Berkeley Drawing Outdoors/Landscape Painting Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, Berkeley

Mrs. Dalloway's Book Store

Ink & Watercolor in Strathmore drawing sketchbook, 6×8″ (Larger)

After my dentist appointment today I took a walk up to College Avenue in the Elmwood district of Berkeley, foraging for lunch. I chose Ferrari’s Deli where I had a delicious grilled “Perugia” sandwich (roasted pork sirloin, black truffle butter and Asiago cheese on toasted ciabatta bread). I sat a sidewalk table to eat, with a view of Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore across the street. Then I got out my sketchbook and started drawing, sad that I’d left my watercolors in my car, half a mile away.

I took a couple photos (fearing I wouldn’t remember all the colors, like the orange reflection of Ferrari’s awning appearing in Mrs. Dalloway’s windows) and then added the watercolor at home tonight. The paper in this sketchbook is not designed for wet media but works fine if you don’t overwork it. I like it because it’s just the right size, the paper is nice, especially for drawing, and quite inexpensive.

Art theory Berkeley Drawing Outdoors/Landscape Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

North Berkeley Library & Freedom from Junk

North Berkeley Library

Ink and watercolor in 6×8″ Strathmore Drawing sketchbook (Larger)

This sketch is all about pausing in a busy day to sit and draw, taking advantage of a little sun between rainstorms, and enjoying feeling free. Until I began the sketch, I hadn’t realized how beautiful (and extraordinarily complicated) the landmark building (photo) of the North Berkeley Public Library is.

Freedom from stuff

My feeling of freedom came from filling three shopping bags with books I no longer needed and taking them to my favorite used book store, Black Oak Books. They gave me store credit for two-thirds of the books (which I promptly traded for three books I had on hold).

I could have sold the remaining bag of books on Amazon or at another used bookstore, but decided to just let them go. I dropped them off at the library as a donation and walked out empty handed, feeling quite pleased. Instead of rushing on to the next task, I plopped down on a bench and started sketching.

Now I have space on my bookshelves and room in my car (the three bags had been hogging my backseat for two weeks). And I love that wonderful spacious feeling that comes from removing clutter, whether physical or mental, from my life.

About the sketch: As you can see, my study of perspective hasn’t quite paid off yet. (The doors and windows slant the opposite direction from the roofline of the front wall). I drew with a purple Micron Pigma pen and then added watercolor at home. I tried to remember the colors of the walls but realized I didn’t pay enough attention to what was in light and in shadow. To practice using visual memory, I purposely didn’t take a photo or look at one on line.

So now I can see that my visual memory needs work, along with my perspective drawing. How great to know that there is no end to learning as an artist. I never have to worry about getting bored. Painting and learning are my two favorite things in life!

Berkeley Drawing Life in general Other Art Blogs I Read Painting People Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Eavesdropping without consonants

Peet's Coffee Drinkers

Purple ink and watercolor in small Moleskine watercolor notebook (Larger)

I love overhearing snippets of other people’s conversations and how they flavor my sketches in cafes. I’ve drawn and scribbled overheard conversations at Peet’s Coffee’s 4th Street shop in Berkeley before. When I saw Pete Scully‘s fantastic sketches with conversation snippets I thought I’d try it his way with the words in little boxes. But I’m not as tidy at printing as he is.

Peet's Coffee - ...and I got my potatoes back

Purple ink and watercolor in small Moleskine watercolor notebook (Larger)

So on this one I wrote the words I overheard on the newspaper above. Maybe the passerby didn’t really say, “…and I got all my potatoes back, you know…” – my hearing isn’t what it used to be so sometimes my imagination fills in the blanks with things that make me laugh. I can hear the words but the consonants aren’t clear.

It’s amazing how one wrong consonant can change the meaning of a sentence. (He says, “Hey, guess what! I got a hog!”…so I’m thinking…he got a pig?! oh maybe he got a Harley motorcycle, they call those “hogs”….and then I realize as he goes on talking that he said he got a DOG, not a HOG and he said it was BIG not a PIG!)