New #USkWorkshop in San Francisco, Oct. 10:

August 28, 2015

The long road (mostly airborn) to northern Spain. Drawings by Sharon Frost.

My husband and I spend a lot of time on the road (and in the air). One of our major occupations since we retired from our day jobs, many years ago, has been travel to Spanish-speaking places and the study of the Spanish language that comes with that territory.

Both my husband and I lived for a time in Latin America when we were in our 20s, decades before we met.  The fascination with the language has persisted, and been renewed, through each trip.  We generally stay in one town or city for a month or so, renting an apartment. Being "there" is the fun part.  Getting "there" is arduous.

Our most recent trip was to northern Spain, hoping to escape some of Brooklyn's steamy summer.  (It worked.)  A month in Asturias and some fantastic exploration of Bilbao and Burgos.
A la playa sin filtro soler. (At the beach without sunscreen). Time stands still in Terminal 7 -- the state of waiting takes over..
On Iberia flight 6250. to Madrid.  Todas las pantallas en el avion brillan. (All the creens on the plane shine, only my husbands is in black & white.)

Renfe alvia tren de Madrid a Gijón. Es mejor leer. (Renfe alvia train from Madrid to Gilón.  As always, my husband is reading.
30 de junio, 2015. Gijón.  Desayuno -- siempre afuera.  (At last we're in Gijón.  Breakfast is always outdoors.)
Blog:  Day Books

Little Italys

Italy's a county where people stroll at a comfortable pace. I wish I could say the same. So often, I find myself huffing and puffing down the hot, sunny side of the street alone. The locals are all sauntering in shade across the way while I pant and squint and sweat. Typical American.

When I find a subject to draw, I'm extraordinarily patient. I can work on a single drawing for hours without interuption, and I'm known for those very works. But between those drawings I'm downright fidgety. So, this year, to fill the gaps, I brought a tiny sketchbook and some black colored pencils to draw when there was no time to draw. Here are the results.



Beach routines along the windy Baltic coast. Surprisingly, there are lots of sand diggers in the every age range.

August 27, 2015

San Clemente State Beach

By Lydia Velarde

Visiting with my oldest best friend at the beach. San Clemente is half way between San Diego County and Brea, Orange County. I thought it would be rude to sketch while visiting but she encouraged me.

old men talking in Mcdonalds

By Byung Hwa Yoo, Mcdonalds, Jongno, Seoul

It was a day when the extreme tension between south and north Korea was on for me to visit Mcdonalds Jongno 2-ga branch. The old men were talking in high tone about the intrusion of North Korea and the responding of South. They seemed like war veterans. Of course they were very upset about the urgent situation. I started this sketch caught by the right man's dignified appearance at his age with white mustache. And he was fanning himself with his fold fan. At first I wanted to draw his figure with fan. But he stopped and laid it on table. I failed to capture the scene. But his white mustache, blue T shirt and white pants was enough to be my subject in that place. 
pen, watercolor, A 4

While drawing there were two men.

One man came after line drawing and I finished washing without the third man.

August 26, 2015

Beating the Heat in Singapore

By Gail Wong visiting in Singapore
Back street in the Arab District

One of the ways to beat the heat in Singapore was getting up early in the morning to sketch, as you have heard from many other sketchers already.  The first morning after I arrived,  I sketched with Shari Blaukoph on Waterloo St.  That was my first time sketching in Singapore.  I won't show that sketch...the first day of sketching was awful.  I wasn't used to the humidity even in the morning.  Wet on wet did not work well for me and my palette was a muddy mess with my paints oozing out of the wells.  It was immediately discouraging and I was worried about how to handle that. I found out talking to Shari that everyone had a difficult time the first day out. I found that you  have to adjust how you approach painting in the humidity,  a little less wetness to control the paints. 

Here are some of my early morning sketches from Singapore.

Masjid Sultan

Back Alley in Little India

Church on the corner of Middle Road and Waterloo

Back Alley in Little India, Singapore. Virginia Hein Sketching
 Liz Steel, Suhita and Virginia Hein

Frank Ching, Liz Steel,  Suhita and another sketcher

August 25, 2015

Oceanside Village, Oceanside, California

By Lydia Velarde

 I sat at the harbor early this morning sketching the village. The only thing moving this was a fishing boat taking off from the dock.

Dark City

by Inma Serrano 

Sorry at first because I have not already scan all the sketches I made in Singapour during the symposium.
It really was an unforgettable experience for me,  for everyone, I think. I have to say thank you to the all people there, specially to the local team for their kindness. It was an incredible opportunity to be there. I promise to scan and share here soon. 

The reason why I didn´t do my homework is that at the end of my holidays I am working tirelessly in a set of illustrations for an art fair that will be placed in Seville in early September. It is called Blur Fair.

I'm working at home, so maybe it should not be appropriate to share here the drawings I am making. But there are some of them based on different nightly sketches I did in some old sketchbooks. So I hope it can serve as an excuse to share some more elaborate drawings that I'm doing.

Here are some of the original images:

  Dark City

And here is one of the illustration.. The album is called Dark City. More here.

Dark City

I think it is the first time I work with watercolor using a dark background. I know it does not sound very orthodox (sorry Shari).

Basically the process is this: I make a dark background with watercolor first, mixing blue and black, wait until it dries an then I make the lines and the shadows using Pentel brush pen and my dear Sailor calligraphy fountain pen. I manage mixing dark watercolor and lines choicely. The strokes of blue and turquoise are made with pencil over the background. I use some white gouache at the end for highlight some lines (road, streetlights...) 
It´s a different way to use the watercolor (again sorry Shari) and it seems to work for night sketches. 

Try and judge for yourselves. 

Mont Saint-Michel and Honfleur

Thanks to a very good friend I had the opportunity to visit these two amazing places. Mont Saint-Michel is out of a fairy tale. I can’t imagine there is another place on earth like it. Its abbey reaches so high to the sky as if it is literally reaching for God. I did a few quick drawings and this painting which really cannot capture what I saw. I feel like I’d need a week to figure out what to say and how to say it.
Honfleur is a small town in the Normandy region of France. This was my kind of European town. No matter where you turn there are picturesque buildings, a port, and limitless beauty in the details. I spent one chilly rainy morning making this series of black and white drawings. Again I wish I had a week to spend there.

From Apulia!

Some days spent in the South of Italy! Lovely's relaxing sketching about relax! :)

Before and after Symposium

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

  I participated in 6th urban sketchers symposium this year. It was a wonderful event  as I expected. Meeting some new and old sketcher friends and sharing thoughts and works.
In the next post I will show you some sketches that I have done during the symposium, but here I wanted to share some sketches of Istanbul on the road to Singapore and then some drawings and painting after the symposium that have been done between 25th and 30th of July. Thank you very much all my friends who helped me in this wonderful journey.

  First, some conte sketches of Istanbul. I was thinking about light and shadow more, because of my workshop.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Sultanahmet Meydani

 And here are some works after the symposium. It was wonderful to discover beauties of this wonderful country.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Chinatown/ Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Near Botanic Gardens entrance
One thing, Many thoughts

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) 

Little india
Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan)