Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coffee Heads

Our sketchcrawl yesterday didn't actually involve much crawling. It was cold out, so we stayed in Stumptown Coffee Roasters and sketched. Having tired of drawing coffee cups and pastries over the past several weeks, I chose to draw the customers (no elipses are required).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Presidents' Day Sketches from the Pearl

This is a view of Cargo from the corner of 19th and Flanders. I added the color at home from what I remembered. Cargo is a feast of color, so there was far more color than what I could remember.

Inside, I drew this buddha which is the same one that I drew in pen and ink and colored on a previous visit. There's something about a buddha face that I find very challenging. I think it has to do with the look of serenity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Presidents Day sketching

I had a birds eye view of the Eco Trust parking lot from the nice roof top patio. My first 'warm up ' drawing didn't make the cut but this one seemed to be OK.

After lunch four of us traveled over to Cargo, a shop on 13th and Flanders (?) I had never been there before and Colin is right when he says it is close to sensory overload. I finally picked out these very obliging models. A fun place to draw! Vicky said that the guy on the left had a different hat when she visited Cargo before...I wonder if the 'birthday' hat was to comemorate Presidents Day?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ecotrust Building 2-21-11

Here's the sketch I did at the Ecotrust building yesterday, unfinished. This was a real challenge, trying to get the perspective correct, and now I notice that my wooden pillars are all at different angles! I think that the saying, "I can't be an artist, I can't even draw a straight line!" is hilarious!
Obviously, I can't draw a straight line either! Very cool old brick building, with raw wooden pillars and rafters, and I loved the old wood floor. If I actually finish this piece I will post that version too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Sketchcrawl - EcoTrust Building

A few of us took advantage of the public holiday today to do some sketching in and around the EcoTrust Building in the Pearl District.

I spent most of my time working on a single large spread made up of smaller images...
Left to right: Ruined wall in parking lot, Vespa, view from the roof of the Eco Trust Building, Stone Lantern at 'Cargo' store

After lunch we walked over to the import store 'Cargo' on 13th and Flanders to draw some funky Asian imports. This is a great place to draw, and the staff are really accommodating to sketchers, but with so many things to draw it's serious sensory overload. There really is such a thing as too much of a good thing! I finally settled in the room where they keep all the Buddha statues...

After Cargo we had coffee at Lovejoy Bakery, showed off our second round of drawings, and then went our separate ways. It was great to see everyone and talk pens, paint, and drawing styles. Good times!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hills Are Alive~ Fog and Rain

My view of the West Hills today over the Goose Hollow neighborhood was pretty lack luster but it begged a little attention. Hope your Valentines day was sweet and red.  Carrie (Blog)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Portrait Party

Portland weather means more indoor sketching during the cold and rainy winter months. Often the subject is whatever you can see from the cozy confines of a cafe couch, but this Tuesday we got together to draw a very specific subject - each other!

The portrait party is not a new idea - there are plenty of examples online - but it was the first time for the Portland Urban Sketchers Group to try it.

We gathered at the Columbia River Brewing Company Pub in Portland's Hollywood District and, after drinks and dinner, got to drawing. 

We worked on pre-made portrait blanks 8.5"x7" in size on heavy bond paper, specifically designed to copy easily onto legal-sized paper in the second part of the party. Attendees were asked to bring drawing media that photocopied well - pigment liner pens, black brush pens, black ink, or very dark pencil are best.

Partners were chosen randomly, and each partner took a turn drawing and being drawn. Each partner was drawn twice - a 2-minute warmup followed by a full 10-minute drawing.

(We had an odd number of people this time. Vicky was kind enough to sit out the regular drawing round and do a number of thumbnail sketches instead.  Then she sat for multiple artists in an extra round of drawing while we got sorted. Thanks, Vicky!)

When the drawings were done, one drawing of each person was turned in for collating. Occasionally people prefer their looser, more gestural 2-minute drawing over the 10-minute one, but ultimately it's left up to the artist and model to decide. The short drawing times help level the playing field between artists of different skill levels, making beginners less anxious to attend!

Drawings in hand, we headed to the Fedex copy center a few blocks away for the next step - turning our drawings into a book!

The portraits were collated and copied into book format so each page spread showed a pair of portraits. Each full sheet was a legal-sized piece of paper, making each page 8.5" high by 7" wide. We also added an introduction page in front and Vicky's thumbnail sketches in the back. During copying, other members were hard at work preparing the other pieces of the book...


We folded heavy art paper for the covers - Mi-Teintes or similar paper is good for this - and attached pre-made title cards to the front covers using a glue stick.

We cut and waxed white linen thread for the spine-stitching. After pages and covers were assembled, we used a 5-hole pamphlet stitch to bind the whole thing together and...

Finished! The first Portland Urban Sketchers Portrait Party book ever. We made one copy for each attendee, plus an extra copy for our very patient waitress from the pub, delivered to her after the event.

Here's a sample spread from inside - Alanna and Katherine taking turns drawing each other...


All told, the process took about 3 hours including dinner, explaining the process, drawing, and making the actual book. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so hopefully we will do this again next winter!

If you are interested in learning more about the portrait party process, you might want to check out this excellent post from Roz Stendahl which acted as a guide for our own party. In addition, Flickr users may be interested in the Julia Kay Portrait Party group, an ongoing online portrait party with over 10,000 portraits and growing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Backspace Cafe

I finally finished my little Backspace Cafe piece that I started with the
sketchcrawl and went back a few days later and finished.