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.


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


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).



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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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Oct 8, 2008

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Getting ready for Sketchcrawl

For the past month or so, I have spent my evening/night time dealing with website duties,  so I have hardly dedicated any time to sketching.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in front of some trees with no materials and an urge to sketch them. I had read a couple of days prior to that day of a technique for drawing/sketching trees, so I decided to give it a try.

I don’t remember the name of the book but it was mentioning that one should first use dots or little lines to define the outline and work our way into the tree, by drawing more and more lines. Not having had the time to take any art courses (last class I took was back in High School days), I was eager to give this a try.

The image below is the result… I also sketched the trunk of a pine tree, at the beginning it appeared to be a difficult task but as I continued it seemed to take shape and now when I look at the sketch It seems I was able to capture what I was looking at (definitely an improvement I think).

Materials: regular ball point pen and the back/inside of a mailing envelope. (I will scan this later, here is a picture in the mean time).

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Jul 18, 2008

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Don’t give up!

Yesterday I was at the store shopping for a chocolate bar (the local market must have about 40 different choices, seriously lol), and overheard a conversation between two employees. They were talking about art appreciation, and the initiation of an artist.

One of the individuals said that people can be attracted to a piece of art, have great taste for art but when they start to produce art, what they produce and what they like and appreciate is so different, and that sometimes it takes years to achieve the level where what the person appreciates and draws and/or produces is at the same level, he also said that people at some point give up the process and quit due to frustration, instead of continuing to try.

I thought I would post this here just in case you the reader happen to be in this situation, which I am guessing happens to all of us at various different times.

On a related note, I found a copy of this book at a local used book store “The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” book by Betty Edwards, along with her workbook. Hmm, it turns out you can get a new book at Amazon.com for about the same price as what I paid for the used book (in the United States).

We already had an older release of the book (not the workbook) so my wife and I are both eager to see what else we can learn from the newer revisions. I can tell you this however, I did an exercise a couple of years ago from this book, in my case I had the opportunity to draw Woody from Toy Story by looking at a drawing that was upside down, I did pretty good actually… pretty close to the original.

If you get a chance check them out, either at your local store or by clicking on the images above.

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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 🙂 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 😉

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 9, 2008

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Atelier Interactive Acrylics

This past Saturday I went with my wife to a demonstration of Atelier Interactive Acrylics at a local art store. While she is currently using acrylics, I have never used acrylics, so I was intrigued about this new type of acrylic paint, and acrylics in general.

I had fun playing with this medium because it is like painting with watercolors but in a way it’s better. With watercolor (and maybe it will change once I have more experience)  one has to be very careful about how to layer color otherwise it turns into mud. With regular acrylics you can paint on top of it if you make a mistake but apparently they dry too fast. The cool thing about this medium (Interactive Acrylics) is that you can mix it with water, work on your painting and later on when it dries apply another layer on top of it, or use water or some unlocking liquid and continue mixing the paint as if it had never dried.

Below are my two trials with this medium.

Atelier Demo Paintings

Left Image  Atelier Interactive Acrylics on canvas / Right Image – Atelier Interactive Acrylics on watercolor paper.

At the end of the class they had a drawing… I won the grand prize, this is great I can’t wait to try this medium again.

Below is a picture of the materials I won.

Atelier Interactive Acrylics Set

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