On our way down the coast of Spain, toward Valencia, we stopped at the little town of Peniscola, where a medieval castle was used in the filming of the 1960s epic “El Cid.” (remember Sophia Loren?). Climbing the steep and winding streets, I got a good view of this charming house overlooking the Mediterranean.
After three weeks of sketching in the Iberian Peninsula, I’m eager to catch up. Let’s begin with Barcelona, the only city on this trip that I had visited before—22 years ago. The moderniste architecture was even more amazing than I remembered. Variable thickness lines in the sketch above were done with a Sailor bent nib fountain pen. When the pen dried up, I searched for waterproof ink all over Barcelona, with my new friend…Maria Picasso, a fellow member of ISCA, the International Society of Caricature Artists.
This Barcelona skyline was improvised from the terrace at our hotel. The elements were all there, but I moved them around and changed their size. Notice the Sagrada Familia cathedral in the background…it’s still not finished! The playful forms at Parc Guell are some of Antonin Gaudi’s most delightful creations.
I spent three days on the Monterey peninsula, and I forgot to bring my sketching supplies along. That turned out to be a good thing, because I discovered a great resource—Imagine art supplies in Pacific Grove.
Here are stages in my sketch of
El Torito, a Mexican Restaurant in Cannery row.
My first strokes, in red aquarelle pencil, didn’t please me, so I used green to fix it. I used this very quick pencil layout to guide my ink drawing, using a Micron 08 for the thin lines and a Faber-Castell B (Brush) pen for the bold black accents. More color was applied.
The final sketch has water-brush effects and a few details
created with a uniball Signo opaque white pen.
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.
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!
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).
A week-long art course in Tuscany, Italy,
‘sketching fast and loose’™ with Rhoda Draws: 4-11 July 2015
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 (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.
My first SketchXpress art retreat will be held at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. You will learn my quick sketching and art journaling methods in an idyllic setting. Beginners welcome!
The buildings and furnishings of this historic “Refuge by the Sea” were designed by Architects of the Arts and Crafts movement, notably Julia Morgan. We will have the opportunity to sketch in a variety of breathtaking natural settings. You’ll also want to sit and sketch people relaxing in the rustic charm of the social hall, which boasts an antique billiard table and elegant light fixtures. See www.visitasilomar.org for details and images.
Saturday, October 5 through Monday Oct 7, 2013.
Based on double-occupancy at Asilomar Conference Grounds, cost is around $400 per participant. This includes location sketching demos and workshops, excursions to Monterey Bay Aquarium, a guided nature walk in Point Lobos and more. Not included are art supplies, meals and transport to and from Asilomar. I will help organize car pools to minimize travel expense. Shared meals at local cafes and restaurants will provide additional opportunities for sketching as well as socializing.
I need to have 5 or 6 confirmed signups by August 1st for this event to happen.
Right now, just let me know if you are interested, and if the dates work for you.
List of basic sketching supplies provided on request.
Looking back on the events in my artistic life for 2012, I will count taking another bite out of Europe as a high point! It was a concert tour with i Cantori, a choral group based in Carmel, CA. In additional to the thrill of singing in some of the most awesome venues in Poland, Germany, Belgium and Holland I also produced some satisfying sketches of street scenes and town squares. Those drawings led directly to offering sketching workshops in San Rafael.
I added a few items to my art resume, including online representation by Xanadu galleryof Scottsdale, AZ. One of my Big Sarah paintings was accepted for “Au Naturel”, the annual nude art show in Astoria (Oregon) scheduled for early March. Even more exciting, and closer to home, is an invitation to prepare a solo show (my first!) in Pacific Grove, CA. That is set for May.
So, 2013 is already looking like an excellent year for exhibitions. I will continue to look for more opportunities to show (and sell) my artwork. The sketching workshops are beginning to develop a following, and might lead to a book project. I won’t call it a New Year’s resolution, but I intend to work on paintings, sketches or other art projects at least 4 or 5 days a week. As for Rhoda Draws A Crowd, I plan to generate more caricature gigs and follow up on convention and event leads once a week or more. Did I mention losing another 20 pounds?
I wish all who are reading this a very happy New Year.