This week we headed to Spruce Street in North Berkeley to sketch “Normandy Village,” a 1920s blueprint copy of a village in rural France. For some reason I did all of the village sketches on one spread in my sketchbook so I’ve separated them to post here. I started with these funny gargoyles on one of the cottages, experimenting with a Penstix Indian ink pen that bleeds a bit when water is added.
After the gargoyles I walked back into the little village and sketched the towers. While I was balancing on my 3-legged stool on the cobbled road, some residents drove up to unload some stuff from their car. A young man showed me his large pencil drawings he’d done at school that day and said he was an illustrator and a “Concept Artist.” Actually he’s a student at SF Academy of Art but with that kind of confidence will likely go far.
While most of the cottages in the village look like Hobbit houses, one of the “Village People” as the residents are known, is a gnome collector. Her kitchen window is lined with small gnomes, and the backyard just visible through the archway above, is loaded with gnomes large and small. This one was resting in a chair.
A friendly couple who lived in one of the apartments in this building came out with a plate of produce scraps to put in the recycling bin near me. We chatted about drawing and which was more difficult, drawing people or architecture. I showed them the trick for getting angles approximately right when sketching.
When it got too dark and we were walking up the hill to our cars we saw this home below and realized that in the open on the top of the hill here there was still enough light to do one more sketch