Apr 17, 2009

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SketchCrawl #22

April 11th, 2009 was held in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA. Unfortunately I was unable to attend ūüôĀ however I was able to do some sketching locally in downtown Santa Rosa.

First of all, it was a quiet Saturday perhaps because of the  Easter weekend. The first couple of sketches were done while I took our little dog for a walk, the cherry tree blossoms were dancing with the wind, and while standing there looking I noticed a branch that kept swinging up and down as the wind made  its presence known, after a couple of sketches my dog grew impatient so we moved on.

branch_dog_s

The rest of the sketches were done in downtown Santa Rosa. On the way to our destination, while crossing the street I sneezed, and to my surprise a passenger in a passing SUV said bless you which surprised me, because there have been situations where I am next to someone and then sneeze and they don’t say anything, or you say that to them and the same. That small token set the tone for the day!

I decided to sit at the edge of the park and observe / sketch people as they were walking by. It was quite an interesting exercise, people walked pretty fast, most had unhappy faces with no smiles, not one single person stopped to look and most seemed deep in their thoughts.

people_s

It was actually quite a challenge to sketch them because they were moving pretty fast (probably rushing to prepare for Easter) and while there were people sitting at a nearby restaurant patio, I decided to stick with the challenge of drawing moving targets.

people2_s

The following events caught my attention so I decided to make a note of them. A couple went by (I didn’t sketch them), it was a woman with a man on a wheelchair who had a red¬† rose on his lap, I thought that was interesting, perhaps it was for his mother, or perhaps it was for his wife, his sister maybe? where are they going? to eat at that restaurant? maybe they are meeting someone there? who knows!!!¬† I found myself exploring the different potential options, which made this a lot more enjoyable than sketching buildings and landscapes which I typically do.

people3_s

I also noticed a person drawing in the park, as I turned to see if there were other subjects behind me. He appeared to be using colored pencils, and yes I was curious to see what he may be doing.. I guess it is human nature, but opted to concentrate instead on my own sketching.

building_s

It was a great day!

The following video was created by Goro Рthis is what SketchCrawl is  ~ Enjoy ~


22nd SketchCrawl San Francisco from Goro on Vimeo.

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Jun 23, 2008

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SketchCrawl #19

Last Saturday, June 21st was SketchCrawl #19

This time the location was decided to be Fort Point, San Francisco CA. (right under the Golden Gate bridge).

It was great as always, really a time to remove oneself from the rush of every day life, and instead just enjoy the experience of being alive, an appreciation of everything around ourselves.

I got to the location around noon and was surprised to find¬†a parking spot close to the fort¬†(where I typically park) and off I¬†went..¬†venture into the¬†Fort itself. ¬†Once I got in I saw Enrico Casarosa¬†and a few seconds later Ronnie del Carmen. Finally got to meet Enrico in person ūüôā we have been communicating via email/chat for quite some time even though we both live and work close by.

Since It was the first time I had the opportunity to go inside the Fort, off I went to explore. I was surprised about the weather, just some 20mins before I was sweating in Novato, CA. and now I was enjoying the cool weather in this other location.

Made it to the top of the Fort and decided to get started. Below are the results:

Quick watercolor of the outer bay

San Francisco outer bay view

This time in addition to using the Niji watercolor brushes, I also brought with me a little water spray bottle, so I could get the watercolor to flow more freely. Quite a change between the way the water looks in this sketch as opposed to the previous one I did last SketchCrawl.

While still standing in the same location, just turning around towards the right the next subject was found.

This is actually a minuature cannon that was inside of a case display within the Fort, all of the cannons apparently had the ability to be rotated in various different ways, something that never occurred to me. I wonder how many people took to move one of those around from side to side.

Then I got hungry, time to visit the Warming Hut, I thought that maybe this location would also be somewhat cold but it was the opposite, it was actually a lot warmer (quite frankly it felt nice after freezing at the Fort). They were quite a lot of groups engaged in their individual picnic’s and even a wedding was about to start¬†or had already taken place.

