Friday, January 28, 2011

Great Era store in Chinatown

I finally completed this sketch that I started a while ago of the Great Era Oriental goods
store at 3rd & Everett in Chinatown. I loved the window display which included parsols and
all kinds of interesting vases and statues.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Museum and the Group Sketchbook

During the sketchcrawl, I took the opportunity to go to the art museum to finish my pages in the group sketchbook. It took another day to go back and get the colors.These were some sketches from the sculpture garden.

Now the sketchbook will get passed on. I have some more sketches from the Portland Urban Sketching events on my blog:, and there are a lot because we've been getting out frequently. It's always a pleasure to see everyone and look at the wonderful variety of sketches.

Monday, January 24, 2011

City Scape

On our latest sketch-crawl I actually stayed away from just drawing people and actually sketched some city. I thought fitting the crane in the background with the bright blue sky and the parking garage all in one sketch was a nice test of my skills. I may add some more color to it. My tookus was freezing to the concrete, so I had to call it quits prematurely. It was fun once again looking through everyone's sketchbooks at lunch. Nice to see you all.

Schnitzer's Portland sign

Sketching outside today was a bit of a challenge. I stuck it out for almost an hour doing this drawing of the 'Portland' sign on the Schnitzer. I would have finished it but I just got too cold and sought the warm of inside. I joined several other sketchers inside the Performing Arts Center and tackled the Portland sign again. After a nice lunch the sun was out so I decided to give it a go again and went to South Park Blocks to see the Shemanski Fountain. Alanna and I found a sunny spot to sketch and it was great until the sun went away..... or behind a building.
I am enjoying the challenge of doing these small sketches in ink. They are quick and like little snapshots.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lan Su Chinese Garden

I finished a sketch that I started at the Chinese Gardens
during the free admission week. It was too cold to finish
it outside. I loved that place so much I would like to become
a member!

Worldwide Sketchcrawl, Portland, OR

I also posted this on my painted cats blog.
We met at Boyd's in SW Portland to do some sketching of downtown. We were lucky to have sunshine and blue skies, though it was still quite chilly to be out.
 I attempted a tree, but it was quite huge and complicated. I also attempted a map, but that too was complicated
 This was my intended subject. This was as far as I got before my bum got too cold and I needed to seek shelter.
 We found an inside location with a view. I wasn't impressed by this attempt, but I liked being warm!
 I captured Deb sketching on the stairs. I forgot my camera, so this will have to do!
 Ten of us met for lunch and to show off our sketches.  There were a couple of others out sketching, too, but they didn't join us for lunch.

I went back out for a little more sketching. This was done in the south park blocks.
 I liked this fountain.
It was a great Portland day for a sketchcrawl. We usually have a really good turnout at our sketchcrawls, which is a lot of fun. It is so great to see what other people can do in the same amount of time in approximately the same location. We have some VERY talented people in our group. Kudos to all the Portland Urban Sketchers!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Worldwide Sketchcrawl, January 22, 2011, 10 am

10 am, meet at Boyd's coffee shop, 1229 SW 10th ave
Sketch: Schnitzer Concert Hall and South Park Blocks
12:30 pm, meet at Pastini Pastaria at 911 SW Taylor
after lunch: keep sketching!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

@ the Canvas art bar & bistro

My first time at the monday night drawing session.....the model came out in leotard and headband and I didn't get it that she was an 'aerobics instructor' until she made a comment about doing a 'sitting' pose.

I did these sketches really small (about 2.5" x 4") so I didn't have to put to much detail in them...that and the subject matter were challenging.

another of Reynolds subjects 'the Paris Theatre'

It was a really wet day for sketching but I found a convienent awning on a local resturant to hide under . This sketch is on another of those pre colored pages and I chose it because the blue stripe fit the signage on the building across Burnside....not that you can see it clearly but then it was that kind of day. I made a few attempts to sketch other locations in Reynolds' book but the wet weather sabotaged me and my pens! I gave up and met with the other sketchers at Deschutes Brewery....

more 'walking in Reynolds footsteps'

I got a late start this day. Started a sketch of the Everett Hotel - but I wasn't feeling it. So after meeting up with the other Urban Sketchers to get some food, I went back to tackle it again from a different angle. The darker colors on the paper seemed to be appropriate to the darkish and damp sketching day in Portland.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Norton House

I finally finished one of the sketches that I started
during one of our "Old Town" sketchcrawls. This
is the Norton House on SW 1st and Couch. Floyds Coffee
shop is on the North side of this building.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lovejoy Bakery

The steady drizzle today couldn't keep the Portland Urban Sketchers down. We met in a bakery in the Pearl district, then dispersed to sketch, gathering later at a pub for lunch. At least some of us dispersed...the bakery was warm and dry, with free refills on coffee, so why get wet? I spent a cozy morning gazing out the window, sketchbook and pen in hand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Backspace Cafe, looking out of the window

i was intrigued by the deer statue on the sidewalk in front of where the max stop is...later i read the sides of the statue...little bit odd...something about the stag in the sky and only those touched by the green man can see it...for something that looks so elegant and classical from the front...just seems a little odd...but a beautiful statue take on it:

pen and ink

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Upcoming Sketchcrawls-hope to see you all there!

