Friday, December 31, 2010

KOIN Tower from SE Salmon

I'm disappointed that I can't make it to the next sketchcrawl but since I could see my shadow outside today, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some drawing in. I didn't want to jockey for or pay for parking in Old Town so I went to a favorite spot of mine in close in SE. It was cold outside but comfortable sitting in my truck. In fact it got pretty toasty in there with the sun streaming into the cab.

I'm hoping to make it to the next meet up.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

MAX Line

I always like riding the MAX. I enjoy looking at the different people that choose to, or have to ride the public transit system. It's not often that I draw the people I see on the train, but sometimes I just feel the urge and let it rip. Have to work quickly, and quietly. Sometimes the sketches turn out to be something decent. This was on a particularly cold evening recently, had just gone and walked all about enjoying the holiday lights, and warmed myself with a couple cocktails. Spent the train ride showing a friend the way you can put together a sketch quickly using reference points in your line of sight. Good stuff.
Even Sketchier

Monday, December 27, 2010

Floyd's coffee shop

Here's a recent piece that I did while enjoying a cup of tea at
Floyd's coffee shop in Old Town. I couldn't help but overhear
the conversations that these ladies were having. I think this
coffee house is located within the old Norton building? Wondering
if the beautiful old brick on the wall is original.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sneak Peek at the Dill Pickle Club lecture series. Our invovlement is highlighted in yellow... 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Being a newcomer to this city, I wander around to acquaint myself with it's many wonders. So may nice coffee shops and delis and while sketching at the Chinese Garden, I see that Portland has had the audacity to erect a PINK skyscraper. Such chutzpah!
Fingers got too cold so I repaired to one of the aforementioned Establishments for Pizza and Porter.
Therein are all the nutrients required to establish robust health and a positive dissposition.

Vivo Espresso

Here's my sketch of fellow Portland Urban Sketchers at the Vivo Espresso coffee shop, Dec. 4, 2010. This group is so fun! It's interesting sketching other sketchers!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snow berries done in tombows and white chacoal
on dark paper

An old hotel on the ocean that serves really good breakfasts
Pen and Tombows

I do believe that I am getting the hang of this blog business....I think
One of my favoite spots...done with Tombow brush pens

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The courtyard in El Paseo, Santa Barbara

wooden bracket ...again

Hope you will all bear with me ...I wanted to see if this image from a photo was any better than the scanned one in the previous post. Thanks!

SketchCrawl - Architectural Heritage Center

Cross-posted to my blog,

I have been wanting to visit the Architectural Heritage Center all summer, so was glad to finally manage a visit on  Saturday along with the Portland Urban Sketchers.  We had a large group, including a couple of new people!  The AHC was very welcoming, and we were also lucky to discover that admission is free during the month of December.

I started off drawing these wooden shapes which turned out to be much trickier than they looked, and very good practice.  Not sure what building they are from. (Drawn with Lamy Safari loaded with Noodler's Antietam, touched up with blue watercolors, in a small Moleskine sketchbook)

Then I moved on to this hefty item. The challenge here was that the piece was quite weather-worn. I had to look closely in order to figure out the shape of the piece past the unevenness and flaking paint of the surfaces. (Pigma Micron 05 in Sepia with watercolors on account ledger paper)

Sketchcrawl - Architectural Heritage Center, Portland

The AHC has a "Hardware Room" for doorknobs and a few knockers. (Zebra Sarasa)

Sketchcrawl - Architectural Heritage Center, Portland

After lunch, Tony and I tried to draw outside but it was cold and we rejoined the others. I was too impatient to actually plan a composition, despite having wanted to draw this building for years. (Copic brush pen in gray and some other stuff in small Moleskine)

Sketchcrawl - Barber Block, Portland

Finally, we settled into tables at the Side Door cafe, which kept us entertained for hours. (Lamy Safari with Noodler's Antietam ink and other tools)

Sketchcrawl - after AHC, at the Side Door cafe

For a review that touches upon a couple of these pens, see my latest review for Pen Addict - Brown Pen Battle.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love doing sketchcrawls with the other urban sketchers?  Meeting up with all these dedicated sketchers gets me out of the house when I otherwise wouldn't make it.  It's great to have a community with whom you can get totally lost in your own head for awhile as you draw, and then balance that out by socializing as we pass around the sketchbooks and talk about materials, styles, problems, and breakthroughs.  It's grand.

