Friday, September 27, 2013

Pettygrove Park and the Dreamer

It has been a while since I posted on this blog but the excursion out to Pettygrove Park (designed by Lawrence Halprin) was so much fun I thought it would be worth recording it.

The Dreamer- watercolor

non waterproof ink


I have been playing around with the watercolor technique (no preliminary sketch) from Marion Rivolier and Norberto Dorantes' technique with non waterproof ink learned at the BCN Symposium.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pettygrove Park Sketchcrawl

We had an excellent turnout for our sketch crawl on Saturday, in spite of the rainy forecast. Several new people joined us and along with some regulars, we headed for Pettygrove Park or Keller fountain. The rain held off until noon when we shared our sketches under an overhang of a nearby building. It was great to see so many different styles and techniques. Here are our results. I hope my fellow sketchers will post their sketches here, for a much better look.

I started by doing a sketch with a lot of crosshatching (the lower one) and then a close up...

After all that detail, I went right to watercolor and then threw on some watercolor pencil. Then the rain started. I wish I had moved closer to Manual Izquierdo's sculpture to listened to it. Apparently, it is filled with foam so when the rain hits it, it sounds like a kettledrum. A missed opportunity!

We had a tasty lunch at Laughing Planet with about a dozen sketchers, getting to know each other a bit more, catching up, and sometimes sharing sketchbooks. A few of us weren't ready to quit, so we headed over to the PSU Farmers Market, where I did some quick people sketches, adding the color later.

It was a really enjoyable sketch crawl with very friendly people. I'm already  looking forward to the next one!

The Dreamer

The weather held until noon, which was the time we had scheduled for sharing our sketchbooks.  We stood under a concrete awning and kept out of the brief downpour.

I got one tiny sketch in.

Great to see so many new people again.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Double Billing

I was in the NW today and stopped to sketch Cinema 21.The juxtaposition of the two movies titles
is what attracted my attention. I became a little over involved in the lettering and had to bolt to a cafe when it began to drizzle. I think I am considering this finished! I'd like to try it again however.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sketchcrawl this Saturday, 9/21: "The Dreamer" in Pettygrove Park

Downtown Portland is riddled with so many  treasure-like parks! Join us this Saturday, Sept. 21, to explore Pettygrove Park, which features Manuel Izquierdo's lovely abstract sculpture, "The Dreamer."

  • Meet up at 9:30 am at Seattle's Best Coffee, at 1742 SW 6th Ave (at the corner of Mill, near the PSU Urban Center streetcar stop), for conversation and fortifying beverages. (Map)
  • At 10 am we'll walk a couple of blocks to Pettygrove Park, which is north-west of the intersection of SW Harrison and 1st, on the pedestrian trails. (Map) Let the sketching commence!
  • Regroup at 12 noon at The Dreamer sculpture to share sketchbooks. 
  • If folks are interested in hanging out for lunch, we can improvise from there. (Should be plenty of places to eat in the nearby neighborhood.)
If we end up with a rainy day, we'll come up with an improvisational plan from the safe, dry haven of the coffee shop. Can't let a "chance of showers" slow us down!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Line to Color Workshop in Seattle

This weekend, I took a two and a half day Urban Sketchers Workshop with Gail Wong and Frank Ching, in Seattle. It was terrific and filled with useful, individualized instruction as well as lots of time to practice what we were being taught. We met a few more Portlanders there and I hope that they will join us for future sketchcrawls and maybe post their sketches, too.

Here are a few sketches from the weekend. If you want to read more about it and see more, go to

This is the canal in the Fremont neighborhood. (We went straight to pen in this workshop, so all the guidelines and mistakes, remain.) At one point, the bridge opened and a tall sailboat passed through.  It held a violinist at the bow, playing as the boat moved along the canal.

Besides trying to use appropriate perspective and measurement, we were trying to have our subject placed in context (i.e. the surrounding area). I was pleased to see that those plants (with clusters of three leaves) that were surrounding me, were blackberries and not poison oak.

Next, we moved up the hill for street scenes. Here's Saturn, with solar panel rings, atop a building.

Strangely, there is a statue of Lenin nearby. Appropriately someone painted with blood on his hands.

On the final day, from a place on the crowded sidewalk, I sketched this iconic view. (Full disclosure: a few of those lines are Frank's.)

 A couple of children came by and painted with us for a few minutes. Here is one of the little charmers...

Back in Portland, I decided to try some of my new skills on a view I've sketched before and here's the result....

Thanks to Gail and Frank and my fellow sketchers!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I think it best to,connect to my blog under the address in 'blog correspondents'.
I never get it quite right!
Here's another famous spot!

"Leaving San Francisco... like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible." Said Walter Cronkite. That is how I felt after being there for eleven days. I did several sketches, all on my blog:

I hope that's right!
This sketch was done from Levi Plaza Park.