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Sketching at REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.)

Tango Ski Boot, ink & watercolor
Tango Ski Boot, ink & watercolor

REI Berkeley was our sketching destination last week. The store sells high-tech gear for every kind of outdoor activity along with comfortable clothing and shoes. It turned out to be a fun place to sketch with an overwhelming variety of subject matter.

While drawing the fancy, complicated ski boot above, I reminisced about my attempts at skiing with some fondness and pride. Growing up in sunny San Diego I was a surfer girl, not a ski bunny. Fearless in the ocean, on my first ski trip in my 30s I found I was terrified on the slopes. I challenged myself to go on both downhill and cross-country ski trips with friends, family, and even once on my own. I never bought any fancy equipment; rentals were fine with me.

Gentlemen's Hats, ink & watercolor
Gentlemen's Hats, ink & watercolor

It seems that hats have become quite popular again for guys, a trend that hasn’t seen a comeback (other than baseball caps) since my grandfather’s day. I remember his beige felt fedora and how, when we took my sister and I for a ride in his Buick, he would carefully put the hat on the little ledge above the back seat so “us kids” wouldn’t fool around with it (though we always did anyway). Even my two sons wear those cute pork pie hats now.

Hi-Tech Baby Buggies, Ink & colored pencil
Hi-Tech Baby Buggies, Ink, WC, colored pencil

I liked the original ink sketch of these strollers, but hated the watercolor added at the store.  Everything was brown or dark blue and looked ugly. At home I tried washing off the paint and applying colored pencil over the remains. I tried varying the colors. I erased and tried again. I tried and tried, but finally remembered IT’S JUST A SKETCH, and moved on.

You can see some of my sketch-buddies’ excellent REI sketches on our Urban Sketchers blog here and here.

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