Sketching Sketchers and Doodling Meetings

Doodling to Stay Awake at Meeting

Doodling to Stay Awake at Meeting

On my first day back to work after being sick for weeks we had a staff meeting. I wanted to put my head down on the table and nap so doodled to stay upright and awake. Later I pasted the page in my sketchbook with the added note about antibiotics.

Sketching Sketchers #1

Sketching Sketchers #1

Then my first night back at Tuesday night sketching (at the Bread Workshop) after I drew my food I sketched the sketchers at my table. I had to add that shading to the right of Amy’s face to “erase” the splotch I made by her nose that looked like a booger.

Sketching Sketchers #2

Sketching Sketchers #2

I added one too many lines, which lead to more lines to try to fix them, in Sonia’s hair which had been perfect until I did that. I made a note to remind myself to STOP at “good enough” and not keep going.

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I Otter Go to the Zoo

Otter, Gouache and Ink

Optimistic Otter, Gouache and Ink

…but my son Robin did instead. And he took wonderful, soulful photos that he shared with me. So of course I had to sketch them, starting with this otter whose expression really struck me. It came out a little different in each sketch.

Otter, drawn with icky Pigma Brush Pen

Worried Otter, drawn with icky Pigma Brush Pen

I finally threw away the Pigma Brush Pen I used for this sketch. The point seemed to fray on first use and only got worse. The Pitt Artist Brush Pens seem to hold up better.

Otter, Sepia & Black Pitt Artist Pens

Perplexed Otter, Sepia & Black Pitt Artist Pens

I think this one is my favorite either because of his expression (why am I assuming it’s a boy?) or because the drawing reminds me of a series of children’s books I used to read to my sons when they were little, about a little badger named Francis.

And here is Robin’s original photo:

Otter, photo by Robin Bouc

Otter, photo by Robin Bouc

I wonder what this cute little guy was thinking. Doesn’t this just call for a caption? What would it be?

Sketching Lake Merritt, Oakland

Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner

Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner

Last week I took advantage of quick sketchers Martha and Cathy being away to spend an hour working on one image instead of constantly moving from one spot to the next. This was a really complex scene and the more I drew the more details appeared to draw.

By the time I finished, Sonia (who did several sketches of different views from the same spot) and I were so cold we decided to head home. I work right across the street from the lake and doing this drawing helped me to see what an amazing resource I have for sketching right outside my door.

Lunchtime Sketching Lake Merritt Birds

Lunchtime Sketching Lake Merritt Birds

The next day at lunch, instead of eating in the kitchen with my colleagues, I took my sketchbook and went for a walk by the lake. My plan was to sketchercize: walk for 15 minutes, do a sketch, and walk 15 minutes back, getting in a 30 minute walk. But 5 minutes from the office I saw a row of Double-Crested Cormorants all lined up drying their wings in the sun as if they were on clotheslines.

(Cormorants are easily identified because they’re the only waterbirds that sit in the sun with their wings spread, hanging their feathers out to dry.  They lack an oil gland for preening, so their feathers get waterlogged when they swim under water.)

After I sketched a cormorant and walked a few minutes more, a gaggle of goofy geese were all lined up at the edge of the sidewalk, waiting for someone to decide what to do next, and they needed sketching.

Walking back to the office I came across a foot-high rock with a bronze plaque on it that said “Leon Olsen loved to walk here.” What a great way to honor someone. A memorial walk rock!

Sketches at a Meeting

Meeting People 1

Meeting People 1

It was an important meeting. The participants were brilliant experts in their fields.  Yet I still couldn’t resist sketching my way through the meeting.

Meeting people 2

Meeting people 2

I only had my work notebook and a fat roller ball blue ink pen in the conference room with me. During a break I grabbed a black one but it was still weird to draw with compared to my usual extra fine point pen.

I actually captured a likeness on a couple of these little gesture sketches.

Subway Sketches: BART Riders

BART riders on the way to Sketchcrawl

BART riders on the way to Sketchcrawl

I enjoy sketching on BART, our subway system (which has been in the news since New Year’s Eve when BART police shot and killed a defenseless, unarmed young man which was captured on cellphone video and led to protests and rioting in downtown Oakland).  BART’s headquarters are in the building where I work in downtown Oakland. To keep people safe inside, the building has been on “lock down” the past couple of weeks, with I.D.s required to enter the building to keep those of us working inside safe. There’s been no trouble though, with way more media and police around than protestors.

Old Man, Big Ears

Old Man, Big Ears

On BART this morning, this old man made a great model. He barely moved and had the most gigantic ears I’ve ever seen.

BART Rider

BART Rider

This would probably be better if I darkened all of the area around her but I liked her pointy nose.

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