Monday, December 6, 2010

December Sketchcrawl

Here are a couple of my sketches from this weekend's sketchcrawl. It was really fun, even if I didn't last as long as some of you. There are a couple of others sketches on my blog, if you're interested. You may see an attempted likeness of yourself, but I left the names off to protect the innocent. Thanks again to Alanna and Kalina for organizing this.

Copper Lantern

My first contribution to the urban sketchers Portland blog!
Here is the ink and watercolor drawing that I did on our sketchcrawl
on Saturday, Dec. 4th at the Architectural Heritage Center.
This lovely copper lantern was salvaged from the original
Civic Auditorium. I'm still searching for the name of the designer.

Building artifacts

This was one of four carved wooden brackets hanging on the wall at the center....not sure what building they came off of. They were quite large (probably 40-48" in length) and in a natural 'wood' state with no evidence of having been painted before. All together an interesting puzzle.

The Architectural Heritage Center is a place that I have wanted to explore for some time and I was very happy to be given the opportunity on Saturday's sketchcrawl.

These are some 'typical' door and window facades from a Victorian building. Besides the design of these artifacts it was interesting to see them as fragments of buildings within a building. The sheet metal ornaments had very boldly sculpted and quite wimsical too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Building Ornament

Sitting in the corner of the Architectural Heritage Center, this big pink gnarly hunk of ornament called my novice skills to the challenge.

The sketch is 3x4.5" in a homemade journal of the same size on 24# linen paper with a black Pilot VBall, brown Slicci and Tombo and Pitt brush pens.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday Sketch Crawl

Went out with the group for the first time and really had a good time. These two drawings were done at the Architectural Heritage Center. On the left is a stone entry ornament and on the right is an original light fixture from the Convention Center.

The drawing on the bottom is a sketch from inside The Side Door, the bar where we had lunch. It was nice to meet everyone and check out all the sketchbooks.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

January 22, 2010-- Next Worldwide Sketchcrawl!
:: drawing marathons from around the world ::
:: Celebrate with us our 30th SketchCrawl !!! ::

Cast Stone Building Ornament

On our sketchcrawl at the Architectural Heritage Center I found someone to sketch who was guaranteed not to fidget or become embarrassed at my staring. She sat patiently while I studied her to my heart's content. I've been working mostly in pen and ink and watercolor recently, but graphite is hard to beat for a satisfying values study.

I had a most enjoyable time with my fellow sketchers today not only sketching but drinking tea and chatting while passing our sketchbooks around.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Upcoming Sketchcrawl: Old Town Portland

Hope to see you there!
Update: the weather forecast is saying snow. If the weather is bad, many of us will opt to stay in.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sketching on Veteran's Day

We got together with Portland Sketchers on Veteran's day (November 11) to draw around the Hollywood district. Here are the results of our crawling, eating lunch at Laurelwood Brew pub, and watching the parade on this rainy, breezy fall day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hollywood Theater

Today, I decided to add color to my pictures. I realized I was guessing on some, so I drove over to take another look. It was the same time, but no flags, a little bit more sun, new movies on the marquee, and of course, no sketchers. It was definitely more fun yesterday!

Hollywood Theater

Hollywood Theater, originally uploaded by jswalkky.
This historic theater seems like a very glamorous but faded movie star who has fallen on hard times. I remember going there for the first time to see the futuristic movie, 2001, A Space Odyssey, in 1968. The interior was every bit as ornate as the exterior and I felt transported into a different world just by walking inside. The theater was built in 1926.

