a bright centre to the universe

Columbus Avenue (not "St"), San Francisco. Click image to see bigger.

Columbus Avenue (not “St”), San Francisco. Click image to see bigger.

It was getting a bit nippy by the mid afternoon in San Francisco, but I had a lot of drawing left to do. I wanted one more panorama, and I wanted it in one of my favourite spots in the city, that bit of Columbus Avenue (not ‘Street’ as I always write it) by Jack Kerouac Alley, with City Lights Books and Vesuvio. I like how this street slants down and I have drawn it before looking downhill to the financial district, but never from here. I stood for an hour and a bit sketching before it started to rain a little, and had to finish off the window shading later on. God I love San Francisco sometimes. Anyway I have always wanted to sketch inside Vesuvio, so I popped in for a couple of pints of Anchor Steam and sketched the scene below. This place merits a whole lot of sketching, it’s so full of detail and character. I love bars like this at Christmas time.

Vesuvio, San Francisco

After this, I made the odd decision to walk through Chinatown to Union Square, five days before Christmas, which was a bit manic but hey, I once worked on Oxford Street at Christmas time. I got my bus to the train at Emeryville, and went back to Davis, tired and full of sketches.

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11 thoughts on “a bright centre to the universe

  1. Sheryl C says:

    I love both of these! So much detail and yet you only took ‘an hour and a bit’ for the panorama…I envy your speed and ability. I’m an urban sketcher too, but I’m still working up to tackling something on this scale.

    • pete scully says:

      Cheers! I have always drawn small but I like the two page panoramas now. They are a time commitment. It’s only when I’m travelling or on time constraints I rush it and I can sometimes get more done in an hour than I can in three on another day. I did a panorama yesterday, not as detailed, which took two hours on site (ink only). Sometimes it’s good to do the more repetitive detailing or the dark windows for example later on, and get all the essentials on site. Most important thing to capture onsite is visual perspective, that way you are relying on your two eyes, which see in 3D.

  2. Linda Daily says:

    Pete, what a great panorama!
    That block to so interesting and full of character. I hope North Beach manages to stay somewhat the same. I will be there for a few days starting Sat. and can’t wait!

  3. johnberk says:

    Great! I love the pub interior Vesuvio. I have never been there, but it gave me a chill, because it resembles one bar I tend to go quite often. I think your coloring is outstanding.

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