Six of us had a lively sketching session at Fabrica la Aurora, a complex of galleries, studios and shops which used to be a textile factory. It was a Thursday, so the topic was THINGS: still life or objects such as potted plants, tall space heaters, ornate lamps. Here are the sketchbooks we “throw down”at the end of the class.
Meeting with the Urban Sketchers every Tuesday is a great way to sketch, socialize and learn more of the nooks and crannies of this town.
Here’s that tall palm tree I was looking up at. I wasn’t satisfied with the section of dead leaves hanging down, so I just used the right half of the page for a close-up study.
This double page has my sketches done at Plaza Civica. The equestrian statue of General Allende is a challenging subject, and there are several iconic churches to include.
A large group of urban sketchers met in Nob Hill yesterday to sketch the enormous and breathtaking Grace Cathedral. Featured sketchers were the Aussie women, Liz Steele and Jane Blundell. Notice my “leaning spire” in one of the sketches below. After seeing some of the sketches by others, I decided it is a feature, not a bug!
July was a busy month for LIVE paintings on canvas at weddings in the Bay Area!
Above is the finished piece for Yoona and Glen. This couple has a great sense of humor, as I easily discovered at our initial meeting months before. Glen is from Australia and requested that a kangaroo and a jar of Vegemite be included in the painting. I was glad to oblige. Most of the piece was painted on location at the Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael, CA. Finishing touches were added in my studio.
This large canvas (24 x 36″) was created for Sarah and Andrew at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa. The Mother of the Bride commissioned it. I presented it to the couple and the bride’s parents on a busy street in San Francisco, just before the family went to the theatre.
Here is the final painting for Joe and Alea, celebrated at the San Jose Marriott. I did not have to exaggerate the height difference between this couple…she is five feet nothing and he is 6 foot 8!
On Thursday, August 3rd, I gave my San Rafael workshop students a challenge that I learned from the recent Urban Sketchers Symposium. After a warmup with photos from great Chicago architecture, we went to City Plaza down the street. The task— combine three points of view into one sketch. (Thanks to Veronica Lawlor for that exercise). Here are some of the results. Thanks to Anne, Kimberly and Stephanie
Chicago, my home town, hosted the 8th annual Urban Sketching Symposium, with over 500 sketchers attending worldwide. What a great opportunity to return after 25 years, to see the familiar as well as new architecture and art.
The Falkirk Mansion in San Rafael is just a few blocks away from our workshop HQ at Rileystreet Art Supplies. It is a favorite venue for us, due to the amazing architecture of the mansion and the breathtaking variety of plant life in the gardens. The scattering of sculpture and found-object artwork adds even more to the array of choices to draw. Here are some sketches by students.
Jean Gjevik’s delightful sketch of a section of the mansion has a fairy-tale quality.
Patty chose to feature the decorative glass on the veranda, in the shade!
Stephanie chose a whimsical sculpture, paired with an aloe plant. She makes them look as if they are dancing together
Kimberley manages to combine three views very successfully: a large stone planter, a front view of the mansion and a section of the veranda.
Anne captured the colors and curves of the mansion.
I spent several hours enjoying the sights and sounds at the annual Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco on Sunday. In this sketch I began with some of the onlookers, using a Micron 08 pen. That woman with the backpack on the left is Jean, one of the two students who came with me for the event. For contrast, the band is drawn with a bolder pen, the Faber Castell SB (small brush) pen.
The singer was wearing a bright red outfit, so I continued that theme for color. A yellow stripe on the street suggested the secondary color. I figure most sketches can be done successfully with a minimum number of colors. Unless, you’re using a rainbow pencil, as I did for the lively dancers, here.
Continuing to work with tan paper, on a handy 5.5 x 8.5 inch spiral-bound sketchbook that fits snugly into one of the pockets on my “gardeners’ vest.”
I like to stick with black and white as much as possible. The Farmers’ Market sketch benefits from a dash of color.
Here are some sketches created during a choral concert. Some lines were done “blind”, that is, without looking down at the paper. That is a great method for practicing eye-hand coordination.