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Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Sketchbook Pages Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

Sketchcrawl San Francisco Part 1: Coit Tower

Coit Tower, from Levi Plaza, SF Sketchcrawl 40, ink & watercolor 7x5"
Coit Tower, from Levi Plaza, SF Sketchcrawl 40, ink & watercolor 7×5″

The San Francisco Sketchcrawl was so much fun and had a great turnout of around 75 people. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones. This was actually my last sketch of the day, finished just before our 4:00 meetup.

Micaela and I were going to walk the hundreds of stairs up to Coit Tower to draw it but got distracted by all the other events going on along the Embarcadero on our way. We realized there a was a great view of the tower from inside Levi Plaza, a beautiful, somewhat hidden park that I’d like to return to for more sketching.

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Landscape Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

This Weekend! West Coast Urban Sketchers’ Sketchcrawl in the SF Bay Area

Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner
Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner

If you’re in the Bay Area the weekend of July 12-14, you’re invited to join in the sketching fun. We’ll be meeting Friday evening in Berkeley, all day Saturday in San Francisco and half a day on Sunday at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

You can find all the details, including schedules and downloadable maps on the 1st West Coast Urban Sketchers’ Sketchcrawl website or Facebook page.

Several art supply companies are supporting the event by donating sketching supplies and the local press have interviewed Urban Sketchers and are helping to promote the event with articles and arts and events columns.

We’re expecting over 100 people each day for this exciting event taking place at the same time as the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Barcelona, Spain and the Worldwide Sketchcrawl.

If you’re around this weekend, I hope you can join us. If you’re not, be sure to check out the Worldwide Sketchcrawl site to see if there is a sketchcrawl in your area on Saturday July 13.

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Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Painting Places Plein Air Sketchbook Pages Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

Saints Peter and Paul Church, Aquatic Park Bay Panorama: Sketchcrawl Part III

Saints Peter & Paul Church, viewed from Washington Square, Ink & watercolor, 8x5.5"
Saints Peter & Paul Church, Ink & watercolor, 8×5.5″

We brought our lunches from Molinari’s Deli to Washington Square Park where we sat in the shade of a tree to eat and then sketch Saint Peter and Paul’s Church. I started in a smaller sketchbook first (below) and then decided to start over (above) in the larger watercolor Moleskine I’ve been using lately.

Saints Peter and Paul Church, with rubber stamps, 4x4"
Saints Peter and Paul Church, 4×4″

Then we made the long walk to the Fisherman’s Wharf Holiday Inn for the Tease-O-Rama sketching. From there we walked down to Maritime Museum where I stamped the page (above) with their National Park rubber stamps when we arrived at Aquatic Park.

San Francisco Bay from Aquatic Park, ink & watercolor 16x5.5"
San Francisco Bay from Aquatic Park, ink & watercolor 16×5.5″

Above is the last sketch of the day, my view sitting on the stairs at Aquatic Park, across the street from Ghirardelli Square, the Sketchcrawl meet-up spot.

Golden Gate, Marin County and Aquatic Park (left side of spread)
Golden Gate, Marin County and Aquatic Park (left side of spread)

Above is a bigger picture of the left side of the spread, looking out towards the Golden Gate Bridge on the left, Marin County in the middle, and people playing at Aquatic Park.

Marin County, Alcatraz and the Balclutha (ride side of spread)
Marin County, Alcatraz and the Balclutha (right side of spread)

Behind the big ship Balclutha on the right (part of the San Francisco Maritime National Park), is Alcatraz. On the left is the ferry, taking people from San Francisco to Larkspur in Marin County. The bay was full of sailboats, kayaks and even people swimming on this unusually warm and sunny spring day.

I feel so blessed to live in such a gorgeous area with an incredible variety of people, places, and scenery! I’m also very grateful to both Enrico Casarosa who started the International Sketchcrawls and Gabi Campanero who created Urban Sketchers, and the opportunities their organizations offer for us to enjoy the art of sketching together.

