skip to Main Content

Sketching people in a scene

Oxbow Public Market in Napa, CA

Oxbow Public Market, Napa, CA

This sketch was created as part of my demonstration of techniques for improvising a scene by combining elements that are not necessarily visible at the same moment.

The blue wash is the result of my dissolving a couple of tiny figures at the bottom of the page. Then I began again, with two people who were seated in different areas of the market. The whimsical sheep and goat are papier mache creatures hanging from the high ceiling. Signage, a striped awning motif and light fixtures were added, to represent several similar items scattered throughout the market scene.

Drawing people from behind is often advisable, in order to be sneaky, and to avoid having to depict the face.

Exotic arts and crafts

Oaxaca birdThe San Rafael sketching group has found another great venue for sketching on location — The Folk Art Gallery on 4th street. Owner Sharon Christovich graciously welcomed us into this amazing shop, where we enjoyed sketching carvings, masks, textiles, figurines and a variety of ornamental objects from around the world.

Rhoda-masks

 

On the Street….developing a sketch

There is interesting architecture on B Street in San Rafael, around the corner from Rileystreet Art Supplies, where my Thursday drop-in sketching workshop meets. Here are the stages in my sketch of part of a building.

The first “pass” is done with a dark red aquarelle pencil, to put the basics down as quickly as possible. Then I used a Micron .08 pen to add some line work. Next I added turquoise pencil strokes  and used water to blend color. The final version includes some dark accents made with a Faber-Castell B (brush) pen.

B street stages

 

Wet, but wonderful weekend

All seven of us had a great sketching trip down the Pacific coast to Monterey and Cambria/Hearst Castle. Although the weather was cloudy and drizzly most of the time, we still managed to find (mostly) indoor subjects for sketching. From the ornate pool table legs at Asilomar’s social hall to the collection of tchotchkes at our airbnb Victorian house. After the breathtaking tour of the Upstairs Rooms at Hearst Castle, we found out way to the lavish indoor pool to sketch the marble sculpture and mosaic tile decor. One the way back to the bay area, the elephant seals provided yet another opportunity for sketching.

Hearst Castle 2

Sketch Workshop – Monterey & Hearst Castle: January 9-10, 2016

Hearst-Castle-1

Join me and a small group of sketchers for a weekend road trip down the Pacific Coast: January 9-10, 2016. We’ll carpool from the Bay Area, stop in Monterey for lunch and sketching (possible locations include Point Lobos and Carmel).

Then we’ll head down to the charming town of Cambria for more sketching, dinner and check into our lodgings (to be arranged). The following day we’ll take the Hearst Castle tour and then sketch the amazing architecture and sculpture.

Workshop fee (instruction, demonstrations and personal coaching) is $120.
A deposit will confirm your space in this sketching adventure.
$60  deposit
 (Fully refundable if the trip is cancelled for any reason.)
Please reserve your space by December 1st!
This event is fully booked!

Jellyfish Art Car At Burning Man

Burning Man sketches

Now that the dust has settled (literally!) I’m ready to post some of the sketches I created during my first trip to Burning Man. And what a trip it was! As an Urban Sketcher, I was astounded by the array of choices: people in fantastic costumes, stationary art installations and a breathtaking variety of Mutant Vehicles (aka Art Cars).
rhodadraws 2people rhodadraws-3peoplerhodadraws-4people rhodadraws-5people rhodadraws bar_n_car rhodadraws Claude_Dragon rhodadraws-El-Pulpo-Mecanico rhodadraws jellyfish_car

Chocolate & Chalk festival, Berkeley

Fun sketching in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, around Shattuck and Vine Streets. Always cool to sketch musicians, such as this little band, the Queue. The vocalist, Eve, really appreciated my drawings, which I scanned and emailed to her.  She wrote back, “You are so talented and managed to capture us really well in such a fast amount of time. We would love to show our fans and of course have your name plastered all over the place .”

Thanks, Eve!Queue-1-optQueue-2-opt

Gesture drawing

Aroma-gesturesThis week our quick sketch workshop in San Rafael was devoted to gesture drawing, capturing the essence of a person’s pose in a few strokes. We warmed up with some images of people I photographed in India, then went to the Aroma Cafe next door to work “live.” There were plenty of people around—drinking coffee, eating a late lunch, reading and working at computers. We even drew each other.

Sketching class in Tuscany, Italy

The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany, Italy

A week-long art course in Tuscany, Italy,
‘sketching fast and loose’™ with Rhoda Draws: 4-11 July 2015

Sketching class in the garden, Tuscany, Italy Sketching class in Tuscany, Italy - villa

Sketching class in Tuscany, Italy - villa inside Plein air sketching class in Tuscany, Italy

A wonderfully relaxing painting holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, spectacular scenery, wonderful food and wine. For centuries artists have drawn their inspiration from the Tuscan landscape and you could find few better places to enjoy your art and improve your skills than our beautiful historic watermill, set beside the banks of a river in a gentle, wooded valley.

You’ll also visit castles, convents, ancient walled towns, hilltop villages slumbering in the sun and the stunning World Heritage Mediterranean villages of the Cinque Terre.

“An enchanting place – I really loved it, endless delightful subjects to paint” “From the moment I stepped into my apartment and saw and heard the river, I realised it was going to be very special”

“We’ve been on many painting holidays, but this was the best ever.” 

Your tutor: Rhoda Draws

Rhoda Draws sketching class in Tuscany Brugge sketch - market square

Rhoda Draws (that’s her legal name, since 2009) lives near San Francisco, California, where she draws, paints and teaches workshops in sketching ‘fast and loose.’

Rhoda likes to combine her love of travel with techniques for rapid drawing ‘on the go’. Her sketchbooks are filled with drawings created in Europe, North America and the Indian subcontinent. She works with waterproof pens and aquarelle (water-soluble) coloured pencils to create a variety of styles with a minimum of fuss.

According to Rhoda, quick sketching on location is ideal for making an illustrated travel journal, for improving your observational skills and for exploring ideas for more detailed projects. She says: “If you capture the essence of a scene or monument or person in a few minutes, the result can be a finished work of art.”

We should emphasise that everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre- dinner aperitifs, all meals (including meals with wine at charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (to castles, convents, hilltop villages and including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre).

You get to Pisa, we do the rest!

Prices are in English pounds [£(GBP)]. If you book before September 2014 you can enjoy next year’s course at this year’s prices: they start at £(GBP) 1,310 (about $2,150) per person per week (based on two people sharing), with a generous discount of £(GBP) 200 (about $330) for a non-painting partner. Single rooms are £(GBP) 1,399 (about $2,300), or £(GBP) 1,499 (about $2,470) with en suite bathroom.

If you would like to enquire about availability and/or reserve your place, please contact Rhoda or email the Watermill: info@watermill.net, or call them on (UK number) +44 207 293 6246. www.watermill.net

Download all the info (PDF)

 

Back To Top