Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Sketching Supplies for doing Plein Aire watercolor.




Next weekend we will be giving the Line to Color Workshop, so I am posting the sketching supplies that students will need for the weekend.
5x8 Sketchbook for ink line drawing  preferably with no spiral binding so you can draw across the page.




Watercolor sketchbook 5x8 landscape minimum.  Larger sizes okay


Drawing and painting tools. Binder clips to keep the page secure.  Painters tape to create a clean watercolor edge.
Water color Palettes
Above are different palettes.  There are many types of folding watercolor palettes that vary in price.
I used an old Winsor Newton mini travel palette and changed out the colors with my own Daniel Smith Tube Paints.  A mint tin with the lid sprayed with white enamel paint makes a nice small palette that you can easily fit in a pocket.  A vitamin pill container can be used as well to hold paints but you would need to bring a separate palette to mix and see paints.

Water bottles and water containers.  The bottles are to keep a reserve of clear water, the water container you use for painting.  It can be as simple as a hummus container or purchased collapsible containers.

Paper towels folded in a tin is a easy way to wipe excess water from your brush.  A sponge will work too.

Collapsible camp stool that you can purchase at REI or any camping store is good if you need a place to sit.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Magnuson Park

Yesterday I was at Magnuson Park.  I wanted to practice painting with values and light.  Not depending on lines to establish form. When you do that you have to simplify your forms and use contrast in value to determine the edge of a shape.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Just Practicing

I just got two new watercolor books.  One by Alvaro Castagnet, "Watercolor Masterclass" and another one by Michael Reardon  "Watercolor Techniques".  They both do a lot with light and atmosphere.  It usually starts off with their first layer of washes setting up the light...the underpainting.
Then letting that under layer dry completely before putting additional washes that start to define the views.

Here is a practice doing flat wash and gradated washes.  I was using Fluid hot press and had difficulty in getting a flat wash with out the bead creating a heavier value line.  I will have to try it with other paper to see if I can get a real flat wash.

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Basic Palette

I have been tweaking this basic palette for a while.  Trying to  get the essential colors I would have my students get that would give them a wide range of colors with out busting their wallet.
So I have come up with a six colors that will give you all that you would need and a final 7th color that gives you some more bright mixing.
The Basic 6 colors are the following. I buy Daniel Smith colors for their intensity and richness (and they are a local company)

Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Teal
Quinacridone Gold
Hansa Yellow Medium
Transparent Pyroll Orange
Quinacridone Rose

7th optional Manganese Blue

Here are how the triads work  and you can see what you get when you mix the paints.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sketching the Light Rail Stations on Opening Day

As many of you know the Light Rail station on Capitol Hill and University of Washington were opened on March 19th. There were free rides on the Light Rail that day so I decided to check it out and sketch the events.  Here are my sketches of the day.  I did eight ink line sketches in 4 hours. Painting them took the next 5 days to finish.

Demonstration for U-Pass at the University of Washington Station

Opening Day University of Washington Station
Interior Entrance to the University of Washington Station

Waiting for the Train at the University of Washington Station
Outside the Capitol Hill Station

Entrance to the Capitol Hill North Station

Inside the Capitol Hill Station


Waiting for the University of Washington Train

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sketching the Grand Staircase at Suzzallo Library


Sunday Seattle Urban Sketchers gathered at Suzzallo Library to sketch. The weather was rainy and windy, so the library was a great place for indoor sketching. This is a sketch of the Suzzallo Grand Staircase that winds its way to the second floor Graduate Reading Room. It is a beautiful staircase and a challenge to draw in perspective. I did it in pencil so I could compensate for mistakes with an eraser.

Architecture 210 students we taught years ago didn't get that benefit and had to draw directly in  ink.  Some did it beautifully and in a timed sketch did some amazing work.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Interior Panoramas

Seattle Central Library

The landscape  5.5 x 8.5 " watercolor sketchbook lends itself rather well to a panoramic view when opened fully and drawn over two pages.  This is the case with the view of the interiors of the Seattle Central Library.  I was there for a lecture and purposefully went down earlier so I could sit in the main living room area of the library and sketch.  It is an immense broad space with sweeping views through the exterior glass walls.  Though it is a bit complex it is fun to draw.

Storyville  Coffee Pike Place Market

Storyville Line drawing
Here are two panoramic views of the interior of the Storyville Coffee shop at Pike Place Market.  The line drawing took 30 -40 minutes which was all I had time for before running down to meet a friend to see the Impressionist's exhibit at the SAM. 

