Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The First San Jose Sketch crawl that I know of!

Shuhita and I met at the downtown Starbucks as new Members of the SF/Bayarea sketchers and kicked of the first and I hope many of, San Jose and Area sketch crawls. Neither one of us had ever sketched in a group and it was a wonderful experience. We never made it passed Starbucks!!

Drawing the same subject over and over again.

Do you ever draw the same subject over and over? I take my kids to a swim class pretty much every weekend, and I inevitably end up sitting in about the same spot ( to be near where they are) and sketch for about the same amount of time- 20 to 25 minutes. So now I have a whole bunch of sketches titled "Weekend Swim Class at Almaden Valley Athletic Club, San Jose"!

These 3 sketches are in chronological order, and while I sometimes think "not another pool sketch!" I think it's interesting to know a subject well from drawing it over and over- and to find interesting ways to look at the same scene.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sala Berkeley Back to School Sale Window, ink & watercolor
Sala Berkeley Back to School Sale Window, ink & watercolor
Cedar and Shattuck in Berkeley on a warm fall night was perfect for our Tuesday night sketch-out. I started a few blocks south to draw the window display at "Sala." Their windows are always great and have inspired me to draw them before.

Cedar & Shattuck corner signs, ink & watercolor
Cedar & Shattuck corner signs, ink & watercolor
I met up with everyone at Cedar and Shattuck were it was quickly getting dark so there was time for just one more sketch before we went indoors.

Insect News Network Show, ink & watercolor
Insect News Network Show, ink & watercolor, by Jana Bouc
There's a new Philz Coffee a couple of doors down from the corner with a large upstairs room filled with comfortable sofas, chairs, and big oak tables.We were entertained as we sketched by "The Insect News Network," a radio-style program all about garden insects and their life cycles, that was quite fascinating.

Legion of Honor, San Francisco

Legion of Honor Museum, SF by Jana bouc
Our plein air group held a workshop at the Legion of Honor with Ed Terpening doing a demonstration that was quite good. Between watching the demo and visiting the Impressionists in Paris show I only had time for a couple of quick sketches.
Sketched on a page of workshop notes while sipping a latte in the museum cafe.
More about the day and the museum on my blog.

College Avenue

Intending to go to College & Alcatraz in Berkeley, my brain directed me to a nearby location, where I found a tiny alleyway — a flower stall is the usual occupant, but at night there is an outdoor restaurant. I sat on the flower stall bench and sketched in the dim light.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Popcycle SF - Treats on a Tricycle

Tricycle-SF in Oakland, by Jana Bouc
When I was leaving work yesterday I saw this cute guy in a miniature pretend ice cream truck (really a tricycle inside a cloth-covered frame) selling gourmet popsicles from an ice chest with tinkly music playing. So cool. More about him and his project on my blog.

Meet the sketchers: Beth Bourland

Sausalito Houseboats, Ink & Watercolor by Beth Bourland
I live in the East Bay and recently completed studies in Accounting. I enjoy sketching as a way of observing and responding to everyday moments. I follow the maxim of Susan Cornelis: Keep the materials simple & portable, and be ready to sketch anywhere, anytime! I especially like marinas, old buildings and ordinary neighborhoods but I enjoy the challenge of sketching unexpected subjects.
Beth Bourland
 My current goals are to improve my figure drawing & look for creative compositions. Sketches are complete as is, or can serve as rough drafts for larger projects.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Der Wienerschnitzel, El Cerrito

Der Wienerschnitzel, El Cerrito, by Micaela Marsden

My late contribution from our evening "dog" sketch on Sept 7. It's a colorful place. It reminds me of the IHOP we used to have.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A small wait at Mission street in San Jose.
A small wait at Mission street in San Jose; by John Ediger

Another Der Weinerschnitzel on Taylor Street in San Jose. I love sketching weinerdogs, they are always so colorful.

Another Der Weinerschnitzel on Taylor Street in San Jose by John Ediger

I know it's not summer anymore...

... When I start sketching indoors more and more- it's always a challenge, finding new places I can sketch at while staying out of the cold. The "Hungry Hound" is a little joint in Los Gatos. I liked how the ketchup and red baskets created little points of color across an otherwise non-descript scene.

... When school begins and the soccer leagues are back at the neighborhood park. I love the long shadows and warm glow of the evening, but I need to remember NOT to be positioned so that the setting sun is right in my eyes...

... When the halloween stuff comes out... Isn't it a little early, though? I'm a graphic designer, and funky fonts like halloween fonts really bother me: The only time they're fun is when I'm sketching them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Der Wienerschnitzel, El Cerrito

Wienerschnitzel El Cerrito by Jana Bouc
Last Tuesday night we sketched Der Wienerschnitzel fast food drive-thru at sunset on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito. Jana was interested in the triangular shape of the building and the glow of golden light on the roof.

Wienerschnitzel by Cathy McAullife
Cathy's view captured the strange drive-through feature that goes right through the middle of the building. I wonder what the half of the building is used for?

