Friday, August 30, 2013

Placa del Rei - "King's Square"

Plaça del Rei (means "King's Square") is a 14th-century  medieval public square in the Barri Gotic.
This plaza immediately drew my attention.  It beckons you to linger there.   According to Wikipedia,  
"The square is surrounded by the Palau Reial Major, the Saló del Tinell, the Palau del Lloctinent ("Lieutenant's Palace"), the 15th century Torre Mirador del Rei Martí ("King Martin's Watchtower"), the Capilla Reial de Santa Àgueda ("Royal Chapel of St Agatha"), and the Palau Clariana-Padellàs..."

I spent part of the first afternoon sketching here, interrupted briefly by a large truck working on the road. I then came back at the end of our stay to paint on site.  Here is the final colored version.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sketching with Shari, Liz and Chris

One of the nice things about going to the symposium is the chances to "bump" into sketchers on the street. The second morning we were in Barcelona, John and I went for a walk to get familiar with the city. As we were walking in the Barri Gotic, I happen to look into a courtyard and see Liz Steel, Shari Blaukoph and Liz's friend Chris sitting there sketching.  I came up to them and introduced myself.  We all know each other from the internet, Facebook, urban sketchers blogs and flickr, but this was the first time I have met them in person.  It was as if we had known each other for a long time!

Shari was running through her workshop for the next day and using Liz and Chris as guinea pigs.
I asked to join them and they  graciously said yes.  We spent at least 2-3 hours watching Shari demo and doing some of the exercises Shari was considering using for her workshop.  We gave her some feed back on the exercises.  Here are the process photos I took of Shari building up her watercolor.
The bottom sketches were the thumbnail sketches I did looking at composition.
It was really a great experience and one of the benefits of going to these symposiums.

And where was John?  He took off to photograph Barcelona and came back a couple of times until we were done.  Patient husband!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First sketch in Barcelona

On our first day in Barcelona, we met up with the Urban Sketchers for the evening drink and draw a C3 cafe.  It was great to finally meet all those sketchers you have been communicating with on line but not in person.  The first sketch I captured Miguel, Cesar, Isobel, Debo and Kathy.  After the drink and draw Cesar lead us all to our first dinner at a local restaurant  La Ginesta.  We had Tapas for dinner and continued to sketch.  That was the first of many dinners at Ginesta.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From Granada to Barcelona

I like sketching our modes of transportation.  Rarely do we get to travel via train, however we took the Trenhotel from Granada to Barcelona.  It is an overnight high speed train run by Renfe.    We went tourist was cheaper than getting a room with a bed and it was fine.  The train was booked not an empty seat.  The nice thing about traveling by train is that you get a chance to see the countryside and you have more leg room and space.    The train made multiple stops along the way and took about 11 hours.  At least that was spent at night and we saved the price of a hotel room.

Here is the view from our seats.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mohai and sketching with a twig.

Last Tuesday was the last class for Architecture 415.  We always meet at the Center for Wooden Boats and Mohai.  While waiting for the students to arrive I wanted to sketch trying out the twig I got from Kiah Kiean (Penang, Malaysia) at the Barcelona Urban Sketchers Symposium.  Kiah uses Chinese Ink in a bottle with gauze in it and dips the twig in the gauze.  It works great to keep just enough ink and not enough to spill.  I did not use Chinese ink but used Noodlers Bullet proof in.  The down side of that is that you cannot add water to the ink to smear it.  I will have to look into purchasing Chinese ink.  This sketching tool keeps you loose and gives you calligraphic lines.

Mohai using twig and ink.  Watercolor wash overlay.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quilcene, WA

The last couple of days we spent in Quilcene, WA for a family reunion and to celebrate my mother-in-laws 85th birthday.  We were lucky to be able to use a friends cabin on Dabob Bay.  There was  fishing, kayaking, crabbing, clamming, going into Port Townsend and of course sketching. 
Point Hudson Marina and Resort, Port Townsend, WA

Moving fallen tree from Road
Donut shop in an Elevator Car at Port Townsend WA.

Clamming at Dabob Bay

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sacromonte, Granada, Spain

On our last day in Granada, my husband wanted to go to Sacromonte a neighborhood in the Valparaiso Hills outside of Granada.  It was 103 degrees that day and I was complaining about the heat.  We walked part way up the hill to this neighborhood and luckily found a bus stop to catch the bus the rest of the way.  

