August 15, 2014
My Summer Location Drawing Class at AAU, San Francisco (Pt 6: Hyde Street Pier)
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. I've posted sketches from here before, often drawing the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, with its tall masts and complex rigging, so I turned my attention this time to some of the other points of interest. Class met at 8:30, but the pier doesn't open until 10:00, so after a quick lesson on trees, I stood at the gate for a while and drew this 1914 paddlewheel and 20s donkey steam engine, with a view of the pier proper angling off in the distance. After morning notes, I generally set the students loose to go draw what they like, with a check-in around noon and a meetup and review at the end of the day, but some of the them have started to figure out the secret of the class, which is that as I sketch, I'm actually giving a demo of technique, process, materials and style for anybody who wants to watch, draw along side me, and ask questions - whether anyone does so or not. This time we had a special guest: my good friend Tammy Stellanova drew with us and shared her self-published sketch journals of her travels in Southeast Asia.
Five dollars gets you a pass to board the various historic vessels, which I think is a bargain. The 1890 steam paddlewheel ferryboat Eureka was closed for gangway repair, though, which is too bad because I was looking forward to sketching its "walking beam" steam engine and the antique car collection on its cargo deck. So instead I stood with Tammy at the pier rail, clutching my book against the wind, and drew the 1907 steam tug Hercules, which I first began in pencil and got a good deal underway before deciding that the composition was not working for me, erasing it down, sketching out a thumbnail, and starting again. Good times in the sun. Next: Chinatown.