sketchcrawl sunday scavengers


Last Sunday we held the latest “Let’s Draw Davis!” sketchcrawl in downtown Davis, starting at the Amtrak Station and finishing up at Mansion Square. This one was, unlike the other ones I’ve organized in Davis, a “scavenger sketch-hunt”. I provided everyone with a list of things at the start, things which could be found in that section of downtown Davis, and they had to draw between 8-12 of them to win a sticker at the end. In truth, just getting to the end meant you got a sticker, but it’s a good fun way to explore and have ideas of things to draw. I think everyone really enjoyed it! I was told it helps some people get over the “what should I draw” conundrum, like Inktober or Every Day Matters – little prompts, totally optional. I’ll do that again.


The list is as follows:

  1. The Amtrak Station (or part of)
  2. A Fire Hydrant
  3. A Bicycle
  4. A Piece of Public Art (sculpture, mural)
  5. A Giraffe
  6. A Public Pay-phone
  7. A Musical Instrument
  8. Another Sketcher
  9. A Barber’s Shop
  10. A Bottle
  11. A Street Sign
  12. The Varsity Theatre (or just the sign)

For the record, I managed eight of them – numbers 1, 2 (obviously, come on), 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Here’s why I didn’t get all 12 – I draw fast, but not that fast. No, not just that. IT RAINED ALL DAY! Unusual for Davis. But I spent some of the summer sketching in Manchester so it felt a little familiar. It wasn’t raining when we started, and we had quite the turnout (around 25 sketchers) despite the threat of rain. A lot of people set up across from the station to sketch it, and I sketched some of them – and then the rain came, and it didn’t stop until, haha, right after the sketchcrawl finished. Like, immediately afterwards, blue skies. Ah well. So, here are my sketches of the sketchers Jesse, Omar and Emily:


As you can see, splotches of rain started slowly splashing onto the page as I sketched Omar and Jesse; I had to duck under cover when adding colour to Emily’s sketch.


Here is my sketch of the Amtrak Station, sketched in a dry spot next to the building opposite. Most sketchers had ducked for cover, but there is one with a brolly (a few others held umbrellas and sketched too but didn’t last as long as that sketcher!).


Yeah it was raining hard when I sketched this bike. I was stood beneath a shopfront awning and the rain was still getting to me, so I just painted it quickly. I had wanted to sketch either the large giraffe statue or the giraffe bench opposite this on F Street, but the rain was too heavy to get a decent vantage-point.


I did have a nice dry spot to sketch the Davis Barber Shop though. I have never sketched this place before, and should really sketch inside some day. I was glad they were open on Sundays. The barber was kind enough to let other sketchers in to sketch, and I think he liked my rendition of the outside. I kept it simple and didn’t add paint, as I wanted to move on.


I have sketched the Varsity a million times before and this day was so rainy and grey that I didn’t need to worry about that blue sky bringing out the white building or the shadows cast beneath it, however the pink and blue of the neon sign was too cool to pass up. I added a blueish grey marker to the foreground tree.


Right, a few items to check off the scavenger hunt list. The street sign, obvious. The bottle, that was at De Vere’s though I had included a bottle on the list just to advertise my show at Putah creek Winery, basically, in case people went by there. And the trumpet, fulfilling the ‘musical instrument’ sketch. Actually it is a coronet, and I sketched it at Watermelon Music on E St, which will be vacating its downtown spot at the end of the year and relocating to West Davis, due to the new landlords downtown forcing all these local businesses to close. Yes, some tough times ahead for downtown. Well, I like Watermelon, and bought some guitar strings as I am inspired now (after seeing Paul McCartney live in Sacramento recently – wow that was awesome! My 12 year old Macca-obsessed past self was smiling down on me that night). Several other sketchers had been in drawing stuff, they didn’t seem to mind too much, and I asked if it was ok if I drew too. I’ll miss them; I probably won’t cycle out to West Davis, see, kinda far for me.


Yeah, the rain was getting a bit much so time for an interior, and where else but De Vere’s. This time I drew the familiar bar but played a bit with the colours and I LOVE it, that blue and yellow. I’ll do more of that. I had a nice stout, good choice on a drizzly day.

And then we all met up at the end, well about a quarter of those who had started, and I gave out more stickers such as those ones below. I hope everyone had fun! The next Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl will be on Saturday November 12, at Vanderhoef Quad on the UC Davis campus, starting at 10:30am. I’ll post a poster soon!

an evening at the winery

putah creek winery show oct2016 sm

Last Friday I opened a month-long show at Putah Creek Winery, with an artist’s reception (well, meet-and-greet) as part of the Downtown Davis 2nd Friday ArtAbout. I’ve done some of those before. This one was in the narrow tasting room on F Street, with my sketches hung at slightly different heights all along the wall. I have ten pieces in there, two from London and eight from Davis, covering buildings new and old (or in a few cases, gone). There was a decent turn-out, quite a few popping in to see my art and many more to taste the wine. I am not a particular wine buff myself, I know there is rputah creek winery show oct2016 greged, and white, and there’s rose, and green (in the green bottles), and sparkling and still, and dry, and wet, I guess, but other than that I’m a bit of a novice. I never tasted any of the wine at this winery. “Don’t mix the grape and the rain”, they always say, for it did finally rain last Friday quite a lot, which might have affected turnout, or perhaps everyone was out watching Pajamarino, the Aggie tradition being held at the same time just a block away. It’s where people dress up in pajamas – sorry, pyjamas, I forgot myself there – to welcome back the Aggies for their Homecoming Game. The Aggies is the college football team. Anyway. while chatting art, I did sketch the scene with all my drawings on the wall (above), and I also sketched the wine pourer Greg (right).

