Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Marin County Sketchbook Pages

Lyford House Tiburon

Lyford House
Lyford House, Tiburon, ink & watercolor 8 x 5″

My plein air group had a lovely day painting at the Lyford House in Tiburon. Since we had a workshop leader doing a demo that day I brought my sketchbook instead of plein air gear, knowing I wouldn’t have time to do a full painting.

I focused mostly on the drawing, trying to capture this very complicated Victorian home. The Lyford House was built in 1876 as the main residence of a nearby dairy farm. It was barged over to its present site, an Audubon Sanctuary, in 1957 after conservationists saved it from being torn down.

The site is surrounded by some of the most expensive real estate in the country, with an average price of $3.5 million but with many homes for sale in the $18 million to $35 million range. I wish I could have visited the lavish Mediterranean-style villa next door that I was spying on through the bushes.

Categories
Landscape Marin County Outdoors/Landscape Painting Places Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Painting Pt. Bonita Part I: Watercolor

Point Bonita, watercolor, 7x5" in journal
Point Bonita #1, watercolor, 7x5" in journal

When I got frustrated with painting from life last month, I took a break and experimented in working from the same photo in different media. First I did the sketch above in my journal from the photo below which I took at Point Bonita in the Marin Headlands last year.

Point Bonita photo cropped to 9x12"
Point Bonita photo cropped to 9x12"

I took the photo during a very cold and windy plein air paint out where I did a plein air sketch (posted here) and planned to eventually paint the scene in the studio. As you can see, I did what I call “imaginating” (a combination of imagining and exaggerating the colors I see in a photo or a scene) instead of rendering the photo as is.

Point Bonita, Watercolor, 12x9"
Point Bonita #2, Watercolor, 12x9"

After I did the little journal painting at the top of this post (which I like very much), I tried it again  4 times bigger on a 12×9″ Arches watercolor block (above). It was fun to get back to painting in watercolor on something other than a small journal page. I didn’t use any masking on either of these, just painted around areas I wanted to stay white.

I enjoyed working larger on a watercolor block–I could work at a slant, mix juicy washes, and not have to worry about trying to keep the pages flat and the journal open. I’m falling in love with watercolor painting all over again.

Stay tuned for the oil and oil pastel versions tomorrow.

Categories
Animals Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Marin County Painting Places

Marin County Fair Sketches

Poultry Tent Medly, ink & watercolor 7x5
Poultry Tent Medley, ink & watercolor 7x5

When Cathy and I visited the Marin County Fair to sketch I was experimenting with sketching on pieces of paper instead of in my sketchbook as I wrote about here. Later I pasted the sketches into my journal. Above is a medley of chickens of various kinds along with one of the 4-H girls sitting at the “pet a chicken” table.

Boy with his chicken: matching hairstyles?
Boy with his chicken: matching hairstyles?

I asked this sweet boy if he intentionally styled his hair to match his chicken and he looked at me like I was nuts and said, “No.” The best part of the fair for me is seeing the kids who show their animals and win prizes for how well they present them.

Cow Parts
Cow Parts

I made numerous attempts to draw cows, trying to figure out their shapes, and finally sketched one I liked plus a few parts (head and butt). I had no idea their feet had two toes(?). Amazing what you don’t see when you don’t really look.

Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats
Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats

It got really hot so we went into the air-conditioned theater on the fair grounds to see the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats perform. I tried sketching in the dark, adding color later. They were amazing. The sketch, not so much.

Hanging Teddy Prizes and Tilt-a-Whirl
Hanging Teddy Prizes and Tilt-a-Whirl

For the last sketch of the day we sketched from the midway. I sat on a ledge on the back of one of the game booths in the shade of the hanging teddy prizes. I cooled off a little more than I expected: I didn’t realize until it was too late that I was sitting in a puddle of water.

Cathy’s sketches of the day were fabulous (as always) and can be seen on our Urban Sketchers blog here.