Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloweeeeeen Urban Sketchers!

I did this sketch of my friend's front yard while visiting them in Chicago.
They live in Lincoln Park neighborhood which is full of lovely old brick town houses
that have gates and small city front gardens. They love Halloween as much as I do!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some More Fall Color in Ladd's Addition

From Saturday's sketch-in in Ladd's, seeking trees to throttle into submission on paper: a maple, a conifer, a leafless something, and some shrubbery.

I liked the watercolor paper in my new little sketchbook.

My newest tactic is to have one page open for watercolor and another for pen or pencil, so the w-c can dry a little between meddlings. This time of year, the page stays damp longer. So this one is the pencil attempt at an elm in fall color:

It was more of a study of structure than anything.

It needs to be said that I'm in a Trying Different Things mode right now. I'm working to get past the idea that every page has to be perfect. What a silly idea, anyway. But how do you know what works if you haven't tried what doesn't work so much?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trees and more trees

Our Saturday outing in Portland's Ladd's Addition was set up to have a conversation (with some visuals) and then go out to do trees. Some of the usual faces and some new sketchers were in attendance.
Some of our sketchers efforts

Some of the sketchers
All told there were about 12 sketchers on this slightly chilly and cloudy morning....setting out to enjoy the bold fall color around us.

I was influenced by the examples that Kalina had brought (Shari Blaukopf's trees especially). My efforts, like most first attempts weren't exactly what I had been hoping for, but at least I got to concentrate on this new approach and try it out.

Ladd's Addition - watercolor

A group of shrubs in Ladd's Addition circle- watercolor

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Trees

The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well, I've been wondering a lot about trees lately-- specifically how to draw and paint them.  Saturday's focus really helped me understand how others did this, even if I haven't got it all down myself. Thanks to everyone for your contributions and especially to Deb for agreeing to lend assistance. I appreciate having all the  examples and even tracing paper to use.

Here are my sketches from the morning.

(I made this extra large so that you can see Kalina sketching:)

If you care to see a summary of what I gleaned from Saturday, it's on my blog

Again, the turn out was great. It's so fun to sketch and talk with everyone and share all our wonderful, diverse results.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ladd's Addition and Trees, also Drink & Draw at the Art Museum

Another great turn out at Palio's and Ladd's Addition.  Numerous people brought pictures and books about drawing trees.  The weather was cloudy but the trees in the Rose Circle Garden were glowing.

Two names kept turning up around me: Shari Blaukopf and Danny Gregory.

Questions arose about achieving inner peace through drawing.  I do know that I forget about anything else but what I'm looking at when I draw.  I think if I sit there long enough it becomes relaxing.

I spent too much time with the books people brought to sketch more than this.  I never quite made it outside.

These are sketches from last night's Drink and Draw meetup at the Art Museum free night (draw), followed by the Rogue Brewery (drink).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Centennial Mills Building

I have sketched this wonderful tower and building many times.
I never get tired of it. This time I tried it on some #140lb.Rough watercolor paper which
was in a handmade journal. I think I like the texture with this industrial subject. It may not
work as well with other subject matter. Done on another beautiful fall day! We need to enjoy them
while they last.

Reed College

I really enjoyed the sketchcrawl at Reed College on Saturday.
It was great to see such a wonderful turnout of old and new faces.
I was attracted  to this arch by the sun shining brightly on the other side.

It seems a classic in university architecture of that age. 

Catch 'em while you can!

For some reason, this image wants to post sideways, but given the subject and my note on the page, I don't suppose it matters.

Working in colored pencils yesterday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reed Sketchcrawl

Here are my sketches from our wonderful sketchcrawl at Reed College.

One of the faces on the old residence hall

Old Residence Hall doorway (Doyle)

Anna Mann building

I agree that we had a great turnout and it was a terrific place to sketch. It could be fun just to sketch all the various gargoyles around the campus.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, 10/26: Sketch trees in Ladd's Addition!

