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Albany Building Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Places Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Sketchcrawl 38 and Urban Sketchers Show

Masonic & Solano, Albany, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Masonic & Solano, Albany, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

We had a fantastic time hosting sketchers from around the Bay Area at our sketching event last Saturday. There were at least 30 sketchers and a total of around 100 people who joined us at the reception for the show afterwards. It was great seeing so many local scenes captured in many different styles. You can see photos of the exhibit, the reception and tables of sketchbooks on the library’s blog here.

In the sketch above I enjoyed seeing and drawing all the details that normally go unnoticed. Then I  disregarded my plan to put the paint down and leave it alone. Instead I repainted the right side of the building several times and even removed the paint with a wet paper towel (in the restroom of the Sophia Cafe above, left) and then painted it again, finally getting the “right” color but ultimately ruining the paper surface.

Bart Tracks on Masonic, ink, 5x8"
Bart Tracks on Masonic, ink, 5×8″

I got in one last quick sketch of Masonic Ave. with the BART tracks and train before I had to zip down to the Albany library/community center at the end of the block for the reception. We made lots of new sketching friends and some will be joining us for our Tuesday night sketch outings we will be hosting the first Tuesday evening of each month.

If you’re interested in sketching with us, please visit our Urban Sketchers blog’s Event page or join our Urban Sketcher’s Facebook Events page.

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Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Sketchcrawl 38: Sketch With Us or See Our Show

Toilet seat display, ink & watercolor
Toilet seat display, ink & watercolor

The East Bay Express published a fun article about my Urban Sketchers group and the sketch event and show/reception we’re hosting today. In the article they mentioned my sketching toilet seats in the hardware store so I thought I’d bring that sketch back from the past.

Here’s a link to the newspaper article: “Sketching the Extra-Ordinary” (PDF).

And here’s a link to the Events Page on our Urban Sketchers blog with information about the show and sketching event. We’re sketching from 12-3 on Solano Avenue in Berkeley/Albany starting at the corner of Masonic. The reception is at the Albany Library on Marin from 3-4. The exhibit of our sketches and sketching gear and journals is up all month at the library.

We just sketched at the hardware store again this week but I haven’t had a chance to prepare that sketch for posting yet. Coming soon. Meanwhile gotta get ready to go. I’m so glad the weather warmed up a bit!

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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.