Thursday, August 28, 2014

El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center

While visiting in California this summer I ended up going to the recycling center in El Cerrito.  This Platinum Leed Project has an interesting design and site plan.  It is a semi circle in plan with different stations where you can drop off items to be recycled.  They will take pharmaceuticals, motor oil, cfls, electronics  as well as typical paper, cardboard and plastics.  A book center is located at the entry and books can be dropped off but you will also find people hovering around the book bin like vultures ready to pick up some nice free books.  There is also Good Will bins for reusable goods.  It is a one stop recycling center.  We could use something like that here in Seattle.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reflections at Center for Wooden Boats

Last Thursday was the last class for my architectural sketching class.  I started this sketch to demonstrate the process of doing reflections.
Center for Wooden Boats

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival

On our recent road trip to California we made a stop in Ashland, Oregon.  Ashland is known for the Shakespeare Festivals it has held every year since 1935.  It has an outdoor Elizabethan theatre similar to the Globe theatre, the Allen Elizabethan Theatre named for its major contributor the Paul G. Allen Foundation.  I remember being there years ago on another road trip but at that time the surrounding seated area was a banked lawn. I was surprised to see a semi enclosed seated outdoor theatre on this trip and was intrigued by the space so I was able to convince my family to give me  enough time to sketch there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Knowing when to stop!

Today a met with a couple of sketching students to sketch at the Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House.
I got there early so I started a sketch of the storefront entry from inside the space.  I was able to add color to it while students were working on their own sketches.  I got to a point where I was happy with it but then decided to add more color to the background walls.  I should have stopped before "adding"...sometimes it is better to call it a day  and then look at it 24 hours later to see if you really need to add anything.  Adding the background took away focus to the sketch.  What I had to do is add value to other areas to make it read again.  It turned out okay but I should have stopped earlier and reassessed it the next day!

Flags at Shilshole

It took me a  long time to find a view I wanted to sketch.  Maybe there were just too many options or maybe it was the fact that when you sat down the guard rail aligned with  your eye level.  I ended up standing to sketch the view I liked.  What drew me to this view were the colorful big flags on a couple of sail boats and the fog that had settled in, creating interesting atmospheric perspective.  Of course by the time I finished the sketch the fog had lifted so when painting the sketch I could add the color of the sky and a lot more masts seem to fill the background.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A couple of Thursdays ago I taught my Architecture sketching class at Gas Works Park.  Little did I know that there would be people setting up tents and stations for the Obliteride  Event.  Obliteride raises funds for Cancer Research and is an event that happens once a year.  The sketch below was the  drawn while they were in the process of setting up for the Friday start of the bike rides and events happening on the next day. 

This is the first sketch in my new travelogue Handbook.  The size is about 8x8 which is a perfect size for broad loose washes.  The 5.5 x 8.5 watercolor sketch books were feeling a bit small... this sketch book works well and is giving me more freedom in my watercolors and sketch layouts.

Obliteride set up at Gasworks Park.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Magnolia Big Band at Night Out

This year's sketch of the Magnolia Big Band. 
I love sketching these guys.  It is fun to sketch the instruments and musicians playing.  This time I tried to do simple almost blind contour drawings.  The first sketch was done in pencil and the second in pen.  It is amazing how little you have to sketch but it is enough to tell the story and give a sense of what is going on.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crossing of the Eagles

Today my son Matthew and two other Scouts Malcolm and Tristan became Eagle Scouts. The Eagle classification is the culmination of many years of scouting and many kids drop out before getting there.   Besides completing merit badges, and consistently being involved in Boyscout events,  the boyscout gets involved in leadership, and heading up a final Eagle Project.   So here's to the new Eagle Scouts Matthew, Malcolm and Tristan ....congratulations and great job boys.

This was a sketch of the boys arriving via canoe  and landing at Montlake Community Center.

Eagles Crossing

Practicing washes and the idea of reflections

This is totally a made up watercolor of my imagination.  I was trying to prep for demonstrating how to do washes for the sky and atmospheric perspective.  So I came up with this watercolor.
I used a lot of soft edges,  the foreground land mass should have been hard edged.