Autumn is here and the trees are simply glorious! Let's get together and practice techniques for drawing trees. (Or, if that's not your thing, come anyway and sketch delicious chocolate cakes or Halloween decorations on front porches or whatever strikes your fancy.)

Meet at Palio Dessert & Espresso House, at 1996 SE Ladd, at 10am for drinks and chats. Deb will bring books and worksheets on tree drawing, and you are welcome to share any books, references, and ideas you have on the topic as well! We'll fan out into the lovely historic neighborhood to sketch autumn trees, then meet back up at Palio at 12:30 to share sketches.

Also, mark your calendars: our friends from Portland Drink & Draw are planning another Zoo Sketch on Sunday, November 10. Full info here.

An Owlish Corner of Reed College

Wonderful big group, including many new folks, came out to Reed College on Saturday to sketch in the glorious sunshine! I had never been to the campus before and was charmed by the architecture. Someone said how it felt like a set for Harry Potter, and that totally rang true for me. In fact, I spent most of my time drawing three little owls carved over a the east entrance to Eliot Hall--hard to get more Potterish than that!

(The ladybug wandered across my sketchbook as I was snacking on a burrito afterwards, and I couldn't help painting the tiny visitor it in to the composition as well.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sketchcrawl at Reed College, Saturday Oct 19.

Join us on Saturday, October 19 for what promises to be a crisp, sunny autumn day exploring Reed College! Founded in 1908, the Reed campus features Tudor-Gothic architecture, a campus nature preserve, and a student-run nuclear reactor. Who could ask for anything more?

Let's meet up at 10 am at the Paradox Cafe, which is in the south-west corner of the Student Union Building, for coffee and socializing. (If the cafe isn't yet open at that hour, we can scoot over to the dining hall in the commons to grab snacks as needed).  At 10:30 we'll head out to explore the campus, meeting back at the Paradox Cafe at 12:30 pm to share our sketches.

Useful links:
Hope to see you there! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Some recent sketching-Portland and Astoria

The last couple of nice days I have been about town...and out in Astoria. The Schoolhouse Electric an
Supply is a place that I would like to explore a little more. Would like to do more in Astoria too but the NW Industrial area is just a bit closer to take advantage of the good weather!

Astoria Wharf- watercolor

Schoolhouse Electric in NW industrial area and Portland Hostel on Hawthorne- watercolor

And a few sketches from awhile back.

View from NW Fields Park and a Farm in Hillsboro- watercolor

Max Station at the Zoo- watercolor

Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn Moon

I'm about a month late sharing this one, but it still seems seasonal. Spooky nights are coming up, after all.

If anyone is interested (and I hope this isn't a violation of protocols here), I just posted a new entry on my own blog last night. It's not a sketching blog, but follows the seasons on our farm and in the woods:

Hope to join you all at the next Sketchcrawl!

SusanLayne Nielsen

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Bit of Fall Color

I thought I'd add a little fall color to our blog...

I've been out enjoying the beautiful changing of Portland's many trees...
and I'm hoping that Deb will give us a little tree lesson at our next sketch crawl at Reed.

When I sketched this 2nd sketch, I was greeted by a superhero dressed dad and his two children. His young son was also a superhero in disguise and his daughter was a princess. They were interested in my sketch. When I asked the (eight year old?) princess if she knew what I had sketched, she pointed to the correct view of Art Museum and told me, "You really captured it." I was impressed!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Zoo Sketching with Portland Drink & Draw

Our friends at the Portland "Drink and Draw" meetup group have proposed a sketching adventure at the Oregon Zoo! Here's the plan:

Sunday, October 6, 2013
Meet up at 10:30 am at the mountain goats near the zoo entrance
Sketch until 3ish (or whenever you need to leave)
Everyone is welcome, bring your friends.

Sea Otter at Oregon Zoo

Official announcement over here!