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

A Walk By the Park, A Guy on the Roof

Putting Up the Xmas Lights by the Park, Ink & watercolor, 7x5"
Putting Up the Xmas Lights by the Park, Ink & watercolor, 7x5"

It was such a beautiful sunny day (our drought continues) I decided to go for a walk and find a spot to paint outdoors instead of in the studio. I walked the mile to Peet’s Coffee and then, with a cup of their dark, rich (decaf) coffee in hand, I turned towards home, still looking for inspiration.

I passed the little urban creek behind Peet’s, and considered sketching it but it was shaded by trees and very chilly.  As I walked by the little pocket park alongside Albany Hill, this little cul-de-sac called out, “Paint Me!” With a handy picnic table right there to lay out my paints, how could I resist?

Although I usually sketch directly in pen, this scene was so complicated I decided to draw in pencil first. As I was completing the drawing I spotted a guy on his roof with a string of holiday lights. Do you see him? I know it looks like he’s standing on top of a tree but the roof of his house is just behind the tree. I think I made him a bit of a giant!

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Art supplies Drawing Flower Art Glass Ink and watercolor wash Painting Plein Air Rose Sketchbook Pages Still Life Watercolor

War of the Roses, Part I: Schmincke Watercolor Review

Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor
Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor

On the next test run of my new Schmincke palette that Roz introduced here, I painted some roses on a tablecloth in the sun on the deck. While the Schmincke pan paint is lovely to use, and the palette a good size and design, the colors frustrated me. Their version of rose called Permanent Carmine (PV19) is much redder than the Winsor Newton (PV19) Permanent Rose I rely on for pinks and several other colors didn’t appeal to me.

In the color chart below, the top and bottom rows are the original Schmincke colors that came with the set. I added the colors in the center row by filling empty half-pans from tube paint in the space designed for adding extra pans.

Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row
Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row

The colors (abbreviated above) are:

Categories
Drawing Emeryville Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Outdoors/Landscape Painting Places Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Emeryville Marina Chevy’s Sign at Sunset (Updated)

Emeryville Marina Chevys Sign at Sunset, ink & watercolor
Emeryville Marina Chevy's Sign at Sunset, ink & watercolor

(Apologies for posting twice–forgot to include all three images the first time).
I noticed this palm tree-lined street when I was exiting Highway 80 in Emeryville and suggested it as a place for our Urban Sketchers group to meet. I guess the directions I provided to the spot weren’t very good because everyone else went down to the end of the marina and I sketched alone all evening.

Photo of sketch before I painted it
Photo of sketch before I painted it

I knew we’d meet at Chevy’s Mexican Restaurant at 8:30 so I wasn’t worried. This was one of those really fun drawings where I started by deciding what I most wanted to fit on the page (the lamp post, palm trees, Chevy’s sign and water). I started with the lamp post because I could use it to figure out where other things lined up to it. And then I just kept seeing and drawing more and more until it was all in there.

photo of the scene
photo of the scene (slightly different angle)

I painted the sketch just as the sunset was at its brightest and everything looked so pretty, pink and yellow. It’s such a lovely spot, and yet so urban, within a couple blocks of two major freeways and the entrance to the Bay Bridge. You can see Cathy’s sketches of  the bay bridge and the freeway on our Urban Sketchers Bay Area blog.