Monday, August 10, 2015

#usksd3 Third Annual West Coast Urban Sketchcrawl

I belong to the San Diego Urban Sketchers and this year we hosted the Third Annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl meetup here in San Diego. It was fantastic! I was concerned when it was scheduled that it would be too hot but we had fabulous weather this weekend! There were over 100 people attending from all over the west coast and even some from Texas, Ohio and Montreal, Canada. I'm sure there were others not from the west coast, but those were people I met. Kudos to our organizers; everything went smoothly.

Friday night we had a Meet and Greet at The Harbor House restaurant in Seaport Village.  I was lucky enough to win a great Canson XL Mix Media sketchbook in our raffle; thank you Canson for your generous donations! After eating, there were a few minutes of waiting, so I quickly sketched the remains of my dinner with pencil and watercolor. This sketch was done on my old sketchbook, as it was before the raffle.

Saturday we all met in Balboa Park near the Botanical Building. I did 2 sketches during the day that aren't really finished but I didn't want to go back in and try to do more offsite. This one is a view from near the front of the Timken Museum. I started it with light gray watercolor to block in the shapes, then just kept adding more detail with a smaller brush. My friend Rachel described this technique to me a while back, so I decided to try it. This has no pencil or pen, only watercolor. I like the Canson XL paper with watercolor; it handles it quite well. I ran out of time to do more than this.

After lunch I did a sketch of the top of the Botanical Building because I think it's interesting and if you sketch the whole building, it is really tiny. I did a rough pencil sketch for guidelines, then added watercolor. The shape of the building has all kinds of roundness to it, so it was something of a challenge. After I got this far, I was pretty tired, so I popped into the Timken Museum to pay my respects to the Johannes Vermeer painting that is still on loan for another month. If you know anything about art history, you know that he was way ahead of his time in how realistic his paintings were. His command of light and color are absolutely masterful. Read more on the Museum website. The Timken is worth a visit any time; it's a small museum, but they have some exceptional paintings and a great collection of Russian icons. It's also free.

Sunday morning we all met in Old Town and were met with delightfully cool overcast skies, perfect for sketching! I sketched the patio next to El Fandango restaurant, first in watercolor, then adding details with micron pen. It has a box around it because I was feeling intimidated by the large sketchpad (didn't bother me Saturday, go figure), so my friend Stephen took a Sharpie and made boxes on the page for me.

All in all, a great weekend of good friends, good art, and good food. More information about Urban Sketchers here.
Go make art!