This is the Heitman Center, UC Davis. Well, it’s the Hog Barn really. I’ll always know it as the Hog Barn. See the pig on the weathervane? Well these days it doesn’t house sows or lodge hogs, nor is it digs for pigs. It is modern and clean and used for staff development classes, with flip-charts and coloured markers and overhead projectors. I went to a class there recently, though I left halfway through, it was a bit of a boar.
My spare time is spent sketching the streets of Davis, over and over again. Last Saturday it was actually a little bit cloudy (that is basically our winter, right there) and so in the afternoon I biked down to E Street to continue the Panoramarathon. Yes, the panoramarathon that’s my word, I try to say it a lot, with different stresses every time, I keep wanting to say Panathinaikos or Parasaurolophus, but I’m getting the hang of it. I stood opposite De Vere’s Irish Pub (you’ve seen the inside of that on my sketchblog before) and Bizarro World comics. There are two places I am glad are right next to each other. I love to go to the comic shop, maybe pick something up and pop into De Vere’s for a pint to read it. This time I just picked up a 2014 Marvel Comics calendar. This year I have decided to read a lot more comics, in both paper form and digitally; I have downloaded a couple of good graphic novels on sale on Comixology, and I am considering a subscription to Marvel Unlimited to catch up on years of old comics in digital form. I have been buying more paper comics too, they are works of art and it’s nice to buy stuff at comic shops, I’m grateful they exist. A comics education to come for me this year.
Here are a couple of closer views from each side of the panorama:
I sketched with my headphones on, listening to a history podcast (“In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg – if you want to hear Mr. Bragg rushing historians through their subjects and getting annoyed with them because they’re not saying exactly how many Vikings fought at Stamford Bridge and then chiding them for taking too long, this is your podcast). As I sketched, a young man with a guitar on his back came up to me, and gestured as if to say something. I took off my headphones and he said, “Are you pretending to be an artist?”
You what? “Are you pretending to be funny?” I replied straight away, and he walked off. What the hell? Strange thing to come up and say to someone. Anyway next day I was in Newsbeat, buying a Snickers bar, when someone behind me said, “Oh wow Snickers, that is good shit that, I survived up the top of a mountain eating only Snickers.” I examined the chocolate bar and said, “yeah, I’ve never heard of Snickers before, thanks.” Then I realised, I think it was the same guy, perhaps he goes around downtown Davis saying stupid things? Like I go round drawing stuff, maybe that’s his thing, a ‘say-stupid-things-crawl’? Or maybe it was two different people, or I imagined it and just need to get more sleep. All things are possible.
So this right here is in the very heart of downtown Davis, E St between 2nd and 3rd. The next panorama I will post is on the other side of this block and mirrors it in some ways. Panoramarathon (or ‘Panoramasnickers’ as it will soon be known) continues…
I love this new word, “Panoramarathon”. I have invented it, so there. It’s what I am using t describe my current burst of energy, I’ve done six in a row in my Seawhite book now (finally using it for what I actually bought it for, page after page of full-on panoramas) and will just keep going, especially while this weather continues (the Polar Vortex – a word I didn’t invent but whoever did is probably enjoying this one – didn’t get to California so we’re having balmy days in the high 60s and low 70s). This above was a lunchtime sketch (inked on site and coloured at home) of Olson Hall and Sproul Hall, two big UC Davis buildings. I need to draw more campus so I am going to do that, even those big white repetitive buildings I don’t like much. This is number 4 of the panoramarathon. Click on the image for a larger view.
Hey why not join in? Ok folks here it is, “Panoramarathon 2014″ see how many consecutive two-page panoramas you can do. Ok, ready…GO!
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is at least one year better than 2013 was. Here is a panoramic sketch I did a few days ago in downtown Davis, on the stretch of 3rd Street in between C and D. We’ve had some pretty mild weather here lately, sunny, not that cold. Quite dull in fact. Good weather for standing in the street sketching, but not the sort of weather you expect around the end of the year. While sketching this I listened to a couple of podcasts, one about history (the Black Death) and one about language (the Old English alphabet). Gettin’ medieval on yo’ ass, as they say. The small building in the middle with the crazy coloured patterns on it, that is an old building I’d wanted to sketch for a few years simply because it was so old and ramshackle, and then they went and gave it that psychedelic paint job. This is the way in Davis nowadays, every blank surface downtown has to have some colourful mural emblazoned on it, some very good, some not quite as good. This particular one works quite well I think. Currently being painted on the side of the building on the far right of the sketch is a very colourful abstract piece, though in this case I don’t know that a bright mural along the edge of a house like that really adds to the overall look, but it’s a matter of taste. Curb appeal.