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Drawing Figure Drawing People Sketchbook Pages Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

Sketching Burlesque Pin-Up Girls: International Sketchcrawl 35, Part II

Lady in Red at Dr. Sketchy's, ink & water-color pencil, 8x5.5"
Lady in Red, ink & watercolor pencil, 8″x5.5″

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was holding a free Tease-O-Rama drawing session during the afternoon of the Sketchcrawl at a Holiday Inn. The models, all burlesque artists, were beautiful, with surprisingly natural bodies from heavy to thin, and without any apparent enhancements except makeup and feathers (and maybe wigs; their hair was just a little too perfect).

They were in town for a burlesque convention so the hotel was filled with people from this interesting subculture. Some looked quite ordinary when they changed out of their costumes (I was in the restroom when two ladies did that). Others were extraordinary in a variety of ways, costume or not (head to toe tattoos for example).

First pose of the day, ink & colored pencil, 8x5.5"
First pose of the day, ink & colored pencil, 8×5.5″

They really knew how to pose like pin-up girls and hold that come-hither look. The poses were each 15 minutes which was perfect. There were about 50 artists in the plush conference room, sitting audience-style in chairs, so I couldn’t get out my watercolor set. I just had my pens and a red watercolor pencil I borrowed from Cathy.

Last pose, least favorite, ink & colored pencil, 8x5.5"
Least favorite model/sketch, ink & colored pencil

The model’s outfit above was actually white but so was her skinny body, which was kind of boring to draw. I used a Micron Pigma pen and black and yellow Pitt Artist Brush Pens and Cathy’s red pencil.

Miss Red, in Green, ink & watercolor, 8x5.5"
Miss Redd, in green, ink. (Watercolor added later) 8×5.5″

I was delighted to discover that I could to do a competent job at not only drawing the models, but also fitting them on the page. If you do any figure drawing, I’m sure you know how easy it is to end up with no room for the feet (or worse, the head)! Frequent drawing practice and study has led to my being able to better see the angles, shapes, negative space, and plumb lines within the subject, which makes drawing easier. Yay!

The next model was way too creepy for me: a guy wearing a rhinestone-studded gas mask, a sequined g-string and black leather body straps. My sketch buddy Cathy had left after the first model, wanting to be outdoors, and I decided this was a good time to join her.

More sketches from the beautiful outdoors in the next post.

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Drawing Faces Ink and watercolor wash People Places Sketchbook Pages Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

International Sketchcrawl 35: San Francisco, Part I

Waiting with flowers at MacArthur BART Station
Waiting with flowers at MacArthur BART Station (sketched standing on the platform and color added at home)

Sketchcrawl 35 was fantastic! The weather in San Francisco was unusually beautiful, warm and sunny and there was so much to see and do. I’m posting the sketches in three parts since what we saw in each part of the day was so different.  Part I covers the trip into the city through lunch.

Reading an Actual BOOK on BART
Reading an Actual BOOK on BART (paint added at home)

So rare to see someone reading a real book and not just fidgeting with their digital whatevers.

He reminded me of Jay and Silent Bob in Clerks
He reminded me of Jay from the movie Clerks

The guy in the sketch above reminded me so much of the slacker Jay from the movie Clerks I had to post this photo of him and Silent Bob below.

Jay and Silent Bob in Clerks
Jay and Silent Bob in Clerks

Thank goodness for the Internet or I would have been saying, “Doesn’t he look just like that guy in that movie….” and had no photo to show you.

Cathy and another sketcher at Caffe Trieste in North Beach
Cathy and another sketcher at Caffe Trieste in North Beach (sketched and painted on site)

Cathy was sitting at my sidewalk table sketching someone behind me so I sketched her while the group gathered at Caffe Trieste, the starting point for the sketchcrawl. There was scaffolding over the entryway, which provided an interesting drawing challenge.

Molinari's Deli where we bought lunch
Molinari’s Deli where we bought lunch (sketched in the store, painted at home)

Cathy and I bought lunch for later and then stood in opposite corners of the store to sketch the counter guys at Molinari’s Deli in North Beach. (Click the link to Molinari’s to see the picture prominently displayed in their store of their salame with the Pope). They turned up their radio for the end of the Barcelona vs. Madrid soccer finals. It was fun hearing the super-excited announcer yelling the play-by-play in Spanish as a player ran down the field, made a goal and won the game.

Part II will be my drawings from Dr. Sketchy’s Tease-O-Rama and Part III is more in North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.