Guitars! Guitars!

The Players Guitars store at 840 B street in San Rafael is on the ground floor of a colorful Victorian building, and a favorite subject for sketching when the weather is fine. Seven students and I did a series of sketches of the building, from different points of view.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had permission to sketch inside the store, which is so small only two of us could work at a time. The array of instruments was breathtaking…so many shapes, designs and colors! Here is some excellent work by students.

Sketching Folk Art

Sketching Folk Art

This week our San Rafael workshop went on location to one of our favorite places—the Folk Art Gallery on 4th Street. Along with other artifacts, we had the opportunity to create quick studies of some delightful carvings of animals, with intricately hand-painted surface designs. Here are some samples of student work, as well as my own.

Cafe Society

Cafe Society

The San Rafael workshop took shelter from wet weather by sketching people at the Aroma Cafe. Just two doors down from our Rileystreet Art Store HQ, this location is excellent for finding people sitting in one spot for extended periods….working on their computers, mostly. Drawing people waiting in line to place their order provides more of a challenge….the line moves pretty quickly.

Student work is shown here, using a combination of aquarelle pencils and ink pens. nathalie-cafemichael-cafepatti-cafepatty-cafestephanie-cafe

Student Work

Student work

Here is some excellent recent work by students in my San Rafael and Napa, CA sketching Fast & Loose workshops. The native American masks are by Anne. She used a rainbow pencil for most of it, as we’ll as some waterproof ink (Micron 08 pen) and some aquarelle colored pencils. The rainbow pencil has become a favorite of mine, as well as several of my students.

The produce sketch below is by Marcy, and the pillows by Stephanie. Stephanie used  rainbow pencil strokes for the pillow on the right.stephanie-pillows

marcy-produce-1

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

Last Thursday’s San Rafael sketching workshop featured fall foliage (not easy to find in California!). My effort shows two trees in the area, while students Patty and Anne Marie zoomed in on a pile of dead leaves, with amazing results.patty-n-annemariepatty-leavesannemarie-leaves

Sketching Shoes, Hats & Handbags

Sketching shoes, hats & handbags

Our San Rafael sketching workshop was focussed on creating variety and contrast between two similar items. Variation can result from using different tools and techniques, such as pen vs. aquarelle pencils. Size differences are also effective, as seen in this dramatic sketch by Anne Marie. We went on location to Foot Traffic Shoes on 4th street. Here are more student sketches. A few of us experimented with a rainbow pencil…not water-soluble, but different colors appear as you twist it.Pat-gym sandals

Stephanie 3 sandalsPat-Rhodas new shoesAnne-rainbow shoe

Recombination, Again

Recombination, again

Seven of us went sketching on location today at the marvelous Folk Art Gallery on 4th street in San Rafael. Sharon, the owner of the gallery, was happy to see our group and gave us the run of the place! Once again, I challenged students to combine two items in an original way. Some very bold and exciting sketches emerged from this session. Two of us experimented with rainbow-colored pencils. All the sketches in this post are by students.

lion plus colorRuss devil-potJanet-ostrich-rabbitAnneMarie double2Stephanie-angel-anteaterfish-buffalo

Reinterpretation….recombination

Reinterpretation….recombination

Our Thursday afternoon sketching Fast & Loose workshop Lois Falkirk1Lois Falkirk2 went on location yesterday to the ceramics show at Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael. The theme of the exhibition by the Terra Linda Ceramics collective was “unleashed.” And we took it one step further, by freely reinterpreting and combining some of the pieces on display. Sketches here are by Lois Donaghey and Anne-Marie Dana as well as myself.

AnneMarie Falkirk1Rhoda-Falkirk1AnneMarie Falkirk2

Sketching People At The Market

Sketching people at the market

After some warm-up sketching at Rileystreet Art store, seven of us went on location to the Safeway store on B street in San Rafael. There are special challenges when sketching people live: working quickly of course, choosing a moment when there is action (such as, reaching or bending down), and expressing that action with only a few pen lines or pencil strokes. I prefer a wide colored pencil stroke to achieve the gesture. Shopping carts or hand baskets, along with some rough indications of shelves or display cases will help establish the setting. Student work is shown here, as well as my own.Safeway-student2Safeway-1Safeway-student3

“Life Is Short…Buy The Shoes”

“Life is Short…Buy the Shoes”

That advice is posted in the window of “Foot Traffic”, a great shoe store on 4th street in San Rafael. My Thursday workshop finds many styles to sketch, along with some hats and handbags. Here is some recent work at Foot Traffic (left) and Macy’s (right). The green line drawing of a sneaker was done “blind” (except for the two areas of quick shading). By “blind”, I mean keeping my eyes on the shoe and my pencil (or pen) on the paper. Part of the process involves drawing the object in one continuous stroke, if possible. This is a powerful exercise for learning to draw what you see, and it is the essence of eye-hand coordination.  Also, when you can’t see your drawing, you can’t be judgmental of your skill!

Foot Traffic-2Macys shoes