Thursday, April 30, 2015


We made the run up to Seattle for a quick over-nighter, to see the Pompeii Exhibit. Here is a little sketch, but much larger than real life, from the handle of a bronze jug. The tiny face is at the base of the handle, beautifully worked.

I haven't done much in just-pencil for a while. Should try it more.

I thought the items in the exhibit were wonderful -- I am especially taken with the household things. But, honestly, I didn't think too much of the presentation. Some items were labeled in puzzling ways, some items were displayed so that you could not see the details of the work, and some of the video screens weren't operating. It's unfortunate. Most folks will never have another look at these things.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Voodoo 2 and that impossible pink

The Sketching group gathered at Voodoo 2 last Saturday to explore sketching in the LoBu area (lower Burnside). My time was short and so I stayed at Voodoo 2 and did these three sketches. Other sketchers took the opportunity to go inside the Bottling Company which I hope they will post.
In each sketch it was challenging to get that bubble gum pink so typical at Voodoo Donuts!

Watercolor and non waterproof ink

Watercolor and non waterproof ink

I continue to try out my new Kahdi paper sketchbooks. This time with the larger sketchbook I tackled the Voodoo 2 building. It didn't work out so well. The paper seemed to have too much sizing on it so that the watercolor just sat on top and didn't flow. It was the first page of this book so the other sheets may be better but it made the sketch a struggle compared to the one I posted before.

Watercolor and non waterproof ink on Kahdi paper (8"x8" approx)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Visit to Muse and sketches

A notice from Muse Art and Design that my long awaited Kadhi sketchbooks had arrived was the impetus to get to SE Hawthorne. I had been interested in this sketchbook and interesting paper after seeing Kalina's sketches from Brazil.
The paper is handmade in south India (from recycled cotton rag) and comes in two sketchbook sizes 6"x6" and 8"x8" approx.
I got one of each to try out.
The day started out great with sun then progressing to cloud over and it was a questionable day by the time I got to SE Hawthorne. Vicky and Kalina were optimistic enough to join me for a little sketching so we ventured a little west of Muse to a likely spot.

This first sketch is on the Kahdi 6"x6". I used my usual technique of non waterproof ink and watercolor but was a little tentative in my execution. This paper took it pretty well and I am anxious to try with a bit more aggression next time to see where I can go with it.

Non waterproof ink and watercolor

This second sketch is a look a bit further down the street and in my Fabriano sketchbook. It started out as an ink sketch that I added watercolor. In some parts it got a little wet and so I lost some detail.

Non waterproof ink and watercolor

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sketching Outside

Deb and Kalina and I had an impromptu sketch outing on Hawthorne today. Both of them have some lovely sketches and I hope they'll post them. My results weren't so good,  so I'm going to post some other urban sketches I've don't lately that are somewhat better than today's results.  Maybe they'll inspire you to visit one of these places to sketch.

Sitting at a picnic table in the sunshine, I sketched this view of the Pittock mansion.
When I turned around the other way, I could see all of these folks enjoying the view of the mountain and downtown.

I sketched this view from the Fields, just as some of the trees were beginning to get their new leaves. This time, I noticed a little weather data collection device (center). 

I hope you all find some time to sketch outside on our wonderful spring days. Please post them, too!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

3rd Saturday Sketch Crawl - April 18th, "LoBu"

[04/15/2015 - Edited with information about our visit to Portland Bottling Company, which is now confirmed -kgw] 

I want to give credit to Kalina for researching and figuring out this sketchcrawl.  These are her words...
This sketchcrawl will focus on the Lower Burnside area, also called (I'm not making this up) "LoBu".

Right now there are *many* multifamily construction projects underway in this area (see this map  Old businesses are closing or selling, old buildings being demolished, and higher population density will bring in more new businesses and developments.  It's an area that will look completely different in a decade but right now, despite a certain amount of hipness, it's still quite scruffy and eclectic.  Let's capture its current incarnation while we can!

10 am - Gather outside Voodoo Donuts *2*1501 NE Davis St.
There will be long lines so you might choose to eat breakfast in advance.  

10:30 - Sketching inside the Portland Bottling Company [pictured below] - many thanks to their president, Tom Keenan, for allowing us in! Wear closed-toed shoes, don't bring in any food, and we'll need to wear hair nets and possibly remove jewelry. We'll be able to use our regular art media but I do request you avoid anything messy.

If you prefer not to go into the Bottling Company, you can sketch it from the outside or visit any of the sites listed at the bottom of this post.

12:30 - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at Doug Fir Restaurant830 E Burnside St  If we have trouble finding seating for our entire group, we'll split into two groups and one will go to: Burnside Brewing701 E Burnside St.

1:30 - Also optional after lunch - the Linework NW Festival runs from 12pm to 8pm at Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave. This festival will feature many exciting comics and illustration artists and writers, and the Norse Hall building is interesting in itself.

Additional sketching opportunities in the area:

  • (Indoor/Outdoor sketching) Hippo Hardware1040 E Burnside St - opens at 10am.  Vintage hardware displays and interesting building from the outside.
  • (Outdoor) The Sandy Hut1430 NE Sandy Blvd - this familiar business has been closed and shuttered after being purchased by a local club owner.  Its future is unknown, but its distinctive outside appearance is still available for sketching.
  • (Outdoor but sheltered) View west down burnside from under Noble Rot awning, capturing the Hippo Hardware building
  • (Indoor) See See Motorcycles1642 NE Sandy Blvd - very small cafe with interesting interior and lots of motorcycles parked outside, good for a couple of sketchers to visit at a time
  • (Indoor) Grendel's Cafe729 E Burnside St, small crowded cafe, good option for coffee and snacks

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Waterfront Cherry Blossoms

I missed the opportunity to get out with everybody, but still had a chance to catch the blossoms before they were gone.

Cherry Blossoms

Monday, April 6, 2015

McPeet's Pub

This was done at a sketch crawl back in February. I am just getting around to posting.
It might be fun to sketch all the interesting neon signs around town. There is an USK blogger in San Jose who is doing that very thing. Maybe we could incorporate it into a sketchcrawl

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring in Portland

The colors of Portland springtime catch my eye every single day, but the only time I've been out sketching lately was at the last Portland Urban Sketchers sketchcrawl when we captured the cherry blossoms.

I'm excited to be living downtown now; each day I walk past majestic old churches and the Portland Art Museum and gardens and the towering trees of the South Park Blocks.  All the inspiration is there, and I look forward to getting back into a habit of acting on it regularly in true Urban Sketcher fashion.