A late night sketch of my workspace. This is where I spend my days, or at least much of my days. Last night was a Fresno Art Hop, and we happened on it by chance. We were heading to a pub, where I was going to talk to the owner about showing some framed pieces on the walls, and before we knew it we were enjoying a public art show with live music and lively crowds. I have every intention to get downtown and do some urban sketching, but learning a new job has kept me right here at my desk for the time being.
As a point of fact, not all roads lead to Rome, but the Via Francigena does. It's the pilgrimage route that dates back at least to the year 876 (its earliest reference in print) and Viterbo, where I was, has always been a stop along the way. Religious travelers since Medieval times have journeyed from town to town, starting as far away as Canterbury Cathedral, in England, through France, Switzerland and Italy to visit the papal city of Rome. Today, tour groups and individuals continue the tradition of journeying along the Via Francigena by bike or by hike.
The house up ahead, which straddles the walls of the city, welcomes pilgrims. A sign on the house says "Via Francigena Ospitale", which means, "hospitable to those on the Via Francigena."
I don't think I saw any pilgrims, during my hours of drawing, last July. But I did encounter some passers by. First, from behind came a long line of weary boy scouts who seemed to be coming to the end of a long hike. Each had a giant backpack which caused them to hunch over. They looked like a row of snails. The last scout struggled to hold a huge set of antlers about his head in a ceremonial way. Later, coming slowly towards me, I watched an old priest, shuffle towards me slowly. He hugged the roadside's hedge to stay in the shade. I was sketching him in quickly when he paused looked at my drawing, smiling widely, but without most of his teeth. I held out a postcard of my work for him to take as a friendly gesture, but he recoiled as if he found the gesture offensive. Perhaps he was on a long walk and preferred to travel light
(Accordion sketchbook: please scroll through the pages)
"Tagomago" is the name of a small island in the Balearic archipelago, and also of a coastal patrol vessel belonging to the Spanish Navy. She bears the code number P-22, and is permanently based at the port of Málaga. Lately, her major role has been, among others, protecting sunken shipwrecks off our mediterranean coast of Andalusia, one of the richest seabeds in the world in underwater treasures, against treasure hunters. A recent case has been the wreck of the Mercedes, for instance. Facing the mouth of the Mediterranean, there seems to be plenty of work for P-22, as there lay phoenician, greek and roman vessels; muslim galleys, galleons from various countries; steamers, a british aircraft carrier, german and spanish submarines, and many other ships.
Our local group of Urban Sketchers was invited to draw aboard, and we spent a whole morning sketching all sorts of nautical gear.
The crew was really friendly and helpful, giving us plenty of explanations about the ship: the meaning of flags and signals, the names of the different parts of the boat, what every piece of equipment on the bridge was used for... we also had complete freedom to visit all the rooms on board.
Sketches from other members of the group can be seen here; and you can also enjoy this fantastic video shooted by Txema Prada, one of our members, who also arranged the visit for us.
As a teacher I spend some time traveling with my students to sketch. This year we planned a sketch trip to Rome. 20 students and 2 teachers. Awesome group available to work about 14-16 hours a day! We sketched Rome almost walking. Sometime we had time for a long sketching time and others just a few minutes.
In Savannah, for our USk board meeting, I arrived one day earlier so I had time to sketch by the river and take advantage of the Sun in the South! :)
The river was (and still is) very important for the city because of the Cotton Exchange (in the past) and the tourists (in the presente).
The first director of Telfair Museum did a trip to Europe to buy art sculptures and paints. For sure he was a man with vision, because the Telfair is a great museum!
About our meeting in Savannah, I just want to say this: it's really a pleasure working for this great community of sketchers from all over the world. We dreamed a lot for all of us!
(From left to right: Jessie Chapman, Marc Taro Holmes, Jason Das, Kip Bradley)
It is really exciting to have people from various parts of Australia coming- regional New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. And we also have a USKer from Montreal Canada coming! So it is going to be a week of sketching as well as the workshop and a open sketchcrawl on the Saturday evening on the island. If you are in Sydney and want to come along keep an eye on the USK AUS blog - details will be posted there.
I thought I would share a few recent sketches that I did on the island. It is such a perfect place to sketch - such variety of subject matter, lots of interesting cranes, machinery, rusty texture and interesting juxtapositions of industrial and historic buildings…and it is normally very peaceful with lovely views across Sydney Harbour. On a beautiful day the setting can't be beaten!
I was really trying in these sketches to explore ways of capturing the texture and colours of the place on my page. To see more you can check them out on my blog here and here and also read about my excitement in taking a larger sketchbook with me. I am really finding that I prefer to work in an A4 sketchbook these days (using the A4 moleskine watercolour book). The extra size helps my work flow better...but on a windy day it can be hard to hold down such as this sketch below when it was blowing a gale and very challenging to sketch!
Anyway - I will be posting updates during our USK AUS sketching week. We often feel so remote from the rest of the world, down here in 'down under', and rarely get any USKers popping by… so we are very excited about this event. Amazingly we have a few USKers visiting next week (just beforehand! - I love all this activity!)