I took a picture before I left so I could add color later.  The color was added yesterday during a wild windstorm that took out our electricity.  What a great excuse to paint!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting Back into Watercolor

I have taken a bit of a hiatus from my watercolor study.  Just pure watercolor.  I become torn with sketching the pen and ink and watercolor way vs pure watercolor on good paper.  With Urban Sketchers, the pen and ink approach seems to be my usual way to go.  But I love the the looseness of a pure watercolor painting... and am not always a success at it.  But I share this as a way of seeing process.  The above watercolor was my first attempt at this particular set up.   I just started painting on dry paper....and forgot about wetting the paper first to get the looser wet on wet look. 

This is the second attempt.  From a photo on the set up done the next evening. Simpler shapes and more direct with color the mandarin orange has more pop.

Third attempt, I wanted to pull the oranges up on the page and start to use more complementary colors to really make that orange pop.

Fourth attempt,  I usually am so literal with color... I just thought I would force myself to change up the color palette but stay true to the values.  This was really wet and lacks in some hard edges but you can still see what is going on.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sketching on the Road

Today my husband and I drove from Seattle to Buckley, WA to check on his pick up truck that we are having fixed.  I thought it would be a nice excursion and opportunity to sketch some car parts at a auto wreckage lot.  Although there were other views that caught my eye.  One view was the store front of Leon's Market and the Shell gas station next door.  The light was hitting the store facade so brightly  you couldn't take your eyes off the bright yellow orange storefront!




The second location was an espresso stand we saw as we drove up to Buckley. It was in the shape of a Coffee Pot.   I just had to stop by to sketch this on the way back.  Cowgirl's Espresso was the name and of course it had a bikini clad barista!   


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sketching Sketchers

Dinner in Siem Reap Cambodia with Urban Sketchers at The Soup Dragon Restuarant

One of the fun things about the Urban Sketchers Symposiums are the drink and draws after the workshops.  Here you get to know sketchers from all over the world, have dinner and drinks and share sketches or sketch each other.  Being an architect I have never felt confident in drawing people.  That has always been my nemesis.  The drink and draws have given me a great opportunity to practice what I am weak at…drawing people.  It is a perfect situation  people sitting in one place for a very long time!  Here are some sketches from sketcher dinners and drink and draws.  It brings back fond memories of times I have spent with sketcher friends in wonderful locations.

Dinner at Landing Gold Villa Hotel in Siem Reap Cambodia
Drink and Draw at Six Gills after a Line to Color Workshop Seattle, WA
Drink and Draw at CCC Cafe in Barcelona, Spain
Drink and Draw at CCC Cafe in Barcelona, Spain

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Line To Color Workshop Seattle, WA April 22-25, 2016



Frank Ching and I will be giving our Line to Color Workshop in Seattle this April on the 22-25.
With a extended format we hope to provide more sketch, demo and education time with participants.
We will be sketching at Gas Works Park, Fremont and some iconic Seattle location to be determined.  

We have a special kick off for the weekend with a tour of Daniel Smith's watercolor manufacturing operations to see how they create and make their watercolors. Learn about their Primatek colors made from real gemstones. You will have time to play around with their colors at the Mixing Table followed by a meet and greet keynote presentation pizza dinner.

For more information see Line To Color Workshop .

Hope you can join us! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Moravian Star Free Demo and Workshop at Daniel Smith

FREE Demo: Moravian Stars
Learn the steps to making a unique hand painted Moravian Star.
I will be giving a free demo at Daniel Smith this Saturday on December 5th, 11am-12:30pm
Please click HERE for Details

Moravian Star Workshop
Saturday December 19th I will be giving a day long workshop at Daniel Smith where we will be making Moravian Stars.  I will be take you through the process step by step.  By the end of the day you should have your own Moravian Star to hang in your window.  Hope you can join me in this event.  It is a great gift to give.

Daniel Smith
4150 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall Open House and Sale At Impwear and Moravian Star Workshop at Daniel Smith

I haven't been sketching much this fall but have been focusing on creating art in a different way.  Last year my son helped me figure out the template and process of putting together a Moravian Star.   Since then I have been making my hand painted Moravian Stars which I will be selling at the upcoming Annual Sale at Impwear.  You are invited to come and see my work and more from various artists.

Saturday November 21 and Sunday November 22
10 am to 4 pm 
2403 East Aloha St. 
Seattle, WA 98112

I am pleased to say that I will also be teaching a workshop on creating Moravian Stars at Daniel Smith in Seattle on December 19th.  It is an all day workshop.  We will start from painting the sheets of paper to cutting and gluing the stars together.  By the end of the day you should have a beautiful star or tree topper of your own just in time for the holidays.

Moravian Star Workshop At Daniel Smith
December 19, 2015
9:00 am-4:00 pm
Limited space 16 participants 
4150 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134

If you are interested in coming to this you can contact
Daniel Smith for registration information.  http://seattledanielsmithevents.blogspot.com/2015/11/free-demo-moravian-stars-with-gail-wong.html






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