I actually spent time going back and forth between the Warming Hut and the Fort, and while moving back and forth noticed a trail that went from the Warming Hut to the parking found next to the toll booths above. This sketch was done midway of that trail. There were a lot more trees visible but I didnt include them.

The top portion of the Golden Gate was actually all I could see from where I was standing (still midway on that trail). There were a lot of plants (possibly rose bushes) on the side of the hill and on the background was the bridge.

The second sketch on this page, was my last trip to the Fort rooftop, this time wearing a jacket. I wanted to do a quick sketch of San Francisco from that location.

As mentioned before this was a lot of fun, I actually lined up my vacation with SketchCrawl and it was very nice way to launch it ūüėČ

I expect to do more sketches here and there as I move thru the week. I also cannot wait (well I can actually) for Friday to come so we can go see Pixar’s new¬†animation film¬†WALL-E

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Mar 31, 2008

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Sketchcrawl #18

On March 29th, 2008 people in more than 50 locations participated in this World Wide Event Sketchcrawl.

It was raining on Friday, and like many I said to myself rain or shine I am participating. The meeting place was Ghirardelli Plaza in San Francisco, California. What a great location, great views, nearby beach, dock and antique ships and also great place for a chocoholic like me.

Below are the sketches of the day, along with a couple of watercolors. It was a challenge to get the colors I wanted, nonetheless It was a great experience – even if it was a little cold and windy at times.

Restaurant sketch and Flute player

Restaurant sketch and Flute player

Balclutha (1886)

Balclutha

The challenge for me was the mixing of the colors and the water not looking like I wanted it to look, I also realized the first cables I painted were too thick, so I switched to a micron pen to do the rest. Overall it is an improvement over my previous watercolors and I am happy with the result.

Balclutha WikiPedia

Hercules Tugboat (1907)

Hercules Tugboat

The challenge for this one was the angle. the dock (should I include it or not) and the reflection on the water.

I was afraid at first to attempt the sketch because of the angle, so what I did was to create a thumb-sketch to get an idea of how to handle the issue, after that I first sketched the larger tugboat on pencil and then used a micron pen 02 (waterproof) to go over the pencil lines, lastly to colorize the boat.

I had fun doing this watercolor, It was such a pleasant portion of the day (not windy and sort of warm) it seemed that all the views were so refreshing upon finishing this, It felt like I had reached some stage of stillness or something similar, the colors seemed so vivid, and I felt so good. In all a very rewarding day.

Hercules Tugboat Wikipedia

This time I got the chance to stay until the end of the day and participate in the exchange of the sketchbooks. Ronnie del Carmen got it right when he mentioned on Sketchcrawl’s forum that the sharing of work can be a little intimidating, it was but eventually it wasn’t so bad. The funny thing is that I heard people express the same fears I had, and heard many explain why X looked this way or why Y looked that way (as I also heard myself saying). A couple of times I encounter a situation where it appeared the person liked mine better than theirs (or maybe i just thought that lol) and I felt that their approach was better than mine.

I also heard people say that they were afraid of sharing at the end of the day and that may have been a reason why they left early. I overheard someone else mention that their friends were afraid of participating at all (because they felt their work may not be good enough).

The lessons as I see them for me and I presume are for others too, are to let go of the fear of not getting it right, because the more you do the task the better you will get at it.

I think the reason why it may take some of us longer to improve faster is simply because we are afraid of ‘playing’ with the medium and see what accidents might occur, and the fear of sharing both at the end of the day (in Sketchcrawl context) as well as when we are in the process of creating something and someone steals a peek.

I actually used to try to turn my sketchbook away when I thought someone was looking and when I was working on the tugboat a person stopped to look and much to my surprise I stopped and actually showed it to the person, who responded “muy bueno” – yeah, it felt good!

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