Saturday, January 15, 2011
10 AM- Meet at Lovejoy Bakers 939 NW 10th Avenue (green star and arrow on map below) --sketch in Old Town or The Pearl (wherever strikes your fancy) *please note that the lunch spot is about 7 blocks south of our first meeting spot.
12:30pm- Meet at Deschutes Brewery, 210 Northwest 11th Avenue (red thumbtack on map below); have lunch together and share sketches
Keep sketching after lunch, but no formal meet up destination. All the items in blue on the map are places where Charles Reynolds drew for his book Sketches of Old Town and Old Timers

Monday, January 17, 2011

2:30pm- meet at Anna Bananas 1214 Northwest 21st Avenue (point A on the map). sketch in and around Nob Hill area.
[because it will be getting dark, this will be mostly an inside, people focused sketchcrawl]
5:30pm-dinner at the Canvas,1800 nw upshur street (point B on the map)
 7pm-9pm The Canvas- model,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Saturday's Sketches

It was fun meeting up with everyone once again. I found it very difficult to draw outside, so I only managed one fairly quick drawing of some archways around Ankeny pictured below. 
Earlier I had gotten down some of the other sketchers as they talked pen, and drew each other.

Tried Drawing at the Chinese Garden, but just wasn't feeling it so once again, a passenger on the MAX ride home became my subject. Hope to see all of you again soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sketching in Old Town: Back Space and Lan Su garden

These are in reverse order...but that's fine. I ended my sketchcrawl day at the teahouse at Lan Su chinese garden. It was my first time there. I had eight treasures tea which was really very good.

a very quick sketch at Lan Su

Bill Sharp...messed up his eyes, though. Oops

People at Backspace and Marco, sketching
 Backspace cafe barista...I think i made his hat too pointy. He didn't look quite so gnomeish in person.
 It was great meeting up with folks. For the first time since I started the group, we had more guys than gals!
I've really been enjoying myself at sketchcrawls....see y'all next saturday too!

Expeditions and Experiments

While the Portland Urban Sketchers have visited Old Town several times lately and there's plenty to sketch, the wintry weather makes it challenging to settle in and I'm getting less done over the course of the day. Quite a few outings have generated only these few outdoor drawings. Ah well, it's still fun!

Portland Old Town - NaNoDrawMo 15 Portland Old Town - Voodoo Doughnuts - NaNoDrawMo 32 Old Town, Portland, OR

We often end up drawing indoors. These are from Old Town Pizza.

Portland Old Town - Old Town Pizza - NaNoDrawMo 33 Portland Old Town - Old Town Pizza - NaNoDrawMo 34

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a great sketching location, offering infinite gorgeous vistas and some shelter from wind and rain. These were drawing using new Christmas acquisitions, both of which I have recently reviewed elsewhere: the Hero M86 Chinese calligraphy pen and the Coleman Woodsman II chair.

SketchCrawl - Old Town - Chinese Garden SketchCrawl - Old Town - Chinese Garden

Even with the shelter of the Chinese Garden, the cold gets to us and we always end up back at a cafe. We're lucky to have Backspace cafe, which has both a good view of the outside and an interesting interior to sketch.

NaNoDrawMo 4 NaNoDrawMo 5
Portland Old Town - NaNoDrawMo 14 Sketchcrawl - Old Town

Sunday, January 9, 2011

From the Backspace Cafe


I'm never quite sure where Old Town begins and China Town ends. I feel like I was sitting in Old Town but drawing buildings in China Town. It was cold and damp and the sketchbook was soggy just from being open in this air. The right hand page was done on location and a good bit of the left hand page was done later in the comfort of home. Frankly, I like the left side better.

It was great seeing/meeting everyone. Hope to see you next time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Moleskine sketch paper and 'color'

There was a little discussion (at Backspace Cafe with Alanna, Kalina, Vicky and me) about the Moleskine Sketch paper not taking to water based color. This was also a hot topic at the Portland Urban Symposium too.
In the past this Moleskine sketchbook has been used for pen drawing only (when using watercolor I use the 'Stonehenge' paper) but I decided to try to color one of my sketches from last Sunday. I used gouache and when used as an opaque color it went on pretty well (and smoothly) but the addition of more water and transparency didn't do the paper and the drawing any was a struggle and it seeped through to the other side of the paper.

Following Reynolds 'Old Town' sketches

These are two hotels that Reynolds sketched for his book. I copied out the adresses and set out intending to sketch them too if they still existed.
It was a pretty cold day in Portland so I decided to put the color on the paper before I ventured out to sketch (in the warm space at Stumptown Cafe)...this is closer to Tia's actual technique (putting down random color and then choosing which paper to work on when on site) than I have used before and I am pretty pleased with the results. Maybe it was just beginners luck but the color and shapes seemed to work out fine. In this sketch I positioned my view to accommodate the darker color brown I had already set down on paper.
This corner also is home to the Sisters of the Road Cafe.