Saturday October 25th was Worldwide Sketchcrawl #20; I journeyed down to San Francisco to join the group of about sixty sketchcrawlers in the Mission District (you know I love it there). This was my eighth participation in the Sketchcrawl, and my second in San Francisco (the others being Davis twice, Berkeley twice, Sacramento and London). For me, the sketchcrawl is another excuse to go out and draw, maybe try some new things, to see how much I can do in the time given, but more importantly to see how other sketchers work. The many different ways of interpreting the same scenes are inspirational. Plus I get to check out other people’s pens.
I got the early Amtrak from Davis; it was going to be a very sunny day, even in the city. As always, I got the moleskine out to draw the view from the train through the Valley as it crossed the Delta into the Bay. I noted the times I sketched, along with a lyric from whatever happened to be on the headphones at the time. I got off the 14 bus at Mission District and within a block trod in some dogpoo – not a good start. Thankfully I was able to clean it off easily. Having lived in France and Belgium, I am normally hyper-aware of dogpoo, but living in the US has thrown me off, still this was the first time in many years and was probably an omen for a good day (the last time I trod in dogpoo was on the way to my second date with my future wife). But enough of the social history of dogpoo (that is another blog entry entirely, perhaps on another blog), and back to the 20th worldwide sketchcrawl.
There were a lot of people with sketchbooks at Que Tal on Guerrero, the meeting point. I was pleased to see the cafe sold Barry’s tea, my favourite, but I just had a bagel and went out into the street to start the sketching along with everybody else. Sketchcrawl’s founder Enrico Casarosa was there, with copies of his new book the Venice Chronicles. I began with a building opposite, on the corner of Guerrero and 22nd. The sun was casting dramatic shadows. Oh look, there’s a tree in the foreground (for a change). A lot of sketchers were drawing people, while I’m usually fixated with architecture, but I did too, using the micron purple pen that crawls out of my pencil case every few months or so. I recognised some of the faces from previous crawls, but my natural shyness meant I just buried myself into my moleskine and got down to business. But the great thing about other sketchers is that they don’t mind being sketched, so you never have to pretend you’re not sketching them. It’s quite liberating.
Part 2 will come tomorrow; in the meantime check out everyone else’s SF ‘crawl posts at sketchcrawl.com.