I could draw every single house in this neigbourhood, and never get bored. More work from my sketchcrawl day at the Castro, San Francisco. This sloping row of Victorians, had it not been taking quite so long (best part of a couple of hours, and I had to finish the colouring in at home) could have ended up as a very long panorama, all the way down the street, had I not wanted to, you know, sketch some other things and eat something (Thai red curry if you’re interested). But how enjoyable was this to sit and sketch? Immensely! This is right opposite Philz Coffee on 18th St, where the sketchcrawl officially began. A couple of sketchers were sat on the steps behind me, still sketching when I finally got up and stretched my legs. ..
After some sketching away from 18th St (these sketches are not completely posted in chronological order, rather they are in geographical order), I returned, clock ticking, needing a few more sketches before the meet-up at 4pm. It was getting windy. I sat on the corner of 18th and Hartford, leaning against a fire hydrant. I’m not sure if you can lean against a fire hydrant while sketching (and I don’t really need to know) but surely if anyone should, hello like. This is Moby Dick’s, a popular local bar (I assume; it’s in the locale, and there were people there, so presumably, hello like), and there down 18th you can see the iconic belltower of the Mission School. The rusty hydrant below (which was not the one I leaned against, but looked very similar) (I’m sure you are riveted by this) was a bit closer to the Mission High school tower, on the corner of the very crowded and very windy. The final meetup was nice, I met quite a few new sketchers and as always was hugely inspired by what I saw; this is my favourite part of these sketchcrawls, seeing other people’s sketchbooks, real and in the flesh, not just online. Very cool. You can see some other sketchers’ results on the SF sketchcrawl forum, and not just from San Francisco, but also from the rest of the world. Great stuff, world!
I have sketched this building before; I like the shape of the roof. Dutch Colonial Revival Gambrel, I seem to recall someone telling me. It’s on 1st Street, and on thursday lunchtime I got out and sketched it, adding the colour later at home. Drawn on Strathmore hot press watercolour paper, micron pen and watercolours.
Here’s the one I did about a year and a half ago (it was winter time then), from a different angle.
This is a house in Davis that I drew as a commission last month. It was an interesting house to draw, with lots of colourful foliage in the front yard, and so I tried to capture the house’s interesting character without getting lost in the greenery, and I’m quite happy with the result. The image is 7″x5″ and was done with ink and watercolour on watercolour paper.
Looking at this hortuculture again reminded me of a page I kept from my ‘Forgotten English’ calendar (by Jeffrey Kacirk – each day gives you a word no longer used in English. Today’s is “Alfridaria”, which has something to do with the supposed power that planets hold over people). The word was ‘hortyard’, meaning a garden or orchard, and it describes how that and the word ‘orchard’ originate in the Old English ‘ortgeard’, the first element being related to the Latin ‘hortus’ (‘garden’). It’s funny because I’ve been talking about gardens and yards here thinking of the way I use the word back home – when I say I’d like to have a garden, I just mean a back yard, but over here people naturally assume I mean I want to plant flowers and shrubs, and I don’t – I’m not a gardener!
If you would like an original drawing of your house, or of someone you know (would make a nice present), or even of a place in Davis or elsewhere I’d be happy to hear from you! I can draw from photos, and usually draw at 7″x5″ but can go larger. You can also find original drawings and prints to buy on my Etsy store – see the nice button I have added in the right column on this blog, or just click here: etsy.com/shop/petescully.
Another drawing of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies in Alamo Square (from a photo and previous sketch), this time with some paint speckled in the background. This drawing is available to buy on my Etsy store.
This is a drawing of the house of a colleague, Jean, which I did last month. Back then, the leaves were not on the trees and long wintery shadows crept across Davis; now the leaves are back, the pollen is in the air and my nose is practising for marathons.
Anyway, I thought it a good time to tell you again that if you fancy a drawing of your house, or apartment, or shop, etc, let me know! I generally draw at about 5″x7″, ink and watercolour (but I prefer not to draw people). Let’s talk!
I still have some original drawings on my Etsy store, and will be adding more in the coming weeks. I am raising money to go to the 2nd Worldwide Urban Sketching Symposium in Lisbon this summer by selling drawings, and every bit helps! I can even draw trees with leaves on…
Saturday afternoon, Spring is not only in the air but shining all around; with freshly cut hair I cycled about Davis looking for a perfect building with perfect March afternoon shadows and a decent shaded spot for me to perch without being in the way. I was uninspired however, or overinspired, perhaps they are the same thing. I drew this corner four years ago, interestingly enough, from a little closer up; 5th and J Streets, this cool but kinda scary-looking old house with the enormous telegraph pole towering above it. I rode off and went back to the library after this, to put up a poster about next Saturday’s ‘Let’s Draw Davis’ Sketchcrawl at the Arboretum (See the Flickr group and Facebook event) – if you’re in or around Davis, and like to draw even just a little, come down on Saturday and sketch together with other sketchbookers! If the weather is anything like today, it will be a great afternoon.
‘Spring forward’ tonight folks. Don’t forget to change your clocks. Oh, you already have. Welcome to Summertime…
While in Santa Rosa at the weekend, I walked down to Luther Burbank Home and Gardens and sketched in the afternoon. It’s a pretty little place, and the old house is very sketchworthy. Burbank was an important botanist and horticulturalist who created/developed many species of plant and flower, as well as a famous potato. There’s a small chance I may be mistaken about this, but I think he invented Mr Potato Head. The site is in fact California Historical Landmark #234.
I also sketched a fire hydrant, because, you know, I’m collecting sketches of them. This one reminds me of a dalek. Perhaps it needs some Mr Potato Head glasses and moustache to cheer it up.
Drawn at eight in the morning, while sitting on the porch of the cute little house in Pacific Grove; from the east, golden sunlight peeped through the fog that ghosted in from the west. This old house was right opposite and I was determined not to leave without sketching it, and I’m well pleased with it. I wish, I wish, I wish I could fill an entire sketchbook just with drawings of Pacific Grove houses. Now there’s a thought! How much fun would that be?
We took a few days family time away in a cute little house in Monterey – Pacific Grove, to be precise, down on the California coast. After the non-stop sketchathon of Portland it was just what I needed – not that I stopped sketching, of course.
It really was a cute little house, but just right for us. the beach was a shortish walk away, and playing on the sand was so relaxing. Having spent so much time around architects, I took a slightly more technical apprach to building sandcastles, and constructed irrigation channels beside them so that the incoming tide would just wash around them like a moat. Yeah, that didn’t last long; King Canute I am not. I hadn’t built sandcastles in years.
This cute little house did have a strict ‘no sand’ policy, though - even though they charge quite hefty cleaning fees per stay, they still wanted to see no evidence of beach activity whatsoever. Perhaps it clogs up their vacuum cleaners. Yet I couldn’t exactly strip off outside. I was quite paranoid having to tiptoe to the bathroom with sand in the toes and sand on my clothes. I can never clean it off at the beach itself. I always make the same mistake of using the sea to wash off the sand. That never works, folks.
I went sketching on a very warm Tuesday in Sacramento, the capital of California. After stopping by the Streets of London pub to watch Brazil play North Korea, I wandered up J Street to the art store, and sketched two of the magnificent old colourful buildings opposite. This stretch of J Street in Midtown Sac has some great old wooden houses, as colourful as any painted ladies you’d see in San Francisco. These two stand out, one pink, one blue. A girl and a boy. I decided against drawing the whole picture, and even colouring the whole picture, partially due to time restraints, partially due to stylistic choice. I like the result.