Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Early Morning Sketches in Singapore


There are a few of reasons for sketching in early morning in Singapore.  One to avoid the heat, two to get to places before it gets too crowded and three it seemed to be the only time to sketch if you are teaching a workshop. You will find a handful of sketchers out doing their first sketch before breakfast.
On one of the first days I went down to the Arab District with Shari Blaukoph and sketched Masjid Sultan  and a nearby alley.
Masjid Sultan in the Arab District, Singapore

The next morning,  I found Liz Steel, Suhita, Frank Ching and Virginia Hein in the hotel lobby so we all walked to Little India to find a place to sketch.  We were intending on sketching one  of the Mosques,  but all of us felt that the one we found it was just a bit too ornate. Walking back to the shops area in Little India, we found an old alley that caught our eye.






Back Alley in Little India, Singapore
The last early morning sketch crawl outing was at Waterloo St. behind our hotel.  I had seen this bright yellow church with green doors which really caught my eye.  So while others ended  up sketching the temples down the block I sketched this church which happened to be the first Methodist church founded in Singapore and now is the home for Objectifs  a Visual Arts Centre in Singapore.
Historic Methodist Church building on the Corner of Waterloo and Middle Road in Singapore

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Day at the Alexander Beach at Fidalgo Island

Yesterday I took the day off and spent time with my friend Meg on Fidalgo Island.  We took a walk along the water overlooking Guemes Island and had lunch at her cabin on Alexander Beach.  I was able to get in this sketch at the end of the day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back from South East Asia Trip with a lot of Sketches


We have been back just over two weeks from our South East Asia trip to Singapore, Cambodia and Bangkok. What a wonderful experience and each place so different.  We battled stifling humidity and heat to sketch outdoors, met people from all over the world and made new friends.  The experience was one I wouldn't miss (even having to deal with the weather) and moments that will be treasured for the rest of my life.

Because there was so much to see and sketch, in many cases I learned something about traveling sketching...how much time it takes,  how the mediums work in different weather conditions and how you have to adapt to those conditions. 

When you sketch and travel you have to choose between touring and seeing all the sights...or seeing fewer sights and taking time to sketch.  Or you adjust the way you work to get in as many sketches as you can.  I prefer to sketch and watercolor on site from start to finish however that takes a lot of time and you are seated in one location for a period of time.  I had to compromise to get all the sketches in that I wanted.  I found in many cases I only had time to sketch the line portion of my drawing and take a picture to finish the painting off site.

I will be posting groups of sketches at a time and sharing some thoughts and experiences.  So here goes.... The one place I wanted to sketch on this whole trip was the Marina Bay, and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, in Singapore.  I had seen sketches done by the local Singapore Urban Sketchers and it had always caught my eye. That was on my bucket list of places to sketch.  We were in Singapore for 8 days so I thought I would have time to sketch there no problem. I only had a couple of days before the symposium and had to spend most of the time prepping at my sketch site.  I did get in an afternoon where we went to the Gardens by the Bay and were able to get a views of Marina Bay from inside the Cloud Dome.
The two sketches from inside the Cloud Dome took a great deal of time.  This is where you decide whether to paint on site or paint off site.  After sketching on site from the bridge I decided the bridge was not the best place to paint for fear of dropping brushes and being in the way. The first sketch was drawn directly in ink on site.  The second sketch being so complex was drawn in pencil on site which took probably an hour. Inking over the pencil sketch and painting was done off site.

View of the Marina Bay Sands and Super Trees from inside the Cloud Dome

 I didn't spend much time in the Flower Dome but did a quick capture of the Baobab trees on location in pencil.  Inking and watercolor was done off site.  I decided to try out the pentel brush pen for the trees for its calligraphic quality.
Baobab Trees in the Flower Dome
At night we sat amongst the Super Tree Grove and watched the light show.  I had planned on painting there so I drew the preliminary bases of the trees in pencil in the sketchbook.  I found the light show to change so quickly that I couldn't get the colors and changes in.  So I took pictures and decided to paint later over my pencil sketch.
Super Tree Grove Light Show at Night
 This is the view I had intended on sketching all along.  But this didn't happen until Saturday morning the last full date in Singapore.  I am glad I got this in.  The Panorama was sketched on site and painted off site.  The close up painting was done on site.

Marina Bay Sands by Architect Moshe Safdie

 Close up of the Lotus Flower which is actually a Art Science Museum adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Sketching and Sailing Holiday

The July 4th weekend we had the great opportunity to sail with our friend Kim, her son Thane and their dog Zeke on their 37 foot sail boat the Sapphire.  We sailed from Bellingham Bay to Lopez Island where we enjoyed a small town 4th of July parade and then at night saw  a fireworks display that could compete with Seattle's Fireworks!  The next day we sailed from Lopez Island to Jones Island State Park and anchored over night.  A day hike on the island gave us beautiful views of the San Juans as well as the stands of  Madronas and Cedars walking through the forests.  Our next stop was the West Sound of Orcas Island and then to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

The Sapphire and Zeke the dog

With most of the time spent on a boat one has plenty of time to sketch and paint.  I took advantage of that.
 
