formed a band, we formed a band, look at us, we formed a band

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Ever more NaNoDrawMo pipes… I stood behind the Engineering building at UC Davis to draw the one above. I like pretending that these things are actually something else, like robot spying devices, or a cyberman’s torturing device. In fact it’s rather like a big elaborate pound sign (that’s pound sterling, not the # sign – which we Brits call the hash key, not ‘pound’ as Americans do. Very confusing when using banking menu systems). Below left is an insectoid intruder, poking his head through the concrete like a metal mole. Reminds me of an underwater adventurer.

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Above right is a fire hydrant I attempted to sketch in Santa Rosa. I had to abandon it because I got rained on significantly, so finished it at home from memory (didn’t even have a camera). Well, I can remember what these types look like, surely.

Below, a big white dragon from outside the police station. It has two dragon-cubs beside it but they weren’t drawn in, as I didn’t have time, and couldn’t be bothered.

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Below left, Ringo Starr’s drum kit. Actually could be any drummer, Ringo just popped to mind because he is an ickle fellow. I love Ringo.  

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Numbers 44-46 are drawn from photos taken back in September, when I was down in Los Angeles. These are hydrants from Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey. I was getting sick of local hydrants so added a few different designs. I sketched similar ones to these while down there, but took photos of these in case I had some ridiculous excuse to draw them later on, like NaNoDrawMo. Here they are. #45 is like a big yellow clown, like c-3PO’s insane cousin from the circus. I particularly like #46.

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Just four more to go… today’s the last day…

the red lion

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The quest for the NaNoDrawMo fifty marches on… these three were drawn on the Davis sketchcrawl. I was drawn to those very red pipes outside the cinema on F street. There was something I wanted to say about the colour red and that particular weekend… oh yes! That Team in Red 2, Spurs 3! Great way to start the weekend, that.

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More to come…

davis sketchers

the scullys go sketching

Photos from last Sunday’s Let’s Draw Davis sketch crawl: above, budding young sketcher Luke shows his dad a thing or two about urban sketching. You can clearly see here the ‘incroyable tenue de crayon de Pete’, while Luke demonstrates a new take on the ‘non moins incroyable posture’. Urban sketching runs in the family!

Alison sketches DavisAlan sketches Davis

Fellow Davis blogging couple Alison (Pica) and Allan (Numenius) (check out their blog Feathers of Hope) show off their sketches at the end of the day on 2nd St. I have sketched with them before a long while ago so it was nice to sketch with them again.

Laura sketches DavisRahman sketches davis

On the left is fellow moleskine sketcher Laura, who came to the first sketchcrawl in October. She draws great pictures in sharpie pen, and told me a great trick for getting over that ‘first page of sketchbook’ anxiety that a lot of sketchbookers have – she starts in the middle of the book! I thought that was a great approach. On the right, my colleague in the Statistics dept Rahman Azari, a great artist who has a good eye for colour, sketching the autumnal tones at the train station.

davis sketchcrawl results

And here is my sketchbook at the end of the day. I struggled through a cold, which got worse, but I’m glad to have had a nice day sketching with other Davis sketchers. More sketchcrawls to come in the new year, dates to be announced – please join us on the next one!

Let’s Draw Davis! Flickr group

meeting you outside the station, asking about your favourite colours

Last Sundaylet's draw davis, nov 21, the weather was bright, sunny and cold, following an enormous sketchbook-scaring-away rain and thunder storm in our part of California. Still, a few brave Davis sketchers got together for the second of our Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawls, going from the train station and down Second street, braving the fantastic sunshine.
outside davis amtrak

My sketch on the left was while I was sat outside the amtrak station, and I wanted to keep using the paint splatter thing, but this time contain it within a box. Interesting results. It’s a colourful enough view anyhow. You can see fellow sketchers Pica and Rahman sketching away.

While sketching, I was joined by my son Luke, who had just been to the toystore, checking off things he wants for Christmas. He also did a sketch; he likes using daddy’s paints. He’s a great little urban sketcher already!

luke urbansketches

Next sketch was the Davis Tower, still at the train station. Several of us sketchers were all sat together at this point so I got to converse about Weetabix, the new TSA screening regulations, Peregrine Falcons and Tottenham Hotspur, among other things. I’m getting used to sketching with others, it’s fun. I recommend it. I had to draw that guy who sat in the picture, he was very sketchable.

davis tower

The day continued down 2nd Street. I added a few more pipes and hydrants to my NaNoDrawMo tally, but I’ll post them another time. Here are the corners of F and E as they meet 2nd St. The autumnal colours are out in force. More photos of the day to come…

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ceci n’est pas une pipe

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More old pipes for the NaNoDrawMo project. These incredible old pipes and tanks are outside the music building on campus (or rather, the one next to the music building, called ‘Temporary Building 159’). I think it’s going to be demolished or redeveloped, so I’ve meant to sketch these rusty pipes for a long time.  

