Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sketching History: Cubs Win the World Series!

World Series watercolor 1

I don't usually watch baseball, but it was the Cubs. In the World Series. In Cleveland! So yeah, we tuned in to see the last inning. And yeah, it was nice to watch it from California, because it didn't end in the middle of the night for us.

World Series watercolor 2

Roundup: Last of Inktober

Unlike in 2015, I wasn't as diligent about sketching every single day for this year's Inktober. Distractions included the ongoing soap opera that is our election. Still, I managed to crank out a good number of drawings.

Here's a quick portrait of M. done with a bottle of Higgins Blue waterproof ink that I found at a tag sale ages ago.

portrait in blue

A quick one of Santa Teresa County Park on an overcast day.

Overcast Day Santa Teresa County Park

And the KQED building in downtown San Jose.

KQED building San Jose

The interior of a deli in Carmel.

Carmel deli

The third and final Clinton-Trump debate.

Clinton Trump 3rd Debate

Faces from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Sketching from The Late Show

The corner of 18th and Guerrero in San Francisco's Mission district, while waiting for a dinner reservation.

18th and Guerrero San Francisco

A carpet beetle, to serve as the reference for my Halloween costume.

carpet beetle

A quick prep sketch for a commission I'm working on.

J house prep sketch

The Mountain View train station, while waiting for the MVGO shuttle to the office.

Mountain View train station

Inktober wouldn't be Inktober without some surreal word association sketches (M. opens vintage National Geographic magazines and gives me five words at random; my task is to tie them together in a drawing).

Iditarod tea party

dentist snowplow

phone operator

Some faces from TV.

inktober faces1

faces2 inktober 2016

And last but not least, a little Halloween sketch.

halloween 2016

That's it for this year's installment of Inktober!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

More Inktober Sketches

Only a few more days till we're in November! Need to catch up on my scanning and posting. Here's Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE magazine & Maker Faire, being interviewed by science writer Kara Platoni at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park.

Dale Dougherty at Kepler's Books, Menlo Park

We have lots of deer in our neighborhood (though none in our yard, thankfully). I sketched this one from a photo I took.

deer from photo

And here's a little corner of our study/guest bedroom.

corner of study

Yes, I confess I've been a bit on-again, off-again with my Inktober sketches this year.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Inktober begins!

Another year, another Inktober! Every day in October, a new sketch in ink.

Detour from 101 South inktober1

Fortini Trail view inktober2


inktober tea and tv


jackson st san jose

city national civic

pumpkin inktober

Mendocino Coast

Spent a day last weekend meandering along the Mendocino Coast (psst... just as beautiful as Big Sur, fewer cars). It was a challenge to capture the light and shadows on the rocks.

Mendocino Coast1

Mendocino Coast2

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Viva Calle SJ: Open Streets in San Jose

Viva Calle SJ - Bikes at Japantown

Last Sunday, San Jose closed six miles of streets to car traffic, creating a pedestrian- and bike-friendly urban playground. M. and I took our bikes and joined in the fun. The heat was intense, so I only got a few sketches in. Here are my impressions of Japantown, where we visited vendor booths and watched San Jose Taiko, our local kumidaiko (Japanese ensemble drumming) troupe.

Viva Calle SJ - Japantown hub

Viva Calle SJ - San Jose Taiko

Later I sketched the flea market near Burbank Antiques on W. San Carlos Street while M. fixed a flat on his bike.

Viva Calle SJ - Burbank antiques flea market

I noticed that there were more bikes than pedestrians this year -- perhaps due to the expanded route. Hope they increase the frequency of the event -- we discovered a lot of businesses along the way that we didn't even know existed!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

In Progress: Painting of Almaden Lake Park

In progress: Almaden Lake Park, San Jose, CA

Plein air acrylic, painted on a hot afternoon while dodging bees at Almaden Lake Park in San Jose. Not quite done with it -- needs a few studio touchups.

What's on the Easel: California Hills Diptych

In progress: Santa Teresa diptych

I've been working on a pair of paintings of the hills behind our house. Took the reference photos on a hike and sketched it out quite a while ago. Now committing it to canvas using Golden Open Acrylics and the biggest brushes I can find in my studio. I'm starting with a red underpainting and laying in big blocks of color.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Birthday Weekend: Seattle

After the sketch crawl in Tacoma, we headed to Seattle for the rest of the weekend.

Dinner at Wild Ginger was followed by a visit to The Triple Door's Musicquarium to hear the roots/blues sound of the JD Hobson Band.

JD Hobson at Triple Door Seattle 1

JD Hobson at Triple Door Seattle 2

So much fun! We really should catch live music acts more often.

The next day, M. surprised me with a rowboat ride at the Center for Wooden Boats on South Lake Union. I drew Gasworks Park and one of the bridges as he rowed me around, dodging the fast-landing seaplanes all around.

Gasworks Park Seattle from Lake Union

Bridge from Lake Union Seattle

Sunday, August 28, 2016

4th Annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl: Tacoma, WA

When I found out that this year's annual West Coast Sketch Crawl would be in Tacoma, Washington, over my birthday weekend, I thought, hey -- what a great excuse to go to Seattle! Well, turns out Tacoma is a great place to explore and sketch in its own right.

Tacoma, Washington

There are picturesque buildings and sparkling marinas framed by the deep greens of the Pacific Northwest's conifers.

Thea Foss Waterway, Tacoma, WA

The Museum of Glass has a hot shop where you can watch the glassblowers in action. I enjoyed listening to the narrator talk about how the teams worked together to create a piece.

Glassblowing at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

The city is home to UW Tacoma...

Stairs at U of Washington, Tacoma, WA

...and the fantastic Tinkertopia, a "creative reuse" shop that sells all kinds of odds and ends perfect for upcycling into artwork -- wallpaper samples, acrylic offcuts, paint chips, you name it. I rummaged through a bin full of colored pencils and snapped up several vintage Berol Prismacolors for a song.

Tinkertopia, Tacoma, WA

Of course, I couldn't leave Tacoma without sketching the iconic Union Station rotunda/courthouse.

Union Station/Courthouse, Tacoma, WA

Thanks Urban Sketchers Tacoma for organizing this year's crawl and introducing me to your wonderful city!

4th Annual Urban Sketchers West Coast Sketch Crawl - Tacoma, WA

California Avenue, Palo Alto

Joined the South Bay urban sketching Meetup group in Palo Alto's California Avenue business district a few weeks ago. There wasn't a whole lot to sketch there, but this bar's umbrellas caught my eye.

Antonio's Nut House, California Ave, Palo Alto, CA