Sketchbook Pages

Sketchcrawl 21: Ferry Building, San Francisco – Part I

Entertaining the pigeonsClarinet player, iink & watercolor
Entertaining the pigeons (ink & watercolor)

The weather was perfect in San Francisco for Sketchcrawl 21. Martha and I kicked off the day sketching this old dude playing off-key clarinet behind the Ferry Building. Children seemed to love the music and the pigeons looked happy, doing their funny pigeon wobbly-neck dance to the music. I’m guessing his fancy tuxedo pants were left over from better days.

As we headed to the only open table across from the musician to sketch, a young man with a perky little dog started to take “our” table. Without realizing I was thinking out loud, I said, “No, guy, don’t sit there!” He turned around and looked at me in surprise.

I was so embarrassed! I apologized and explained, “I didn”t meant to say that; I thought I was just thinking it.” He was very nice and insisted we take the table, which we did, with me still apologizing. I better be careful or I’m going to turn into one of those crazy cat ladies who wanders around talking to herself all the time (if I’m not already there!)

By 10:30 a.m. about a dozen sketchers had gathered. That number grew to 80 by the final meet-up in Golden Gate Park. Some of us  (Martha, Yoko and I) stayed around the Ferry Building to draw so never made it to the park. Note our cool Sketchcrawl T-shirts.

Martha, Jana & Yoko at Ferry Building
Martha, Jana & Yoko

End of day meet-up in Golden Gate park (below).

Sketchers at end of day
Sketchers at Golden Gate Park End of Day Meet-Up
Photo by Jim Mitchell

We had a fabulous lunch at Hog Island Oysters in the Ferry Building. I’ll post those pictures tomorrow after I add watercolor; we hogged the Hog Island table too long to start painting after we’d sketched all our food before eating it!

After lunch we took a stroll in the sun hunting more sketches. We walked out on a pier where we drew and painted these Pilot Boats (used to transport pilots of big ships between land and the inbound or outbound ships that they are piloting). Who knew they had special boats designed for just that purpose! Since they’re so tiny compared to the huge tankers and container ships, I guess that orange mast-looking thingee on the boat is actually a sort of crane for the pilot to ride down on.

Tugboats, ink & watercolor
Pilot Boats, ink & watercolor, painted on site

Here”s a picture of our sketchbooks and our interpretations of the same scene.

Martha & Jana sketch tugboats, Ink & watercolor
Martha & Jana sketch boats, Ink & watercolor
Actual tugboats with sketchbook
Actual Pilot Boats with sketchbook

It was Martha‘s idea to hold up the sketchbook in front of the scene, trying to get the boats the same size in both. She is so much fun to sketch (and lunch) with! I’m sure her sketches will be appearing on her blog, Trumpetvine Travels,  shortly.

11 replies on “Sketchcrawl 21: Ferry Building, San Francisco – Part I”

You guys look like you had sooo much fun – and I love seeing your great journal pages! I also loved getting the text message from you during the actual crawl, as I was sitting in my NYC apartment watching snow fall out my library window. But I did do my own Sketchcrawl earlier in the day- and I was completely alone for 45 minutes in the Met’s 19th C gallery (right after it opened) while I sat on a bench and sketched Cezanne’s Card Players for the second year in a row.


What a great day you had! We did too and part of the fun was being with you via facebook and txt msg-ing! You produced some great art and looks like you had lots of fun doing it also!


Fun to see what ya’ll did while Martha teased me via text! My setting may not have been glamorous, but was still fun. Will get them posted soon. I sure miss my buddy, Martha–but looks like she was in good hands 🙂
Great sketches, too!!


Thanks Lisa! Martha is definitely a wonderful person to sketch with. I
understand why you miss her so much. I hope that someday soon we can all
sketch together! I’m looking forward to seeing your sketches too.


I love that clarinetist sketch! If you don’t mind I’ll link to my oboe site … or even post it there with your permission (I don’t take artwork with permission, and I do prefer to get permission even to link, although I’m not always as good about asking about the latter!).




Hi and thanks for your nice words. Sure, you’re welcome to do either as you prefer, just include a link back with my name and url. And thanks for asking! It’s amazing how many people don’t. Jana


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