gets me to the church on time

sketchcrawl 31 mission dolores

Mission Dolores. It’s the oldest building in San Francisco, and gets picked first in all the football teams. It was very windy by this point in the SF sketchcrawl, and so I hid beside a postbox to sketch it, nestling it on the page between two drawings of local fire hydrants (I’m back! first hydrants I’ve drawn in months). Using the magic of photoshop I have surgically removed them from the drawing so you can read them on their own merit, but if you are interested in seeing the page as it is in my sketchbook, the unaltered piece is at the bottom of the post.

sc31 hydrant 1sc31 hydrant 2

I like the fire hydrants with the little bobbles on top, you see those in the city. It reminded me of an albino smurf, so I had to add this to the collection. I also like those big fat hydrants SF has, like the one on the right. You’d want one of those on your side in a fight, I’m sure, stocky little things. 

After this I walked over to Needles and Pens, just down the street, an excellent zine store. I bought there a copy of the Comic Book Guide to the Mission, which I’ve been looking forward to. I love the cover by Chuck Whelon! I was going to wait until I got to Mission Comics and Art (which was my plan for later that day) before picking it up, as they have the original cover drawing on their gallery wall, but I just could not resist. Anyway, the drawings continued, many more to come…

sketchcrawl 31 page 3

hanging small in a pale blue sky

sketchcrawl 31 blue house

Moving on with the SF Sketchcrawl, I walked up past Dolores Park towards the Castro neighbourhood. I happened upon a particularly interesting and colourful old Victorian, and so I climbed some steps on the building opposite (whose windows were boarded up; I doubted anybody minded) and sketched from a higher elevation. This old house is very cool.

As I sketched, I was myself sketched by fellow sketcher Jana Bouc:

pete sketching in the mission, by jana bouc

More sketching to come… plus added fire hydrants!

man on a mission

sketchcrawl 31 dolores park cafesketchcrawl 31: mission high school

Sketchcrawl 31, continued. Well, this is where the actual sketchcrawl began: Dolores Park Cafe, on 18th St. I went there last year with my friend from London, Simon, but this year I didn’t try any mango smoothies, I just went straight into sketching gear. I stayed in sketching gear all day long, barely stopping to breathe; quite literally on a Mission. One of my missions however was to visit a couple of great zine/comic stores, and I wasn’t disappointed. There were quite a few sketchers there already, many of whom I’d met on previous sketchcrawls – it was nice to see familiar faces. Above left is the cafe itself, and on the right, the ornate domed tower of the Mission High School, directly opposite. I think everybody drew that one.

sketchcrawl 31 enrico casarosasketchcrawl 31 jana bouc

Here are some sketchers, drawn in my small ‘quick people sketches’ moleskine: Enrico Casarosa in the green, with the hat on, he is the founder of Sketchcrawl and the leader of the San Francisco group. On the right, long-time sketching inspiration  Jana Bouc of the Bay Area Urban Sketchers, who accompanied me sketching my long-winded route around the Mission district (always a pleasure to sketch with her). I also met (but didn’t sketch) fellow Urban Sketcher correspondent Gary Amaro, and met up again with fellow Davisite Allan Hollander, who I’d sketched on the way down from Davis. More sketches to come; we’re only on page 2 of 7…

and i think my spaceship knows which way to go

sketchcrawl 31, san francisco

The 31st Worldwide Sketchcrawl happened on Saturday, and I was at the ‘crawl in San Francisco, sketching away like crazy. Whenever I sketch in the city I try to cram in as much sketching as possible, in the most area-covering route possible, which along with the travelling down from Davis is pretty exhausting. I caught the early train, and another Davis sketcher Allan was also there at the station, which was a nice surprise. We rode down together as far as Richmond, and I was able to grab a sketch of him sketching away, and had a look through his sketchbook of antennae which is particularly cool (I want to sketch antennae now myself!). I went on and caught the Amtrak bu from emeryville over to the Ferry Building, where I like to pick up a chocolate walnut brownie (traditional sketchcrawl substenance), and I also sketched the large installation ‘Raygun Gothic Rocketship’, with the Bay Bridge behind it. My son loves rocketships. 

sc31 allan on amtrak smsc31 rocketship sm

And then I hopped onto a Muni to the Mission… more sketches to come!!

upstairs, downstairs

behind north hall

North Hall – or the back of it – at UC Davis. Isn’t it always the way, you start sketching and you just keep going, and then you run out of page for the top of the building. Well, you can imagine what it looks like. It wasn’t topped with a flashing reindeer or anything. This is a cool staircase though, I have drawn it before, four years ago or so, but I don’t remember where that sketch is. As you can see in the distnace, still some blossom on the trees. My allergies have been pretty naughty this year, but on this day they were behaving nicely, so I ventured outside and survived. Spring in Davis – a battle with the pollen count.

