Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt, Oakland. Ink & watercolor, 5x7.5"

Lake Chalet (and Plumbing) on Lake Merritt, Oakland. Ink & watercolor, 5×7.5″

Lake Chalet was originally built over 100 years ago as a high-pressure salt water pumping station for the Oakland Fire Department. In 1913, two wings were added to serve as boathouses. In 2009 the building was transformed into a lively restaurant and bar with outdoor seating on the docks behind it on the lake.

What attracted me to draw this scene wasn’t the lovely building; it was the multiple plumbing features on the grass that slopes down to the restaurant from the sidewalk where I sat to draw. And of course the antique street lights that circle the lake.

Milk at Picante, ink & watercolor, 5x5"

Milk Carton at Picante, ink & watercolor, 5×5″

I struggled trying to draw these two milk cartons so issued a challenge to the other sketchers at my table to draw them too. We all had different views of the cartons set in the middle of the table so it was fun to see the variety of approaches and points of view.

Drawing Rocks Practice on Sculpture at Oakland Museum, ink & watercolor, 5x7x5"

Drawing Rocks Practice on Sculpture at Oakland Museum, ink & watercolor, 5x7x5″

After a workshop on drawing rocks (part of John Muir Laws’ Bay Area Nature Journal Club) Susan and I walked down to the Oakland Museum’s sculpture garden, looking for rocks to practice on. The only rock-like object we could find was this clay sculpture. It’s so helpful to practice new concepts before they slip from my mind, as most things do these days.

Building, Ink and watercolor wash, Landscape, Outdoors/Landscape, Places, Sketchbook Pages, Sketchcrawl, Urban Sketchers
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Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. These are great WC sketches – really enjoyed the first one.


    • Thanks Mary! I had such a good time drawing the first one too. Jana

      Sketchblog: Website: UrbanSketchers-BayArea,


  2. Awesome sketches! The first one is great.


  3. Love these paintings. All of them with a story to tell. 🙂


  4. Great sketches, especially the top one.


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