barn on the thirteenth of july

bikebarn, uc davisAnd now for a short break from France sketches to see a sketch from July 13th, which of course is the day before the French national holiday, Bastille Day. This is the UC Davis Bike Barn, yes, even looking like this. Regular tuners-in will remember I have drawn several times since taking up Davis sketching, but now it appears to be undergoing some reconstruction. It looks sad with the windows boarded up, but signposts indicate the Bike Barn is still operating during the building work. So much building work on campus right now…

Below are most of the sketches I have done of the Bike Barn over the past nine years, not including the ones of the other side of the building (which looks very similar). I wouldn’t mind, but I hate drawing bikes.


sketch bikebarnthe ucd bike barnback to the bike barn

Above: September 2006, October 2006, January 2007.

a part of the bike barnno leaves for yourainy rainy daybikebarn

Above: August 2007, January 2008, March 2009, April 2010

uc davis bike barn february blossombikebarn, uc davis

Above: January 2011, February 2011, August 2011, October 2013

uc davis bike barnbike barn blossomthe bike barn

Above: October 2013, March 2014 (x2)

barn of bikes

the bike barn
Another of those wooden campus buildings; in fact this is the same building as in the last post, just seen from the other side. This is the UC Davis Bike Barn, which yes I have sketched many times. I did this on Friday lunchtime; the ink anyhow, I added the colour later on. All of those boxes in the foreground were moved away right after I sketched them, so I’m glad I drew them, they add something. Davis loves its bikes. The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame is here in Davis, and this really is a great place to be a cyclist. I commute to work each day on my bike, and laugh at those who drive and pay loads of parking. I muts admit though I don’t like drawing bikes, especially when there are loads all parked together outside a building – quite common here in Davis. But I like drawing the Bike Barn.

adventures outdoors

former home of outdoor adventures, uc davis
The building formerly known as Outdoor Adventures. This is at the rear of the Bike Barn, and is another of those old wooden buildings I am currently sketching through on the UC Davis campus.I drew this all in a lunchtime, and added the colour later on (didn’t need little notes or photo references – I know what this building looks like, I pass it every single day). When Outdoor Adventures was based here, there would be canoes parked out the front, people walking tightropes suspended between the trees, all manner of fun happening. Now they have moved to another part of campus and the tightrope walkers are gone, but it does kind of make the building a bit easier to draw when the activity is gone.

I suppose you could call urban sketching on location a form of outdoor adventure. I don’t know if it’s actually adventurous half the time, but it is fun.


bike barn blossom
Blossom. There is a lot of it these days, Spring is in full force. This is at the side of the UC Davis Bike Barn, sketched one sunny lunchtime. I do love pink blossom, it brightens up the world.

and the seasons they go round and round

south silo on a chinese envelope

Here is another familiar scene, but drawn in a different way, at lunchtime today. My recycling bin is always bursting at the seams at this time of year, so I like to recycle the nicer brown envelopes for some sketching. I used a different pen, a black Y&C Calligraphy pen from Japan (well, from the University Art store in Sacramento), which was really fun to draw with. I have drawn this same view, of the south Silo from the steps of Bainer Hall,¬†every six months since mid-2007, once in Winter, once in Summer, once with leaves and once without. One way to capture the changing Davis seasons. Here are the others…

view from bainer uc davissouth silo uc davisthe view from bainer, againbikebarn from bainer (yet again)bike barn from bainerlunchtime sketch by the hog barnrainy rainy daysmoky and the bikebarnno leaves for youuc davis trees encore

the more i see, the more i know

bikebarn, uc davis

I wonder how many times I have sketched this building over the past few years? I don’t think I ever sketched it as directly head on as this. The UC Davis Bike Barn, drawn on Strathmore watercolour paper. I actually omitted one element from this drawing, a rather weedy looking mini-tree in the foreground that I didn’t want to draw, as it would take away from the detail of the building. I don’t like the tree anyway. I still miss the bigger tree that used to stand to the left of this drawing, which was a nice place to sit beneath and eat lunch or sketch, until it blew over in a big windstorm back in October 2006 (wow, I’ve been here a while). I remember that day; the smell of grassfires was everywhere, as the wind blew across the tinder-dry landscape (it has been a hellish hot summer), and trees were down, and fire tucks were busy. It’s always a shame when a big tree just goes. So it wasn’t really a shame for me to eliminate the small little tree from the drawing. It’s still there in real life.

It’s another hot Davis summer. Well, when I say hot I mean it’s been in the 90s, so therefore not a hot Davis summer. We’ve hit the hundreds a few times this year but not as often as in the past, thankfully. It’s still pretty toasty when you’re cycling home in it though. I’m not a fan of the heat, though it’s better than the bad weather I’ve had on my last two London trips. I’m Californian now, but still British enough to moan about the weather, hot or cold.

meet the new boss, same as the old boss

view from bainer uc davis

I sketch this every six months, once in the winter, once in the summer. It’s been a routine since about 2007. Sometimes I do a lot of detail and it takes me a couple of lunchtimes, and other times I go quickly and do the lot in one fifty-minute sitting. Above is one of the latter. I did it last week using a green micron 02 pen and a black micron 05, colouring in watercolour as always.

To see the one I did in January, with all of the previous ones in the same post, have a look here.