Our local Urban Sketcher group spent the morning sketching in the area, then we had lunch and passed around our sketchbooks. I had a marvelous time!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Worldwide Sketchcrawl: St. John's Bridge

We met for the Worldwide Sketchcrawl at the Cafe Under the Bridge and had our youngest ever member (5 years old).
with some great views of the bridge and its proximity to Cathedral park, it was a great place to sketch and the weather was beautiful.

 I mostly stayed inside doing some sketches from the window.
Here is a peek into my sketchbooks:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Survey Says...

I collected responses for location suggestions for upcoming sketchcrawls and thought I'd share what you all told me. Some of these the group has done before either in the early days (pre-blog) or during the symposium.

In any case, this is a nice list to have for those that are looking for inspiration on where to draw. Please feel free to add items by leaving a comment!

an auto show (to practice cars)
Oregon Zoo
central eastside industrial area
a public event where many people are present
Pioneer Square
Free open dress rehearsel at Imago or other theather
North Portland
Old Town-the new Hung Far Low sign and area
Waterfront across from the Grain silos
mississippi street
bridgeport village (tigard)
oregon city- falls
eastbank esplanade near the steel bridge
13th ave, bybee or milwaukie in sellwood
goose hollow
brewery/distillery tour at local pdx brewer/distillery
oaks park
nob hill
broadway bridge
alberta food carts
hawthorne street area
china town
skateboard park and/or department of skateboarding
OHSU near tram
rainy day choice-floyd's coffee or other cafe that's interesting
steel bridge

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Skidmore Fountain

I am starting to feel right at home sketching at the Skidmore Fountain, as I have ended up there several times with sketching groups this summer. Each time I have a stronger urge to try it again. Also, I never tire of seeing the different interpretations of the area by various sketchers.

This is my most recent attempt. I painted the fountain on the spot, then did the background and the foreground figure in my studio. I rarely finish a sketch in one sitting, but then I enjoy taking my time, so I guess that's okay.

Skidmore Fountain

I used Tia's color technique on this drawing with a little modification....I set up the subject and then put the color down on the paper where I think it will be in the final drawing. Then while waiting for it to dry I do a small sketch of it to get warmed up. The color doesn't fall into place most of the time but I like the result.

SketchCrawl - Portland's Old Town with guest sketcher

On Saturday Alanna invited us out on an "extra" sketchcrawl in order to join Matthew Brehm, who was visiting Portland with students.  It was a fun sketchcrawl, made more fun by cafe chatting afterwards.  Thanks for joining us, Matthew!

While my drawings weren't unmitigated successes, I did learn from them and felt satisfied that my work was getting somewhere.  All of my drawings were very specific experiments.

In this sketch at the Saturday Market, I attempted to focus in one one small area (an area that's actually hard to notice over the hustle and bustle of the market) by leaving other areas vague and setting out the bounds of my drawing right at the beginning: tree, tent top, and lamp post framed the area I wanted to work on.


We moved down to the Waterfront, between the Steel and the Burnside bridges. I experimented further with framing, leaving areas outside my focus unfinished and thus calling attention to an area that might otherwise be lost in the shuffle: my beloved Eastbank Esplanade, which connects up to the bridge and then descends right to the water level so you can stroll along the river among the ducks and geese.

Finally, I experimented with using a gorgeous ink - J. Herbin's Ambre de Birmanie - loaded in a water brush as a base for a loose sketch of the Japanese Historical Plaza on the Waterfront. (Unfortunately the color has been altered by my scanner.  It's like a resplendent, orange-leaning yellow ochre that is not even slightly muddy - a lovely, glowing tone that was exactly what I hoped for. )

My intent was to use minimal watercolors in support of the ink, letting the entire drawing really pivot on the amber, but I ended up messing with it afterwards as the amber was a very strong tone and should probably be used in smaller quantities. I need to practice this technique a lot more but was very happy with the ink, and with the feel of the ink on the paper in conjunction with watercolors.