This place is known for the buildings considered cave dwelling that are built into the hill side.  It is also reknown for the Flamenco dancing and music and as the neighborhood where the gypsies live.  The place is dry with few trees for shade.  Cactus and bushes and dry grasses dot the hillside.  It looked pretty run down.  There were no people on the streets because we were there during the hottest time of day.  Most people were in siesta.  In the background one could hear the sound of Flamenco guitar playing.

I did find a great spot to sketch and was glad for the shade from a building that protected me while I sketched.  I finished a black and white sketch while I was there and took pictures to finish the painting at home.   

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Architecture 415 class sketching with Gabi Campanario at Westlake Center

After coming back from Barcelona and seeing the vibrancy of the urban plazas and streets, I was thinking about our own city and where we have a great outdoor plaza full of life.  Westlake Center is just the place.  It was buzzing with life and music.

Tuesday Gabi Campanario was the guest instructor for my UW Architecture Sketching Class.  Gabi demonstrated his approach to quickly capture people in action.    We then sent students out to sketch individual people, groups of people, kids in action and reconvened to talk about their sketches.  Architects are great in drawing buildings and spaces but typically find it challenging to draw the human form.  This was a great opportunity for students to learn  how to infuse the life of the city in their sketches.

Here is a quick sketch I did before meeting with the class and some photos of the class and Gabi.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Morning Joe at Fremont Coffee Company

Saturday I met Sharon Hager and Jo Moniz for coffee and a sketch.  We met at Fremont Coffee Company which is  a quaint coffee shop located in an old house.  It has great wrap around porches and we ended up sitting and sketching to avoid possible rain.

There was a fountain in the corner of the porch which attracted my attention. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

View of Alhambra from Calle Zafra

The last day of our stay in Granada we wandered around the Albaycin up to a lookout point at the top of the hill.  This was a spot on one of the windy streets going up to the look out.  It was such a great view of the Alhambra with the street scene as the foreground.  I just had to stop and do a sketch of it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sunday Breakfast at Restaurante La Hacienda Plaza, Granada Spain

On our last day in Granada,  we wanted to get an early start.  And went out to look for a place to eat before 9:00 am.  Most places were closed except the cafe's near Plaza Nueva.  We found Restaurante La Hacienda Plaza open  and sat down for a nice breakfast.  I had time to sketch this scene while having my breakfast and a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

National Night Out Block Party

Last night our neighborhood block watch had a street party for National Night Out.  We celebrated with a great potluck,  big band music from Magnolia Big Band, and a bouncy house for the kids to play.  It is an event I always look forward to.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fall Line to Color Workshop: September 6-8 2013

Frank Ching and I will be giving the last Line to Color Workshop for 2013.
The workshop will be limited to 22 attendees and  located in Ballard, Fremont, Gasworks Park, Pike Place Market.  Three great days to sketch in the Northwest.  We still have some spaces available,
if you are interested in taking this workshop contact gail@glwarc.
See  Fall Line to Color Workshop September 6-8 2013

Hotel Capitel Nazari

Hotel Capitel Nazari built in 1503 and was a Renaissance Palace that has been renovated and converted into a hotel.  This is a view of the central court yard.  Many of the older buildings in Granada surround an open courtyard.  The natural ventilation occurs as a result of a heat stack affect through the courtyard.  This was a wonderful place to stay.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Backyard Project

Projects never end.  This is the beginning of another project...a new patio. The kids jackhammered the patio while we were in Barcelona and got rid of the concrete last weekend.  We are getting ready to put down a layer of gravel first.  Also testing Stillman and Birns Zeta Series,  180 Lb smooth surface paper.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Alhambra Lit Up at Night

We did not pay to go to the Alhambra in the evening which I hear is quite beautiful.  But along the Carrera del Darro we got this view of the Alhambra sitting at a street cafe have tapas.  We were also serenaded by a group of street musicians.  What more could you want!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Testing out Stillman and Birns Sketchbooks

I am testing out Stillman and Birns Sketchbooks.  This sketch was done on the Beta Series Sketchbook.  It is archival quality paper.  Extra heavy weight paper, Natural white  180 lb rough surface paper.   Suitable for mixed media and watercolor.  The paper is very white which allows the colors to read well and purely.  The intensity of the colors on this paper  is pretty amazing. These scans don't really capture the hues correctly..which has more vibrancy in real life.