Below, a very useful pipe outside Chemistry, and next to it, three rusty pipes which just stick out of the ground doing I’m not sure what. This is a very metal pipe month. These are exercises in observation though.

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enter the dragon

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The green pantomime dragon of Fifth Street. It’s pretty common to see (especially at this time of year) nice coats on these colourful water pipe things.

So the rain has come… but tomorrow we’ll still be sketchcrawling in Davis! Rare opportunity to draw Davis with puddles so must take it (positive spin!). Join us at the Amtrak station at 11:00, or catch up at some point down 2nd Street as the day goes on. I’ll be the one sketching fire hydrants. We’ll finish up at 3:30pm over at Davis Commons on 1st/E, outside (or, let’s face it, inside) Borders, to see what we’ve done. Let’s Draw Davis!

but you didn’t take a peek in their artillery room

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These metal pipes are starting to look more and more like armed robots. I hope they’re not! Otherwise, well, there’s a sci-fi zom-rom-com right there. I might write it, maybe for NaNoWriMo next year. These ones above, red team and white team, look more like they should be shooting lasers at X-Wing fighters than putting out fires.

Here’s another fire hydrant, which someone on Flickr commented that it looks like a traffic cop. It does, but I prefer traffic droid. This one is opposite the UCD fire station.nanodrawmo 30

that ol’ man river, he must know something

sacramento tower bridge

On Saturday afternoon I went down to old town Sacramento, sketched me some fire hydrants, but that ain’t all I sketched. After meeting with the SF Bay Urban Sketchers, who had just been to the new Crocker Art Gallery, we all stood by the Sacramento River and sketched the big golden yellow Tower Bridge. I have sketched this before (a sketch which made an appearance on Fox 40 News of all places last year), but it was a while ago, and I came to sketch this one with memories of sketching a similar (though less yellow) bridge in Portland in the summer. This is the River City, and an old-time sailboat passed by as I sketched, the golden Tower Bridge’s mid-section rising and dropping as she passed.

sac eagle theatre

We strolled through Old Sac sketching a little more. Despite all the grand old cowboy era buildings, I like this little theatre and did a small sketch, drawn to those long diagonals and the long shadows.

diesel engine, old sac

This is also railroad land, and the railroad museum is just around the corner from here. I was just here a couple of days before with my wife and toddler son, and I promised him I would come back and draw a bridge and a train. I had liked the look of this little yellow diesel engine, so here it is.  

A nice break from the fire hydrants…

say hello to my little friends

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I decided to go to old town Sacramento yesterday, and as you may gather, I sketched more fire hydrants. I also met with the SF Bay Urban Sketchers (Jana Bouc, Cathy McAuliffe et al) who happened to be visiting Sac that day and sketched with them a little while. The wetaher right now is gorgeous – sunny, a little breezy, but not cold, and perfect for sketching. Hopefully it will stay like this for next Suday’s Davis Sketchcrawl.

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The hydrants in Sacramento are largely silvery grey, with a different colour top depending on the water pressure, or something. Iwas excited (yes really excited) to draw some different coloured hydrants, though of course it means that this set is no longer solely Davis based. Sacramento is close enough though. Below is an odd looking water pipe found by the underpass that connects old town to the downtown mall.nanodrawmo 27

it’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out

little prague again

I went down to Little Prague again, to carry on the spread I’d started before, with a dark Krusovice, nice beer to sketch with. Again I splattered the page with lots of little spots of paint, and then after drawing everything with the pigma sensei pen, I did a sepia wash. I was glad to get some people in this one. It’s such a sketchable place.

little prague spread

It was the ‘2nd Friday Art About’ earlier in the evening, though I missed many of the exhibits this time. And now it’s the weekend! The weather is cold and bright, which means scarves and sunglasses, a great time of year. Christmas shopping and afternoon sketching in store.