Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Portland 23 Year Ago - THE END

This last group of sketches completes the 360 degree panorama.  I want to thank everyone for their comments, they were encouraging.  Some of you suggested doing the series again, I would like to repeat the exercise 23 years later, it's on my list of things to do in retirement.  The challenge will be getting access to the Irvington Street Loft's roof deck once again, let me know if you have any ideas on how to do this.  I want to especially thank Vicky for her lessons on how to post sketches.
I posted these on my Facebook page, but since many of you did not see these, here they are...sample pages from the week my wife and I took our two youngest grandchildren to the beach (Neskowin) earlier in the month.  It's been said that we should choose subjects that inspire us, so in this case, I certainly did!  Done on a Moleskine 9X12 WC sketchbook.

Sketchy Friends
this is a heads up ( may have posted this twice due to operator ignorance) that Aaron Bros now have all their sketchbooks on sale for 40% off.  They carry Stillman & Birn and Strathmore Visual Journals.  The Strathmore have 140 lb wc paper.  The S&B have a very heavy weight paper that I've tested and is lovely to work with.
I just stocked up with both.  I recommend the S&B Beta Series (white) or the Delta (ivory paper).  I don't recommend the light paper for wc, but would be just fine for ink pen, pencil, or the lightest wash.
Have not tested the Strathmore Visual Journal yet, but it comes recommended by several sources.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

urban and wilderness sketching

I had a lot of fun sketching in Cathedral Park this month. When we passed around sketchbooks, I realized that I had fussed over my drawings and they didn't have much vitality  (except for the last one that I was rushing to do in the last ten minutes before lunch).

So, when I was hiking in Jefferson Park Wilderness this week,  I tried especially to be loose and not try to get all the details right. I was really happy with the way these turned out, and before sketching with all of you, I never would have attempted either of these views. Thank you for all the inspiration!

I have a few more sketches from the Mt Jefferson trip on my blog.

Portland 23 Years Ago - Continued

Looking west to north west

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Portland 23 Years Ago

When I moved to Portland in 1991 I lived in the Pearl District at the Irvington Street Lofts.  Being new in the city, in the evenings I sketched to fill my free time.  That first summer I did a series of 34 sketches from the roof deck of the Irvington Street Lofts creating a 360 panorama.  In 1991 the Pearl was still very much an industrial neighborhood.  The Portland Bolt Company occupied the building were 24 Hour Fitness is located now.  As you walked by you could watch the workmen pour molten steel into the molds.  The block where REI is located was a galvanizing plant with the air filled with dust and chemicals.  The series begins looking south east towards the US Bank Building (the pink skyscraper) and continues clockwise.  I think the sketches record a unique time in Portland's history.  Over the next several days I will post the rest of the sketches, I hope you enjoy this look at Portland 23 years ago.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

St Johns Bridge sketchcrawl

I missed the last time the urban sketchers visited the St Johns Bridge and was very determined not to do so again. This bridge is one of the prides of Portland with its graceful arches and because you can actually access it from below you can also see the wonderful structure...again with those beautiful arches.

My intention this time out was to select a view and do that same view in several sketches. I hoped to learn something in each one. I can't say that I consider this as successful though....it seemed that I repeated the same problems of proportion in each one.
As with other Portland bridges I discovered that the structure is complicated, sometimes confusing and very challenging!

 After these above sketches I thought I would concentrate on a little smaller area because truthfully at this time, I was pretty overwhelmed.....!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Construction in Portland's Pearl

It's me again, this time doing something different with some inspiration from other Urban Sketchers:  I used tips from Inma Serrano's workshop at the Barcelona symposium. She had us draw buildings by starting with paint first. I thought about Inma's gorgeous monster buildings and  didn't care if mine were accurate or not. Instead, I tried to get the feel of the scene. I took Gail Wong's suggestion of using a bigger brush  (in this case a flat one) for a looser look.  After painting, I added the ink and some of the details.

It was a lot of fun sketching like this. I wasn't concerned with how many windows there were or how precise the balconies looked---or anything else. I wasn't really thinking very much at all, just  adding paint and then lines. It was very refreshing and I think I'll try some more of these. They may help me get over my summer slump:)

Portlanders, if you're in the mood for drawing construction, I'd suggest you head for The Fields. There are at least three blocks filled with cranes, drills,  rebar and more. You may want to take ear plugs. Happy sketching!