Here is each side of the panorama for a closer look.
So, a Happy New Year to you, in Davis and around the world!
After the Zine Fest in San Francisco I crossed over Lincoln Way and sketched a pub opposite Golden Gate Park, The Little Shamrock. I remember seeing this pub once ages ago when we drove past here, because it is pretty old – 119 years old in fact, according to the sign, though the date of founding means it’s probably 120 years by now. A hundred and twenty years ain’t bad! Not bad at all. So it was worth popping in to do some sketching of the interior. I must say that pretty much all of the interior was sketchworthy, a comfortable pub full of character. The people were friendly too, and the beer selection good. To my left were a group of people who from what I heard of their conversation (they were discussing performance art pieces at public galleries) they were curators at SFMOMA and probably somewhere else. Art is all around. I just hacked away at the sketchbook, and enjoyed my beer. I like the Inner Sunset.
This was sketched last week, while watching Spurs beating Swansea City. I am SO GLAD the football is back. Now, we lost today against the south London nomads Arsenal (grrrrr), fair result, at least we didn’t lose 5-2 like the past couple of seasons. Spurs then formally announced the sale of Gareth Bale for a hundred million Euro, a ridiculous world record (someone hasn’t told Real Madrid Spain are in recession). Good luck Gareth, six years at the Lane and a Spurs legend. This is our living room sketched on a Sunday morning in the Seawhite sketchbook, with a dark blue uni-ball signo um-151 pen. We then watched the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Boys club morning.
This is the UC Davis Silo. Why am I telling you, you already know that of course. It’s where I occasionally eat lunch. It also reminds me a great deal of the Everton FC badge. I sketched it on the first page of the new Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook to see how it would hold up. Holds up pretty well, though being thinner paper I can’t go as mad with the watercolours as I usually do. I am having a break from the watercolour moleys, having filled 12 of them, and trying something else out. Nice for the pen, this paper is smoother. It was cheap too, at £4.50 from Cass Arts in London. There’s the rub – if I end up loving them I have to get them from London. It is a nice panoramic format though, slightly bigger dimensions than what I’m used to in a sketchbook, at A5 page size. I wasn’t able to get it all done in a lunchtime (what with eating and all) so I added the colour at home. Jury’s out on this book but it will be fun filling it up.
I got a new camcorder, so I thought it would be fun to try it out by videoing a quick sketch in progress. Easier said than done of course! Here though is a quick demonstration on how I approach a sketch. I had to use the waterbrush (I prefer a regular brush and a little jar of water, but had forgotten it), and this being quite impromptu was rushed a little but, as Alan Partridge might say, you get the general idea. This is a bridge in the Arboretum. Once I’ve got the hang of this I’ll do a nicer video of me sketching a building or something. I can’t stand drawing foliage…
A quick ten-minute sketch from lunchtime at the Silo, UC Davis. Sometimes when you have little time its best to capture a scene as quickly as you can. Since its remodeling last year, the Silo has these nice comfy armchairs. I never use them myself as I like to eat at a table (I’m very messy otherwise), and prefer drawing from a table too if one exists, but for laptop users and book readers they are perfect and comfy. Sketched in red and black uniball signo um-151 pens.
Last week my son had his final t-ball game of the season. T-ball for those who don’t know (and I didn’t, until I was in this world) is baseball for four-five year olds, the lowest level of the Davis Little League system. Little League is played by just about all of the six hundred million kids in Davis, and the games of t-ball (so called because for the first few weeks they use a tee to hit the ball from, until they are used to live pitching) are played on the fields at Community Park. The bigger kids play at the Little League field across the street. Parents have to volunteer for a bunch of stuff, and I did a morning shift recently working at the Snack Shack, which was fun. Anyway, my son’s last game for the Diamondbacks was against the Reds, which means you might not be able to tell the teams apart in the sketch above (in the watercolour Moleskine), which doesn’t matter much since I sketched pretty randomly. Also, there is no scoring in t-ball – all the kids get to hit, and run, and field. Playing first base is the best thing because the kids always have something to do. See when a kid hits, it just gets thrown to first base, and then back to the pitcher. After the game, we had a pizza party for the kids, and they all got little trophies (there it si below sketched in the Stillman & Birn Alpha book). Next year he’ll move up to the next level (‘farm’) where they use a pitching machine. But first, the All-Star Game…