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…

5 thoughts on “that ol’ man river, he must know something

  1. Rowland Jones says:

    Love the yellow engine and the theatre

    Little concerned about: ‘sketched me some fire hydrants’ if I hear the merest hint of a YeeHa, I’m outta here . . sorry I mean I’m unsubscribing . . .

    Just a quick question: do you go straight in with ink? or do you pencil outline first? I assume it’s then watercolour over the top: sorry, I’m still at the ‘learning techniques” stage . . .

    • pete scully says:

      As for the ‘how’, well I sometimes do a light pencil for guideline purposes, to mark perspective or basic composition, but mostly it’s all straight in with the pen. And then I do the wash over the top. Having a good ink pen that doesn’t bleed at all in a wash is very important. I do find that even with the best inks if you paint first and then add pen, there can be subtle feathering, so I generally do pen and then paint. It’s all about the drawing for me, I’m not a painter.

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