oh you pretty things

18th st, san francisco

I could draw every single house in this neigbourhood, and never get bored. More work from my sketchcrawl day at the Castro, San Francisco. This sloping row of Victorians, had it not been taking quite so long (best part of a couple of hours, and I had to finish the colouring in at home) could have ended up as a very long panorama, all the way down the street, had I not wanted to, you know, sketch some other things and eat something (Thai red curry if you’re interested). But how enjoyable was this to sit and sketch? Immensely! This is right opposite Philz Coffee on 18th St, where the sketchcrawl officially began.  A couple of sketchers were sat on the steps behind me, still sketching when I finally got up and stretched my legs. ..

moby dicks, SF

After some sketching away from 18th St (these sketches are not completely posted in chronological order, rather they are in geographical order), I returned, clock ticking, needing a few more sketches before the meet-up at 4pm. It was getting windy. I sat on the corner of 18th and Hartford, leaning against a fire hydrant. I’m not sure if you can lean against a fire hydrant while sketching (and I don’t really need to know) but surely if anyone should, hello like. This is Moby Dick’s, a popular local bar (I assume; it’s in the locale, and there were people there, so presumably, hello like), and there down 18th you can see the iconic belltower of the Mission School. The rusty hydrant below (which was not the one I leaned against, but looked very similar) (I’m sure you are riveted by this) was a bit closer to the Mission High school tower, on the corner of the very crowded and very windy. The final meetup was nice,  I met quite a few new sketchers and as always was hugely inspired by what I saw; this is my favourite part of these sketchcrawls, seeing other people’s sketchbooks, real and in the flesh, not just online. Very cool.  You can see some other sketchers’ results on the SF sketchcrawl forum, and not just from San Francisco, but also from the rest of the world. Great stuff, world!

hydrant on 18th & church, SF

11 thoughts on “oh you pretty things

  1. Aloquin says:

    Hi Pete! I also love the details… (and yest, I was riveted by your post, as well). The details in your sketch of Moby Dick’s are wonderful… I feel it would take me longer than an afternoon to render such a drawing. I wonder… what defines your work as “sketches” rather than drawings? The color and details you incorporate seem much more than sketches.

    • pete scully says:

      Thanks! I work quickly, but of course it always takes time.
      Sketching/Drawing… I don’t really care about the distinction some people have between what they see as ‘drawing’ or ‘sketching’, as one person’s definition is always going to be different to the next person. When I am sketching I am still “drawing”. You will know the difference in your own work, I always say. If I’m sitting at home doing a drawing from scratch with all the time and comfort in the world I don’t say I am sketching. If I am sitting on the street, fighting the elements, I am Urban Sketching, which is location drawing. (All of my urban sketches follow the USk manifesto, if any guidelines are needed.) Now, one can do an urban sketch quickly in a lunchbreak, and finish off the colours at home; or even start off with a quick sketch outside and spend ages later finishing the rest from notes or a photo and then a ‘piece’ can be both sketch and drawing – but I have absolutely no interest in debating the subject. I’ve had someone tell me vehemently that one of my sketches can’t be a sketch because it’s not loose and sketchy enough, and this really annoys me because I’ve worked hard at getting to a place where I can draw/sketch with a degree of certainty first time. One person’s sketches are another person’s finished masterpieces, and I’ve never been one to spend time worrying about other people’s definitions.

  2. Jason Pearlman says:

    Great sketches, as always. I’m the same way with Washington, DC; it’s a very architectural city, and in any particular house-oriented neighborhood, there is seemingly an endless of characteristic homes full of detail and color to drawn and sketch.

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