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Sketchcrawl 15 – Berkeley’s Fourth Street


Peet’s Coffee. Larger

All are drawn in ink and painted with watercolor in small Moleskine watercolor notebook
Yesterday was Sketchcrawl 15 and I joined a friendly, talented group of artists (including Oakland artist Carrie, Sonoma county artist Natalie, Cathy from East Bay Plein Air Painters, and fellow art-bloggers Martha, Vern and Pete) on Berkeley’s Fourth Street to sketch. We had a good time sketching in nice weather, and met up again at the end of the day at Brennan’s Pub for drinks.

Brennan’s used to be a favorite hangout in my late 20s — a place to meet friends for drinks and partying back in the day. I hadn’t been there in at least 20 years so it was fun to see it was still virtually the same and to have a yummy Irish Coffee for old times sake. I learned today that Brennan’s will be demolished in the near future to make room for a new development but they will be moving to a historic, former train depot nearby.


Lilly. Larger
“Good Afternoon. Could you help me please?” “Good afternoon, could you help me please?” “Good afternoon, could you help me please?” “Thank you Jesus.” “Good afternoon, could you help me please?”

Martha and I sat on a bench across the street from Hear Music so she could draw their storefront. Just to my left was this cheerful and charming (and repetitive) blind woman soliciting money from the shoppers in this upscale area. For the half hour we sat there she continued her chant, while her sweet but old, grizzled male friend gave her quiet little cues about who was walking by, what they looked like and what they were doing. She was excited we were sketching her. I gave him my card and promised to send a copy of the finished sketch, which he liked. She also allowed me to take photos and I plan to do a painting of her as she was quite beautiful (which you can’t tell from my sketch, sadly.) We put a few dollars in her begging bowl (a quart-sized yogurt container).


The last sketch of the day in the little courtyard behind Sur la Table. Martha went inside and drew kitchen goods.


Spenger’s Fish Grotto

This is the first sketch of the day I did while we waited for everyone to arrive. I painted it later at home from little color notes I penciled in to the sketch. Pete did a fabulous drawing of Spenger’s using a blue Copic fine liner and watercolor, so please be sure to visit the Berkeley Sketchcrawl website to see his drawings and Martha’s, and the cool photos Martha took of everyone sketching.

16 replies on “Sketchcrawl 15 – Berkeley’s Fourth Street”

Jana, so glad you made it out ‘crawlin’. Thanks for the pictures and the links, and the comment to my post. It certainally looks as though you had a terrific day together.


Jana, these are really nice. I love the colors you add to the ink drawings. Thanks, too, for sharing the links to the other artists’ sketches. It was fun to look at them all.


Fantastic sketches. I really enjoy your use of color. Your peach painting is amazing!
And I may have to steal your sketchbook idea. How’s it working out?


Wonderful sketches … looks like you really enjoyed the day and the company. Nice you are really getting out and doing your art with groups … what fun.


jana this is great stuff, and it was very nice to meet you at the sketchcrawl, and see this work in the real, i really learnt a lot speaking to you and everyone else at the end. i really like this style, it’s very playful and free, especially the one with the pink flowers, it is very alive.

i went back and ate at brennan’s before getting the train, and got the big half chicken. Shame to hear it will be demolished.


What a wonderful batch of sketches – I had a lot of fun (virtually) following you around on your sketchcrawl.


Jana – It was so fun to sketch with you again! Next time I’m gonna watch more carefully how you do it. Your sketches are so bright and lively – just wonderful!


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