gee! let’s draw G street

G & 2nd

On Saturday, after a week of storms and rain and puddles, the sun came out and so did the sketchers, for the latest “Let’s Draw Davis” sketchcrawl. There were fourteen of us in all, and we met at the corner of 2nd and G Streets. The location of this crawl was along G street, which is a historic part of old downtown Davis, and makes for some properly ‘urban’ sketching. I took a while sketching the above scene, that big old white building on the northwest corner of G and 2nd, chatting to folk as they passed by. One guy I spoke to was back in Davis for the first time in 40 years, having lived there in the late 60s and early 70s, and so I was interested to hear about how Davis was back then, as he was interested to hear how I felt it was now. Below, a couple of international sketchers (from Spain and from Iran), both sketching the ‘Froggies’ bar opposite.

G St sketchers
G St fenceG & 5th hydrantG & 5th

Above, an interesting iron fence nearby to Ace Houseware, plus a fire hydrant on 5th and G and the brand new bank building opposite. I didn’t sketch quite as much as I would have expected (and there’s one sketch of a phonebox I’ll post separately because I want to say some hilarious things about phoneboxes), largely because I was getting a little frustrated with my Micron pens, which don’t like the Stillman & Birn paper as much as I might have liked, at least not in the way I use them. I felt like I was wearing them down much more quickly than usual. Still it was good to get out and draw stuff, and I was amazed at how productive some of my fellow sketchers were. We all met up outside the Davis Co-Op at 3pm (which in hindsight was a long way to go for a fairly short sketchcrawl), and checked out each other’s books, which is always one of the most fun parts of the day.

Let's Draw Davis! April 2012

Sketchbooks at the end of the day...

To see some of the other sketchers’ work, please go to, the Flickr group. The next Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl will be in May…date and place to be determined. If you can’t wait that long, this coming Saturday April 21 is Worldwide Sketchcrawl #35, in which hundreds or maybe thousands of sketchers across the planet will get out and draw their cities, and it sounds like there will be one in Davis too (I might make it the tail end, as I’ll be going to Picnic Day before that).

In the meantime, you may like to know we now have a Let’s Draw Davis page on the Davis Wiki, set up by fellow long-time Davis sketcher Pica (who produced the amazing accordion sketchbook above).

and like a true nature’s child

motorbike outside bainer

Saw this Honda motorbike parked outside Bainer Hall today. After massive wake-you-up-at-night rain, the Sun came out at lunchtime, and so did the sketchbook (Stillman & Birn gamma one). I stood and drew, until the glare of the Sun started to make me squint so badly, and my eyes were heavy anyway from my allergies (and from the wake-you-up-at-night rain waking me up at night), then they started to stream like the Tigris and Euphrates. People probably thought I was a bit mental, crying while drawing, but I wasn’t really crying. Still the glare was getting to me so I put my hood on and crouched over the paper (and I look odd when I draw normally). I laboured on, trying to get every, um, axel, er, metal machinery bit (I am not an engineer, unlike the folks in Bainer Hall). And get this – by the end of the drawing, it had started raining again! Wouldn’t you know.

Tomorrow my eyes and the weather will all be fiunctioning perfectly once more, because it’s the next Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl, on G Street. Meet us at 10:30am on the corner of 2nd and G. See you there!

king kenny

kenny dalglish

This is Kenny Dalglish, current manager of Liverpool FC and unquestionably an Anfield legend. He returned last year as manager almost two decades after leaving the post, two decades in which Liverpool had not won the league title, 1990 being their last one (and that one being under Mr.Dalglish). His tenure at the second half of the 1980s saw perhaps their best ever team, which if English clubs had been allowed to play in Europe surely would have had more big trophies to sit on. First (and only) Liverpool manager to win the fabled ‘Double’ back when it was a rare and coveted acheivement (these days we barely bat an eyelid at a double, Chelsea won it two years ago, remember?), and that was as player-manager. He was also arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player. Even as a Spurs fan, I’ve always liked King Kenny. These days he presides over a team unable to break back into the top party, despite new US owners, and, because success must be instant these days, is therefore under pressure to be, well, Liverpool famously do not sack their managers. They always ‘leave by mutual consent’.

