are you murray in disguise?

spurs losing 4-0

Not a brilliant Sunday morning, sports fans. I was tired, after staying up far too late (and falling asleep on the couch) watching Andy Murray turn up and get humiliated in the Australian Open final (I’m not a tennis watcher, but as a Brit it’s my duty to tune in and get my hopes up before having them cruelly dashed by someone from the old Yugoslavia, and there’s still six months until Wimbledon!). Then I woke up to watch my beloved Tottenham  (almost an anagram of Tim Henman…) get roundly turned over by Fulham, all over by half-time at four-nil. This hurt; it’s the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, and this year ends in a ‘1’ – Spurs are supposed to win it this year! Perhaps this was a ruse, to make AC Milan think we’ll be a pushover in the Champion’s League in a few weeks. If so it was a bloody convincing ruse, I must say. Anyway, enough disappointment, I got out my moleskine diary and started sketching the living room as I watched (I would have been hanging my head anyway). Soon my son and then my wife joined in, all drawing pictures together with my little paint set, which was fun. You can see the streamers are till up from my son’s birthday party, all around the room; our apartment currently resembles an airmail envelope. Back in the match, Spurs didn’t even score a consolation goal.  

hovering silence from you is a giveaway

uc davis bike barn

After last week’s sunshine, we have had thick, soupy fog in Davis this week, hovering quietly about and bringing an ethereal gloom to our usually sunny town. It’s also brought the cold back – I sat outside at lunchtime yesterday and sketched the Bike Barn, and my fingers were almost falling off. Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but it was a lot colder than on last week’s sketchcrawl.

I’ve sketched this building before several times – it just begs to be sketched – but in the fog I took notice of it’s slightly dilapidated and weather-worn feel, and realised that I should sketch it before they go and do something about that. It’s the peeling paint around the window-frames that does it for me.

I’m considering campus for the next sketchcrawl, and this would be an interesting place to finish the crawl, mostly because I’d love to see other people’s interpretations of this very sketchable building.

imperial garbage truck

"garbage truck"

This is my son’s new AT-AT. When he first saw one (its brief appearance in Return of the Jedi) he called it a ‘garbage truck’. It makes perfect sense – it sounds and moves just like one, and to a toddler the connection is obvious. The name has stuck and I’m glad, I always disliked the name AT-AT when I was a kid (but we still said that rather than ‘Imperial Walker’, which is what they’re called in the film, because ‘AT-AT’ is what it said on the box, and Hasbro boxes tell no lies). I remember getting mine for Christmas when I was a kid, it was like the best thing ever, but the little plastic guns kept snapping off. This is the ‘Galactic Heroes’ version, which I must say is really cool (and a lot sturdier). Sketched in blue Micron pen in my WH Smith sketchbook (first sketch in that book in a year and a half).

let them eat soup

south hall uc davis

A lunchtime sketch, after a bowl of soup. It’s that lovely Thai soup I used to eat all the time for a few years, that disappeared from campus for over a year but came back late 2010. It’s really good soup. I used to have to choose – eat soup, or sketch, because I never had time to do both. On this day, though, I made time. Anyway…this is South Hall, one of two such Halls (the other is North Hall, just to the north). It’s an old building, having been on UC Davis for a long time. (Hey, that’s so informative Pete! Well what do you expect, I spent my lunchtime eating soup, not reading local history). I didn’t have time to draw the other half of it though. Maybe some other time. (And I meant to leave the trees blank. In fact the soup told me to…)

breathe in, breathe out

south silo uc davis

This is the South Silo, UC Davis, as sketched from the steps of Bainer Hall. I sketch this scene every six months (with leaves, without leaves, breathe in, breathe out) and have done so since about 2007. It was a pretty chilly day, last week (sunny, but not as warm as later in the week). I like this time of year; you get leafless trees, and the shadows they produce.

Here are the previous ones…

uc davis trees encoreno leaves for yousmoky and the bikebarnlunchtime sketch by the hog barnrainy rainy daybike barn from bainerbikebarn from bainer (yet again)the view from bainer, again

we all drew davis!

davis sketchcrawlers!

Here are the sketchers who made it to the end of the sketchcrawl in Davis on Saturday. We had over twenty-five sketchers on the ‘crawl, which is a great turn out – it was wonderful to see so many sketchers out on the streets of Davis! The weather helped, I’m sure. Spot the sketchers dotted around the E Street Plaza below…

davis sketchcrawl 1/22/11

Here I am being interviewed by Aggie TV, the local campus TV station, about the sketchcrawl. That was a surprise! I’m glad I brushed my hair.

interview with Aggie TV

You can see more photos from the sketchcrawl (and previous crawls) on the Flickr group “Let’s Draw Davis!”. This third ‘Let’s Draw Davis’ meet-up went really well; I hope to organize them monthly, so look out for news about the next one very soon. Sketching on location is so much fun, and it’s great to meet so many other people who like drawing stuff. The new catchphrase, “it’s ok to spend all day sketching”…

And check out the rest of the world’s sketches from Worldwide Sketchcrawl #30 on!

Ok…back to scanning my London sketches…

movies, comics and frilly underwear

the varsity, 2nd st

Worldwide Sketchcrawl 30, Davis Caliornia, continued… after lunch, I was eager to get back outside and do some sketching in the glorious sunshine. And I did, too – I sat right in the sun, almost getting burnt. Forgot my hat; colars went up, and sketched quickly. January in Davis, lads, gotta love it. I sketched the Varsity theatre on 2nd St, yet again. Against a blue sky, it’s impossible to resist.

I then sketched the window display of Luxury OutHouse on F St, which sounds like a showroom for RVs or garden sheds, but actually sells fancy bathroom soap and dressing gowns and stuff, and interesting looking lingerie. I had to sketch it.

sketchcrawl lingeriebizarro world

And my last sketch of the day, Bizarro Comics on E Street (because lingerie and comic shops seem to go together, for some reason). As I crossed the road after sketching this, an SUV with cowboy-hatted driver almost ran me over, though I was on the crosswalk already – he wasn’t looking ahead, and didn’t see the crosswalk. I raised my eyebrows at him as he passed without stopping, and he shouted ‘asshole how am i supposed to see you?’
‘If you were looking where you were going, you would have,’ I replied, but he was already driving off making unnecessary hand gestures at me.
At which point I used my super lazer eyes to shrink his car to mouse size, and my mutant powers over magnetism to force lift him into a tree full of crows. That might make a good comic…

Photos from the sketchcrawl to come!