San Francisco panoramic

The last one from last weekend’s trip to San Francisco, finally scanned and stitched together photoshopically. I don’t get to draw great vistas in Davis, not like this anyhow. All those panoramas from the Art of Urban Sketching and Sketching in Lisbon books have inspired me a little, so while up Telegraph Hill last weekend (where I saw none of the famous parrots but did see quite a few hummingbirds) I sat on my stool and drew what I could. I was there for almost an hour and a half before the sunshine got the better of me, but I didn’t fancy overdoing the details anyhow, I liked the skyline as it was. I mostly used a uniball vision micro.

sketching the city
sketching the city

i’m only a droid, and not very knowledgable about such things

hydrant at kearny & vallejo, san franciscohydrant at union st, north beach SF

Wow, you MUST think I’m obsessed with fire hydrants, right? Well I am alittle. I can spot differences and everything now though. But I’m no expert, I don’t even really know how they work (it’s basically a tap, right?), and I know the colours on the caps signify some sort of difference in water pressure or something, maybe, but I like to think they’re just fashion choices on the part of the hydrant itself, which is of course a little robot with thoughts of its own. The one on the top left, drawn on the sloping streets of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, is related to R2-D2, but probably more of a ‘Moopet’ version, with a graffiti tattoo and chains. Perhaps those pentagonal bolts are really restraining bolts, like the ones fitted by Jawas. These larger, fat hydrants are common in SF. The green-capped one on the left was on Union Street. I actually sat a little bit off the sidewalk to sketch it from the preferred angle, shielded by a parked car. At one point though a girl came up and asked if she could photograph me sketching. I forget how odd I look when I sketch, all hunched over and tangled up.

going rogue

rogue, san francisco

This is the Rogue alehouse in North Beach, San Francisco. I have been here before a few times, so stopped in for one of their delicious Rogue Red beers (they have a lot of different beers). Rogue are based in Oregon, and I did find the Rogue in Portland when I was there in 2010. This place was pretty busy; when I came in there were quite a few afternoon barcrawlers drinking copious amounts of Bud Light (seriously, when there is so much decent beer on tap, they drink Bud Light?) and following them down with shots of something or other (mouthwash, presumably). I started drawing, as I do, though I was sat at an awkward angle at the bar, and was right by where everyone was queueing for the bogs.

all creatures great and small

yellow smartcar in north beach

chevy convertible in north beach

Don’t be distracted by the scale of the sketches, these vehicles are polar opposites in size. But I don’t really need to tell you that. More from my sketching day around North Beach in San Francisco. I saw the small Smart Car perched on Union Street and given my recent batch of yellow vehicle drawings, I had to sketch it. It’s a little bit like an updated Guido from Cars (incidentally, have you noticed how the sterotyped Italian is still a mainstay of kids cartoons? Guido and Luigi in Cars, Cow Bella from Pajanimals, Bella Lasagne from the old series of Fireman Sam, Mr Carburettor from Rory the Racing Car, Mr Sabatini from Bob the Builder, that Crow from Dangermouse…). The one below was parked on Columbus, almost as a tourist attraction, so many people were stopping to photograph it. It was indeed a thing of beauty, long, sleek, open topped, classic. I had to stop and draw it – I checked the parking meter first though, to see how long I might have. Twenty minutes, good good, but I kept it small. Eventually the owners did come by, two fellows dressed in SF Giants gear (it was FanFest at the ballpark that day), and they were happy to let me keep drawing, in fact they were even letting passers by get into the car to take photos! I showed them some of my other drawings, and they told me I should go to Belmont, where apparently they paint the fire hydrants up like people. That’s a place I have to go to!

fly away peter, fly away paul

washington square, SF

Another one from last Saturday’s solo sketchcrawl around San Francisco. This is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Washington Square, North Beach.  You may have seen it in Dirty Harry briefly. Peter and Paul; I suppose if you’re going to name a church after saints, they’re the big guns really, and here you get two for one. North Beach is the Italian neighbourhood of San Francisco. It was a busy afternoon in Washington Square, lots of people about – there usually are, whenever I sketch down there. This time there was a large crowd of people in red dressed as pirates of some sort, out on some heavy drinking bar-crawling event of some sort. Never really seen the appeal of pirates, comedy or otherwise. Anyway, I enjoyed sketching this, with a uniball signo pen in my Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

san francisco, one morning in february

the golden gate bridge, from telegraph hill
First post in a few days, but I’ve got some drawing done… I went to San Francisco on Saturday for a whole day of sketching, because the weather was nice and it was nearly my birthday (in fact it’s today). The first thing I did after arriving at the Ferry Building was head straight up Telegraph Hill. Well no, the first thing I did was buy a walnut brownie, as I always do, but then I went uphill. I wanted to draw a big panorama. the problem is, unless you go up Coit Tower itself (and why would I do a sensible thing like that) the good views are mostly broken by trees. For the sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge above I had to stand on a wall besides quite a steep shrubby slope. But what a view! And no morning fog. the bay bridge from telegraph hill

I did much the same for the second one, looking in the other direction. That’s the Bay Bridge, with the Ferry Building in front of it, and the financial district overshadowing it. These were drawn in my Stillman and Birn sketchbook, the one I got from the Lisbon Symposium, but only just started using. It was very nice too. Watercolouring will take a little getting used to after so long with the watercolour moleskine (you can’t lay it on quite as thick) but it’s pretty nice with the pens, so far. These were done with a micron 01. More SF sketches to come…