This weekend sees the FA Cup semi-finals in England, and while my main focus will be Sunday’s all-London tie (Spurs -Chelsea! Come on Tottenham!), Saturday will see a Merseyside derby, Liverpool vs Everton, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. It’s even more poignant that Kenny, manager on that tragic day, is leading this current team into that match. Anyway, this is King Kenny, a true football hero.

I drew this in my Stillman and Birn gamma book with micron pen and watercolour. To the non-footy followers of this blog, who may not have read this far anyway, coming soon will be sketches from my new house (been a bit lazy on the scanning front…)

dome sweet dome

domes at baggins end, uc davis

Here’s an example of a drawing I did ages ago, and for some reason or other forgot to post: the Domes at Baggins End, Davis. Built in 1972, there are fourteen in total, a cooperative stduent housing community. I sketched here at the end of July, the last week in which people were living in these strange Tatooinesque buildings, or so it was thought at the time. Just a week later they were empty, uninhabited for the first time in thirty years. Nobody here but us chickens (and there are quite a few chickens; as I sketched, they gathered around me to take a look, and peck the ground at my feet). Last academic year, the UC Davis powers-that-are decided that the Domes were not fit for habitation, and declared they would not renew any leases. As you might imagine, the Domes residents past and present were none too pleased. A ‘Save the Domes’ campaign was begun, plans were put in place, and eventually they won, and the Domes were once more open for new leases. As of Spring 2012 many improvements have been made, to both the site and the Domes themselves, and this most Davis part of Davis lives on! I must go back and draw again some time.

Find out more about the Domes at daviswiki.

two moons

pale moon
Last Saturday was national beer day, apparently, so I partook by having (and drawing) a couple from the Blue Moon Brewing Co. They make a nice wheat beer, but also make nice seasonal beers, my favourite of which is the Winter Abbey Ale, below, which is now off the shelves. Above is their Belgian style pale ale, Pale Moon, which was also very nice. I drank them and drew them (except for the bottle below which I drew later) while watching a movie on cable, “I Am Number Four”, which I think may have required more than two beers to fully appreciate the subtleties of.
blue moon

first sketches in my new neighbourhood

part of lutheran church, north davis
Happy Easter! And finally, some sketches. I moved across town, a move which coincided with an extremely busy work period, all of which meant lots of tiredness and little time to sketch. Well yesterday afternoon, a week after moving in, I carved out some time to explore my new area of North Davis. After six years south of I-80 I am now looking at Davis from a different angle. This means I get to explore parts of town I never got around to seeing before. I started with the unusual building on the corner of Oak Avenue (not street as I said below) and Covell, part of the Our Faith Lutheran Church. It has a funny little lookout perched atop it like a crow’s nest. Well, why not? There is another one in the gardens, just sat there by itself. Mysteries of architecture.
lutheran church, north davis
More conventional is the main church itself, a little further down Oak. I drew the sign, then crossed the street to draw the building. There is the Moleskine spread below. Feels good to be back in the sketchbook! And there is a lot more neighbourhood to draw…
Lutheran church double spread
By the way, tomorrow (well it’s today now, Monday April 9th) is the fourth anniversary of! (It is also seven whole years since the original one began, while sat in the basement of the Maughan Library on Chancery Lane) Happy blogiversary!

(And it’s also my little sister Lauren’s birthday too; Happy Birthday!)

let’s draw g street!

let's draw davis april 2012, G St

No posts for a while; I haven’t been off the map exactly, I have just moved across it, a little. Being so busy and moving house as well means the sketchbooks have been packed away, but they are eager to get back out and filled up again. So next Saturday, April 14th, why not join the sketchers of Davis for another “Let’s Draw Davis!” sketchcrawl!

This time we will sketch along G Street, in the historic heart of Davis.

START: 10:30am, corner of 2nd and G st

FINISH: 3:00pm, outside Davis Co-Op, 6th & G st

As always, this event is free and open to anybodu who likes to sketch. You can come for the whole sketchcrawl, or just for a little while, it’s all about getting out and sketching our town. At the end, participants will show each other their sketchbooks, which is always really fun. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on!

(Please note: the 35th Worldwide Sketchcrawl is a week later, on April 21st, but I decided to avoid putting the sketchcrawl then because that is the same day as the UC Davis Picnic Day. But check out the Sketchcrawl Forums to see if there are any sketchcrawls near you, I think there may even be one in Davis or at least the Sacramento area)

Let’s Draw Davis April 14th: Facebook Event