Feb 11, 2009

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Art Materials: A Discovery

Greetings,

Ah those moments of discovery are priceless!

While reading¬† a post about pencil geekery in Enrico’s Blog (Founder of SketchCrawl), I became curious about the pencils he mentioned (both the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni and the Kuru Toga).

Initially I set to see if I could find the Kuro Toga (mechanical pencil) locally but no luck, not only that but it seemed the places I looked online were out of stock. Eventually I engaged a person living in Japan and inquired if it was possible to sell/ship me two mechanical pencils, and after a week of waiting I finally received them…

kurutoga

I wanted to share my discovery even before I received them but fearing that my wife may read this blog prior to me giving the pencil to her (the pink one is my gift to her) prevented me from posting ūüôā

Up to this point the pencils I have been using for sketching have been those I purchased a while ago, a couple of sets and some single ones. In my room I keep three STAEDTLER (Germany) pencils (HB, 2B and 4B), while in my sketchbag I have two sets, the first is a 12 set of REEVES (England) sketching pencils (From 4H to 6B), and three FABER CASTELL (Germany) GRIP 2001. (HB, B and 2B). Of the pencils I carry in my bag the one I use the most is the FABER CASTELL GRIP 2001 (B).

Wow, if you are into pencils and mechanic pencils, that blog link (Dave’s Mechanical Pencils) Enrico posted is fascinating.. there is so much information, you can¬† spend some serious time reading the various posts.

This Kuro Toga is the first mechanic pencil I have purchased in a very long time, unfortunately I don’t know much about the various other choices out there, (plenty to read in Dave’s blog) but it seems to be an interesting concept. I will have to use it for a while to see how I like it.

While reading the “other” blog Enrico linked… equally interesting, I became curious not only about the Mitsubishi Hi-uni but also about the Tombow Mono 100, same story as the Kuru Toga, local stores do not carry either of them, so looks like it will be a while before both my wife and I (I am sharing some with her) get to try either of these.

DickBlicks does offer a similar pencil to the Tombow Mono 100, will have to check that out too (Tombow Mono Professional).

Below are a few links (DickBlicks) of some of the products mentioned above.

Staedtler Lumograph Drawing and Sketching Pencils


Tombow Mono Professional Drawing Pencils


Faber-Castell Grip Pencil

If you know of a place in the Bay Area that sells the Tombow Mono 100 pencils, please let me know.

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Jan 20, 2009

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San Francisco SketchCrawl #21

For me SketchCrawl events are more than the participation of the event itself, they are also opportunities to discover a little more of San Francisco and¬† any other location I may be visiting. I believe I am not the only one participating in this discovery. I often hear people say “this is the first time I have been here” or “I always wanted to come here but for some reason have not.”

This last SketchCrawl was once again a discovery, I live about one hour away from San Francisco and after all these years of driving thru the Golden Gate and the Waldo tunnel (the tunnel with a rainbow painted on it) I just cant help to continue to marvel at the beautiful views from various locations as well as other structures / buildings. Strangely enough I have not fully explored all the areas of the city as much as I would like, however I hope to be able to spend more time doing so in the future, so that I can concentrate more on the actual event of sketching.

This time I thought it would be great If I could drive to the Legion of Honor museum, and perhaps sketch outside and around the area. I also read that if you pay to enter the Legion of Honor museum, you can also enter the de Young museum with the same ticket on the same day.

I spent some time a day or two before the event analyzing the area via google maps, to figure out what path to take to get to the museum, so I was technically all set to get there, except I didn’t really get there (oh, I drove by it on the way to the meeting point but didn’t stop – I ran out of time).

Back to the story… after I crossed the Golden Gate into San Francisco and was driving on Lincoln Blvd (part of the 49 Mile Scenic Drive) heading towards the Legion of Honor museum. I noticed a small parking area to the right of the road with what appeared to be a path leading to the coast, so I thought hmm since I have never been here… lets stop for a bit and check this area out.¬† It was an opportunity to view the Golden Gate from the opposite side of Fort Point. The view is nice and there are a couple of trails, one leading down to the ocean.

sc21presidiotrails

I managed to do only two sketches, I spend a good portion of the day just enjoying the view, going down the trail with a sense of adventure and then working my way up a lot slower, meeting along the way equally challenged individuals resting, for once it was nice to be in the shade… no fog on that day.

Below is the view from the top of the trail, facing west towards the Pacific Ocean.

sc21batteriestobluffstrailv

On the way down the trail there is a viewing area, where you are able to see most of the Golden Gate.

sc21viewpoint

If you know of any other places to discover, please share!

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Jan 9, 2009

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SketchCrawl #21

Here we are once again getting ready for SketchCrawl #21

Artist in 95 different locations will be participating on January 10th, 2009. I can’t wait to see all of the artwork of SketchCrawl. It is going to be great, it always is… I really enjoy viewing the artwork at the end of the SketchCrawl event both in person and online. It is always interesting to see how different people interpret and express on paper the same item and/or environment that you are also looking at.

I also wanted to share with you a picture of the “Official SketchCrawl T-Shirt” yeah! Very nice T-Shirt – Top Quality material and print, well worth the price.

sctshirt

For more information about participating locations for this and future events, please visit the official forum.

You can purchase the Official SketchCrawl T-Shirt at the following location.

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Jan 9, 2009

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Random Mini Sketches

Happy New Year 2009!

May this new year bring success and happiness to all of you!

I wanted to share with you a couple of simple sketches I did these last couple of weeks. The first two were done after a company Christmas dinner on a very cold day.

San Francisco view from Berkeley, CA.

sfviewfromberkeley

A sailboat that was passing by… inspired by sketches done by an illustrator from Germany…¬† I decided to give it a try.

sailboat

Today while waiting once again I did these other two sketches. A magazine next to where I sat had a horse on the front cover which caught my attention, and a quick sketch of another person which moved too fast for me to fully capture (which is good I think – there is that chance of overdoing the sketch – and no way to erase as I am still using that sepia micron pen).

horse

face

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Nov 29, 2008

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Sketching in the Winter

During the past couple of months I have been taking my sketch bag whenever I leave the house, so I have materials at hand when I stop to sketch something on the way back home, however as of late… with the time change by the time I get a chance to sketch something (typically after work on weekdays) It is already too dark.

Solution? I decided to place the following in my car’s glove compartment:

Stratmore small sketch notebook 3.5″ x 5″ and a¬†Pigma Micron Pen (Sepia), small set to carry around and also keep in the car, for any opportunity.

The sketch below was done while sitting in a waiting room.

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Nov 28, 2008

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de Young Museum

Back in October of this year, my wife and I visited the de Young Museum in San Francisco during one of my vacation days, it was our first time since the remodeling took place. We truly enjoyed the day and appreciated the visit, although we didn’t stay there for long due to other obligations. I took my sketch bag but didn’t sketch anything, I was simply amazed at the amount of art on display and spend my time just looking.

We must definitely go back and view the exhibits at a more slower pace, specially the New Guinea Art section. We took some photos of some amazing pieces of that section as well as of the Art of Americas section, below is one of them.

When I was a kid I had the opportunity to also visit Museo Nacional de Antropologia located in Mexico City, I never got the chance to fully view everything, I am sure after so many years their collection has grown.

We also want to visit in the near future the Asian Art Museum as well as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art both located in San Francisco, CA.

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