transit: We are an 8 minute walk off the MUNI 30 Stockton line.
Driving: Expansive parking lot!

Please arrive 15 minutes early to pick up all your materials and meet your instructor!



Sunday March 15, from 12pm - 3pm

(more classes tba)



The class fee includes a complete urban sketching kit which is yours to keep after the class!

REGISTRATION: To sign-up online, fill out the form above. You may also sign-up for this class in-person at the the FLAX Fort Mason store, or by calling 415-530-3510.

Fees will be collected before the beginning of the class. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to pick up your materials and meet you instructor.


Included in the class fee is an urban sketching kit which contains everything you need for each class. These kits were designed so that you can take them home and continue your urban sketching practice on your own. One of the biggest takeaways we hope you get, is to learn to make art a daily habit you look forward to!

As each class explores different facets of Urban Zen Sketching, each kit is specially selected to ensure that you get the most out of your experience by exposing you to, not only different concepts and skills, but also materials. Zip wants to show you that there are many ways to express yourself using different materials to help broaden your artistic perceptions.


Sakura Koi Watercolor Pocket SetSakura Koi Watercolor Pocket Set





The perfect portable watercolor set, complete with a refillable water brush to transport and store water while on the road. This lightweight affordable kit fits into a shirt or jacket pocket and is a favorite among many urban landscape sketchers. 


• 12 half pan watercolor paints, formulated to blend easily.

• 1 Koi Water Brush with 4ml reservoir barrel handle and detachable medium brush tip.

• 1 dabbing sponge

• divided snap lid cover serves as a palette

Strathmore Vision Mixed Media PadStrathmore Vision Mixed Media Pad

This versatile sketchbook contains a medium weight, all-purpose paper for a variety of dry and light, wet media sketching you will be exploring in this class. The pages are perforated and easy to tear out. The backing is made from a sturdy chipboard. Tear off the top sheet to reveal a mixed media cover that can be customized with your own artwork!

5.5" x 8.5", 70 sheets



sakura-pens.pngSakura Micron Pens

Artists, writers, and illustrators reach for Pigma Microns. These pens contain archival Pigma ink to safeguard your work. They are waterproof, and work well with other media.

Create extra-fine, fine or medium strokes by a change in brush pressure. The work great for both lettering and drawing.

This kit contains two .45 tip microns in sepia and black, and one brush tip pen.




Uni-Ball Gel Impact PenUni-Ball Gel Impact Pen

A cult favorite, these pens produce thick vibrant lines of opaque white pigmented ink needed for highlights and corrections.

Color: Coconut White



Palomino Blackwing PencilsPalomino Blackwing Pencil, soft

The legend of Blackwing exceeds the reputation of any other pencil, and for good reason! The pencils are made from California incense cedar. Their cores are made in Japan to a formulation that is smoother and softer than most pencil leads, yet still allows them to keep a good point. Their erasers are refillable, and can be extended as they wear down. If you're not already hooked on Blackwing pencils... you will be soon!

The full line of Blackwing pencils are available in both of our stores.


Factis Extra Soft Vinyl EraserGeneral Pencil Extra Soft White Vinyl Eraser

Sometimes called the "much kneaded" eraser, the Factis Eraser is ideal for erasing a variety of mediums, from charcoal to pastel on fine papers including watercolor and vellum, without smudging or smearing. It is one of the softest art erasers made.



Single Hole Metal SharpenerMagnesium Wedge Sharpener

No urban sketching kit is complete without a good pencil sharpener. This wedge-shaped magnesium-alloy sharpener features dynamic torsion action tempered steel blades.