Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sketching on the Road...

This past spring I've enjoyed traveling twice to Joshua Tree and the Mojave Desert town of Twentynine Palms--in March and again in May.  As much as I love my city, Los Angeles, I love the contrast of the desert--the wide open terrain and slower pace of life.

The trip always begins (happily for me) with passenger sketching...






Sketching life and my friends in the desert makes me feel right at home there...





Every desert trip includes at least one visit to the Country Kitchen in Joshua Tree...love this place not just for the great breakfast, but the wonderful atmosphere, a mix of the homey and exotic...



And then there is the Twentynine Palms Drive-in movie theater--what a treat to watch a movie wrapped in a blanket under the desert night sky munching popcorn!  "Zootopia" in March, and "Jungle Book" in May...(have to admit here that color was added a bit later from memory!)



 One of the things I love about these desert visits is painting what has now become familiar landscapes with media I want more practice in...gouache paintings in March and May on the outskirts of Twentynine Palms.  March's painting on a yellowish handmade paper, and May's painting on Canson Mix Media Artboard (ideal for gouache!)  More gouache painting to come!




 And of course, there is Joshua Tree National Park...I can never get enough of those rocks and that beautiful high-desert terrain.  Experimenting in thumbnail sketches with the set of Kuretake Gansai Tambi opaque pan watercolors I bought in Singapore...



A dry, drought-ridden landscape in Barker Dam...














And I keep returning to a favorite spot in Hidden Valley...




And finally, the drive home, back to the city...








Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sketching the Light

It would be easy as a native of Southern California to take the light here for granted...but I've found it's the thing that I always notice first in a scene--no matter the season.  

Some of these sketches were made with watercolor and gouache on tan paper--when I have the luxury of time to develop the story a bit.  I love working this way because it means intentionally painting the light...

Sketching over coffee in La Canada...










Or in Los Angeles...




Late afternoon with fading light in Pasadena...


 In Silver Lake in Los Angeles... 












At the Autry Museum...



Waiting for my car being repaired...a perfect sketching opportunity on a corner in Pasadena...


 The bell tower in front of Pasadena Presbyterian Church...

A quick sketch in Glendale...and more coffee and afternoon light in Pasadena...


Saturday, January 23, 2016

"Creative Sketching Workshop"

I was really delighted to receive a great "Christmas present"...Pete Scully's book, "Creative Sketching Workshop"!  I'm honored to be among the contributors to this book, along with fellow sketchers Shiho Nakaza, Rita Sabler, Liz Steel, James Hobbs, Ilga Leimanis, Nina Johansson, Kumi Matsukawa, Paul Wang, Samantha Zaza, Melanie Reim, and a number of other talented artists.  I enjoyed writing about one of my favorite things to do..."high speed passenger sketching"!  Thanks to Pete and RotoVision for the opportunity to be part of this project!


I do this all the time (when not driving, of course!)  Here are a few recent sketches from my passenger seat "studio"...

A super-quick sketch made on Beverly Blvd. on Christmas day...sketching on a city street is far more challenging than a freeway, where there is usually some repetition in the scenery, and the ability to see distance...


A couple of sketches made on the freeway in the rain recently...



 Playing a bit with color ink washes...

Sometimes it's nice to keep it simple, with black and white...

And adding just a bit of color...or mixing it up with different materials...