Map of our journey with enlarged maps to the right.







DAY 2:  July 4th, 2015

Fisherman's Bay in Morning Light

 

4th of July Parade

4th of July Parade

Looking at the Lopez Island from the Sapphire and Island Dog

Fisherman's Bay from the Island Dog

Day 2: July 5th 2015

Morning light on July 5th was interesting.  The sky was smoky and the sun a bright orange red with the same color reflecting off the still water.  That sun we found out later was the result of the forest fires creating smoke in the sky.  Smoke from the BC forest fires carried all the way down to Whidbey Island.
 
The rocks and reflections of Jones Island the evening of July5th

Rocks and reflections of Jones Island.

 Day 3:  July 6th, Jones Island

We started the day with a nice breakfast and I was able to paint the surroundings in the early morning.
 After breakfast we took a hike on  Jones island  which is a state park and ended up on the north facing side of the island where we parked ourselves in front of an amazing Madrona tree views of the San Juans behind it.

 We then sailed to Orcas Island West Sound Marina Bay to anchor for the night.
View from the Sapphire at West Sound
Day 4: July 7, 2015

On our way to Friday Harbor early morning.

 
The Coach House of the Sapphire
View of Friday Harbor from Friday Harbor Crab House roof deck.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sunday Sketchcrawl in Fremont

Last Sunday Urban sketchers met up in an industrial area of Fremont.  It was a 4 block area that had some interesting and quirky architecture.  Some of which I sketched.
Concrete Residence

The Way Station Coffee Co.

Chainsaw Chandelier at Drunky's 2 Shoes BBQ

Friday, June 12, 2015

Showing Work at the Traveler Montlake this Sunday June 14th

I will be showing and selling some of my work at the Traveler Montlake Restaurant this Sunday from 5-7 p.m. For more information and location check out this posting of the Montlake Flyer.
http://montlake.net/2015/06/music-art-arrive-at-traveler-montlake-next-sunday/

Here are a few of my pieces that I will be showing.  These are a series of watercolors done of the Washington Park Arboretum.




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Sketching Classes starting June 28th


I will be teaching summer sketching classes starting June 28th and going to August 23.  Sign up for an individual class or sign up for the series classes.  If you are interested email me  gail(at)glwarc(dot)com and I can send you more information about the classes.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Study of Water Reflections

I have been working on studying the different ways water can be represented. Here are  watercolors I did from a scene at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. I started with very loose light washes with irregular edges at the reflection.  Over that base while still wet I added some darks. The paper was drying up a bit so I started getting hard edges around the white areas. After that first layer had dried a bit I added the final crisp dark strokes. To keep this painting somewhat simple and abstract. I was looking at shape, value and color.

Center for Wooden Boats Saunders Cold Press 5"x 7"

Center for Wooden Boats on Arches Cold Press  10"x14" On location

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rolling Hills of Niles California

I am in California for the week after our Line to Color Workshop. Right now I am in Fremont, California which is a stones throw away from Niles. I have sketched there before. This morning I took a couple of hours to paint the rolling hills and the train station in Niles. I will post more sketches later. But this is hot off my board.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Study of a New York Street Scene in Six Views

For water color home work,  I ended up practicing painting a scene from a photograph 6 times.  Each time learning something different.  My goal was to be less literal and more abstract with my watercolors.  See what transpired.
First try at the scene try to capture a complex image and get the lighting but abstracting form. I overworked the darks with too many passes and it looked messy.
Second try on cheap paper.  Quality of the water color was really bad on the inexpensive paper. 
A little better paper and I tried to focus in to reduce the amount of information.  Still too busy. Some things I liked but not completely happy.
I liked the base of this one  but the upper portion I wasn't as happy with.
This one I did after talking to Tom Hoffman about my previous passes.  This was done in about 30 minutes got the major shapes and the feeling of the activity of the street without being literal. 
One more try at home.  Got a little more fussy but not bad. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sketches from Sunday's Sketchcrawl at Seattle Chinese Garden

It has been a view years since sketching at the Seattle Chinese Garden.  So it is interesting to see the progress that has been made.  It looks to be slow, not much change in building form but more areas have been planted.  I was hoping the pond would be in but the large pond by the main building is still a rock bed.  It was however a glorious day and we did enjoy sketching the gardens of the completed sections.