There is no doubt that being able to share our work on blogs and facebook etc and be part of this amazing global network online is very special - but it is when we meet other people in real life that share the same love of sketching, and get to meet the person behind the work, that I think the real USK buzz is generated.
Binta cooks each day just outside her room. Using charcoal she prepares the food in a very big cooking pot. On top of this pot the rice is laid in a special dish with tiny holes and covered with a cloth and it will slowly cook by steam. Everyday people will eat rice ( specially broken Basmati rice) with a fish or meat sauce.
The day I was sketching Binta was preparing Tieboudien a very popular fish dish from Sénégal. Workers in the area will come around 1.30 pm and start buying a dish (400 um equivalent to 1 euro) that they'll eat sitting in the court yard in a small stool.
Elsewhere in the city they keep cutting down trees with not a person saying anything about it.
Hi, posting here for the behalf of sketchers working in Kyiv during the current events developing there. In a nutshell, here is what's happened: three months peaceful protests against unpopular former president's move towards Russia and against the EU have ended in bloodshed and around 70 people dead, the president who has ordered shooting ousted and a new interim government formed. Here are sketches done by Victoria Chernyakhivska of the protesters prior to the shootings. The flag colours on the picture below are blue and yellow.
Dec. 3, 2013: A couple on Maidan, Kyiv. Pencil in sketchbook.
Dec. 3, 2013: Girls giving away cookies to protesters. Pencil in sketchbook.
About a week ago Putin, Russian president, brought in troops into Ukrainian territory - Crimean peninsula under the pretence of Russian speaking people being under threat there. Provocations and information warfare attempts to justify the invasion, while Western countries start to impose sanctions onto individuals involved in the assault.
I will be posting here more sketches as they come in from back home.
My sketch, the San Diego Urban Sketchers and the group sketches at the Natural History Museum meetup today. There were TONS of interesting subjects to sketch. Not only did they have their regular skull exhibit but they had Pirates due to the special Pirate exhibit.
As a student I had a classmate who was from Ceuta (an Spanish city located in the north coast of Africa).
When she went to see her family there, she brought us embroidered shirts and henna for dyeing colors. She told us how her friends made their living as porters going back and forth goods cheaply.
When we finished the studies I stopped seeing this girl. I suddenly remember her last Thursday, when I passed through the border of Ceuta on the way to Morocco.
The happy story she had from her city looks very different from what I was seeing there.
The wire gives a sinister aspect to a coast that I could imagine full of friendly people in the past. Caravans Car accumulated in line at the border, guarded by the Civil Guard and the Moroccan gendarmerie.
As we moved slowly, one after the other waiting for our turn patiently, I had enough time to do a couple of sketches there.
Although this is my first post in 2014, I have been sketching with the local sketchers regularly. Here is one 250x250mm sketch outside the National Museum of Singapore on a very hot Saturday afternoon with Urban Sketchers Singapore. The three 'big huts' on the right is an artwork entitled 'The Wormhole' by Eko Prawoto, an Indonesia artist living in Jogjakarta. These bamboo structures resemble a range of volcanoes or mountains is viewed as an axis which mediates between the earth and the heavens. They are commissioned by the museum for Singapore Biennale 2013.
2 March 2014 is a special day for Penang as that day is the opening of Penang Second Bridge. The total length of the bridge is 24 km and its the longest bridge in South East Asia. Urban Sketchers Penang organised Sketchwalk @ Second Penang Bridge in conjunction with the opening day. I used a "combine" method to do this panorama sketch. From the left of the sketch you can see a bit of first Penang bridge, next to it is Jerejak Island follow by the second bridge. The location where i do the sketch is a traditional fishing village with some boats resting on the beach.
While so much of the United States has one of it's coldest winters ever, we in California have a warm and awfully dry winter. Makes for a scary climate change scenario. But it makes for great beach weekends- in the middle of winter!
Pismo Beach, California is a packed with crowds all summer long, but this year it feels like summer in the winter.
There are long lines of people outside 'The Splash Cafe' waiting for their fish tacos and clam chowder.
Crowds stream up and down the main strip by the beach. This is Mo's Barbecue, where my kids and I polished off a whole rack of ribs.
Quick sketches of the surfers, dog walkers and joggers, made between bouts of sand-castle building.
Once upon a time, I used to long for a long stretch of empty sand, with no one on it but me. That was before I sketched. Now, I'm happy to have a beach full of people to draw!
Davis, CA: I've sketched the Silo at UC Davis so many times. It's where I occasionally eat lunch (it's full of food places) and pick up my chocolate croissant every morning for breakfast. I feel like I've sketched this Silo complex from most angles but not very often from this one, sat in the entrance to Rock Hall. It was a warm, sunny day, before the much-needed rains came. Sketched during lunchtime in Stillman & Birn Alpha book with brown uniball signo pen. I listened to a Melvyn Bragg "In Our Time" podcast about Merlin (the wizard) while sketching, not that it comes through in any way, unless you count the red dragon and the white dragon battling in a cave deep underground.
On the flag: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA sketcher Jessie Chapman sketching at Charlottesville train station with UVA Medical Center in the distance.
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