and fix upon the pattern on the wall

lil' prague

Friday night, after the gallery event and a trip to the record shop, time to stop off at the pub, Little Prague, for some well-deserved end-of-week beer, coupled as always with even more sketching. I sketch this bar scene every few months or so; improving my bar sketches, that is my excuse anyway. For my other sketches in and of pubs and cafes, see my ‘pubs, etc’ flickr set. I wish I’d had the whole page, because I’d like to try a curvilinear sketch of this bar; I did go for a slight semi-curvilinear, but ran out of page. Up on the screen, Man City beating Sunderland, doing Spurs no favours. Below, bar staff rushing back and forth, and behind, people busy ordering drinks and socializing and dancing. You know those photos they take of city roads where you can’t see the cars, just long streaks of red and white light? That is how I should draw the bar scene. I am drawing what stands still; the rest of the world moves about around me. At this point I’m supposed to say, “oh, that’s how I feel all the time”, but it isn’t in the slightest, so I won’t. Well, perhaps occasionally, but only when I sketch.

little prague beertaps

Here are the beer pumps. Since I’ve not sketched fire hydrants since the end of November this is the next best thing. I drew this one on a small artist trading card. Useful things for pub sketches, as it turns out. Below, back to the Moleskine, but with a different colour micron pen. little prague bottles

got a lovely gallery

"miscellaneous details" at artery

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in a show at the Artery, a local gallery in Davis. The show was called “8×8 small is great”, and all of the pieces had to be around 8″x8″. My piece, ‘Miscellaneous Details’, was a drawing I did a couple of years ago (remember?), and is made up of things found around my apartment, like a self-portrait in clutter, stuff. My reaction to all the ‘de-clutter your home’ shows, an invitation to re-clutter, and then draw it and put it on your wall. In the middle, a copy of  another drawing i did once, crossed with the words “everything is interesting if you take an interest in it”, which has become my mantra. (See the original here). The interesting thing about this, is that it doesn’t actually matter which way you hang it. If you get bored of it being this way up, just turn it on its side. The way I drew it, ‘Up’ is actually where the viewer is.

Anyway…it sold! And it sold pretty quickly too. That’s what the little red dot means. I was very pleased. I did some sketches at the event, nothing grand, just a few quickies.

artery show "8x8 small is great"

Below, a couple of pieces that were in the show, ‘Fiber Hat’ by Pam Berry, which I thought was amazing, and ‘Girl-Bird Dog’ by Aiyana Pearson.

pam berry: fiber hat aiyana pearson: girl bird dog

And here are a couple of ceramics I found elsewhere at the Artery that evening, a piggy bank and some other stuff by Heidi Bekebrede, and ‘I love you’ by Rebecca Bresnick Holmes. There’s some great stuff at the Artery, if you’re in Davis, pop down to G Street and have a look!

heidi bekebrede'i love you' by rb holmes

if you go down to the woods today

arboretum redwoods

The final sketches of the Arboretum sketchcrawl, this is the Redwood Grove. These redwoods are only about fifty years old, tiny little things really, I barely noticed them. It’s quite a peaceful place, the redwood grove,, running along the creek. Redwoods grow naturally in the coastal ranges, not in the Central Valley. Ewoks are nowhere to be seen. You may notice, hidden somewhere in the above picture, that there was a photoshoot going on, with a young woman dressed like Alice (of Wonderland fame).  

arboretum log

It was nice to see the Arboretum with so many sketchers dotted around, people stopping and watching us, seeing what we were drawing. Personally, when I see others out drawing, I want to draw things myself, so hopefully it had that same effect on people. Hopefully, someone saw us and decided, I like drawing, I’m going to get a sketchbook and go and draw some of my town myself, maybe even go on the next sketchcrawl? Well, the next Worldwide Sketchcrawl is in just over a week – April 16th. I’ll not be organizing a Davis one on that day (I’ll be joining the San Francisco crawl, in the Mission) but that day is also Picnic Day, so a great excuse for you to bring a sketchbook and sketch Davis’s big annual celebration.

Below, the sketchers who remained till the end: Dick, Tom, Jenny and Marlene. They all produced some great work! We had about thirteen sketchers in total that day, and it was a really nice afternoon. thanks to all those who came along – the next Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl will be in May (likely the 14th), at the Farmers Market. See you next time! 

the end of the sketchcrawl

Let’s Draw Davis! Flickr group

crossing bridges

arboretum bridges

When I first moved to Davis at the end of 2005, my wife told me about this cool thing she’d read about called ‘Sketchcrawl’, and that it was happening all over the world on the same day, and that there would be one in Davis organized by some local sketchers sketching the ‘Arboretum’ (another word that entered my vocabulary). I shyly met with a group of sketchers all buried in sketchbooks at Mishka’s cafe on a chilly morning and followed them to the Arboretum, by the creek, where evryone panned out and sketched away until it was too cold to do so. It was great, and though I didn’t draw outside for several months afterwards, and didn’t join another sketchcrawl for even longer, it was my first ever sketching day in Davis – the first of a great many. So for this latest Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl I was eager to show other people what a great place the Arboretum is to draw, but also to see for myself how my sketching has changed in the past five and a half years.Below is the same scene as above, sat in almost the same spot, but with my now differing styles.

the same scene in december 2005

And below, here I am with Moleskine #7.  More sketches to come!

pete and his moleskine