Micaela's sketch coming soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Meet the Sketchers: Suhita

I am Suhita, a Graphic Designer, and an obsessive sketcher. I was born in, and spent my childhood and early adulthood in India, and now make my home in the South Bay Area in San Jose.

Sketching is my way of looking deeply at everything around me, and coming to know it well. Of letting a few lines and strokes express what I never could in words, of remembering and recording the world around me as I see it at that very moment.

Besides design and sketching, I paint the occasional mural and make handmade tile.

I blog my sketches at:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Crystal Amber Industrial Sand

Cement Plant #1, Ink & watercolor by Jana Bouc

On Tuesday night we sketched at this dilapidated old sand plant/cement factory. For the first hour the sun was setting and everything was aglow and then suddenly it was too dark to see.
It's always so much fun to see everyone's individual take on the scene. I did some research to learn more about the history of the factory and wrote a bit about what I found out on my blog here.

As usual Cathy got in the most sketches of the area:

Cement Plant #1 by Cathy McAuliffe

Cement Plant #2 by Cathy McAuliffe

Cement Plant #3 by Cathy McAuliffe

Railroad Crossing by Cement Plant by Cathy McAuliffe
Micaela took her time with one sketch and captured the scene from top to bottom:
Cement Plant by Micaela Marsden

Sonia noted that as the sun set, the old cement factory was bathed in gold.  
Cement Plant by Sonia Tamez

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Golden Gate Park Sights

The Bandshell and The Japanese Tea Garden a near the deYoung Museum.

The Impressionist Show in San Francisco

Saw the first of two Impressionist shows at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden gate Park.

Meet The Sketchers: Bill Russell

I'm an illustrator and web designer based in San Rafael. I was a staff artist at the San Francisco Chronicle for seven years and created the Bay Folk Sketchbook. I drew lots of people and told their stories....not unlike what Gabi Campanario does up in Seattle. I consider my sketching to be a professional endeavour so I call it reportage. I post my drawings on my blog. On weekends I drive a taxi and post writings and drawings at

Pumping Something in Snow Park

Pumping Something in Snow Park; Ink & watercolor by Jana bouc
I don't know what they were pumping out of the ground but the name on the truck—"Environliners"—made me think I probably wouldn't want to know. It was a gorgeous summer day and I was determined to get outside for a few minutes at lunchtime. I spent it eating a take-out salad and sketching in Snow Park across the street from our building in Oakland.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Subway Sketches on BART

Shaky train, shaky pen; ink with digital coloring
Guns Before Butter on Shaky BART Train by Jana Bouc

This lady carefully marked up her cheesy crime novel, "Guns Before Butter" with her pencil as she read. The train ride was really bumpy and so my ink line got pretty squiggly. I switched to drawing her after a big guy with a bike got on and completely blocked my view of the man above her.

Two guys in green, ink & colored pencil
Two guys in green, ink & colored pencil by Jana Bouc
I experimented in my brown craft paper sketchbook, drawing with a black brush pen on BART and (above) adding white pen and colored pencil at home.

More Brown Paper People
More BART people by Jana Bouc

And below, some ink drawings done on BART with watercolor added at home later.
Elderly Asian couple, ink & watercolor
Elderly Asian couple, ink & watercolor by Jana Bouc
Waiting patiently, ink & watercolor
Waiting patiently, ink & watercolor by Jana Bouc

Friday, September 3, 2010

Meet the Sketchers: John Ediger

I started doing Art late in life (At 55). I am now a retired Electronics Technician in San Jose and Can't Stop Sketching! I love Urban sketching and This group Called "Urban Sketchers" is a fantastic forum to show one's work and view others' from all over the world. Thank you all for letting me be a part of this.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sketching at the Berkeley Pier

Sunset from the Berkeley Pier; Ink & watercolor by Cathy McAuliffe
 As Cathy wrote in her sketch above, it was the warmest August day in in San Francisco history in the middle of the coldest summer since 1975: 98 degrees! And now a 40 degree drop in temperature is predicted by Sunday. That's summer in the San Francisco Bay Area!
Skates Restaurant at the Berkeley Marina; Ink & watercolor by Micaela Marsden
Although we never spotted Micaela all evening, she somehow managed to sketch nearly the identical view as Cathy, from the same vantage point as Jana (below) and still remained invisible to the rest of us.
Sunset over the Men's Bathroom on the Berkeley Pier; Ink & watercolor by Jana Bouc
 Although I (Jana) stood in nearly the same spot as Micaela and Cathy, instead of Skates Restaurant, I was attracted to the way the gritty men's bathroom and the rocks on the shore were glowing pink in the sunset (above).

Fishing Off the Pier; Ink & watercolor by Sonia Tamez

Then we strolled the pier looking for people fishing to sketch and drew the same guys (above and below).
Fishing and Strolling the Berkeley Pier, Ink & watercolor by Jana Bouc
Fishing from the Berkeley Pier; Ink & watercolor by Cathy McAuliffe
Fishing Poles Berkeley Pier, Ink & watercolor by Cathy McAuliffe

Marina View; Ink & watercolor, by Sonia Tamez