I had a few of my other bits and pieces on display, my two books, fliers for my sketchbook show and the sketchcrawl on October 16, as well as several mugs featuring my Davis sketches which were for sale. Sadly nobody bought the mugs. Not one, not a single bunny. Ah well. Here are some photos, including me in my lovely Sampdoria shirt.

Someone did buy a sketch though! The rest are on sale now until November 9th.

art about at putah creek winery


This Friday, October 14, if you are in downtown Davis (“or even if you’re not”, as that late-night TV ad used to say), why not come to Putah Creek Winery on F Street (near the Hallmark Inn) and say “hello” and look at some of my sketches? They will be hanging on the walls, as you do in a winery, and I will be there to tell you about sketching and why it’s so fun. And also I will remind you about the “Let’s Draw Davis” Sketchcrawl coming up this Sunday October 16. I’ll also say, hey why not check out my sketchbook show at the UCD Design Museum, “Conversations with the City”? I will probably tell you to go and get my new book as well, “Five-Minute-Sketching: People”. I’ve been pretty art-busy lately (not to mention work-busy and coaching-soccer-busy). It’s also “Pajamarino” in downtown Davis that evening, look that one up, it’s an ancient Davis tradition I have never been to. So, if you fancy trying some wine, seeing some sketches, talking about Moleskines vs Seawhites (they are sketchbooks, not ice hockey teams), come on down…

WHEN: Friday October 14th, 5pm-8pm

WHERE: Putah Creek Winery, F St, Davis CA

Hope to see you there!

Event announcement on Downtown Davis

The Pitzer Center…finally finished!


After more than a year covering its construction, preceded by several years sketching the old Boiler Building on this spot, then documenting its demolition, the Ann E. Pitzer Center is finally open. This is the new Music Recital Hall for the UC Davis campus, a state-of-the-art performance and teaching facility. This past weekend was the opening weekend of performances, and on Saturday evening I attended the Faculty and Students of UC Davis concert, choosing a seat near the back to not only get as good a view for a long-awaited interior sketch, but also to test the acoustics of this new space. They are very good. I drew most of the room before the performance started, and just added the performers of the first piece once they took to the stage; I spent the rest of the time just sitting taking in the beautiful music. Many of the performances were amazing, and so varied, a lesson in the history of music, but for me this first piece was the best bit. Members of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra played “Crisantemi” (“Chrysanthemums”) by Puccini, and it was just beautiful, haunting, elegant. The music comes right back to me when I look at the sketch. That is the thing about sketching – you can show, and you can even demonstrate your feelings in the lines, but unless you were actually there, you weren’t there, and I wish you could hear the music I still hear when I see it. I enjoyed this event, and the shiny clean newness of the building. I must make an effort to see some more events there.


I did get an outside sketch of the back of the building before the concert, though it was a little rushed, and the green grass a little forced.


I did do another one on Monday in pencil, of the view with the tall Sproul Hall behind it. I wanted to get one last sketch of this view, as this was the same view from when I sketched the Boiler Building back in 2011.And for all that I like this new building, and the beautiful music that it will host from here onwards, this view made me a little sad to think about the old Boiler Building, crumbling, idle, full of cobwebs and rust. I loved sketching that old place. Looking at Sproul in the background, though, I think I’m better at perspective now…

Old Boiler Building

Let’s Draw Davis! October 16, 2016


Join us for another sketchcrawl in downtown Davis, on Sunday October 16th! We will begin at 10:30am, meeting outside the Amtrak Station (2nd Street), and then sketch individually or in groups (as you prefer), before finishing up at 3:30pm at Mansion Square (corner of 2nd and E Streets), to look at each others sketchbooks.

START: 10:30am, Davis Amtrak Station

FINISH: 3:30pm, Mansion square (2nd/E St)

This sketchcrawl will also be a scavenger hunt – I will provide a list of things to look for and sketch, see if you can sketch ’em all!

This is FREE and open to everyone who likes sketching, all ages and levels. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on!


I hope to see you there.


Cruess Hall Sept 2016
Cruess Hall, UC Davis; this is where the previously aforementioned exhibition of my sketchbooks, “Conversations with the City”, is going on RIGHT NOW, Mondays-Fridays 12-4pm, Sundays 2-4pm, Sept 19 – Nov 13, at the UC Davis Design Museum. I sketched this on Sunday because I needed another sketch of Cruess for a different unrelated project. I haven’t actually had time to go and see the exhibit since it opened; this week has been a touch busy. Hopefully soon, I can’t wait to see what the folks at the UCD Design Museum have done!

Conversations with the City


Opening next week, I have an exhibition of my sketchbooks at the UC Davis Design Museum titled “Conversations with the City“. The exhibition, curated by UC Davis professors James Housefield and Tim¬†McNeil, will display ten years of my sketchbooks, including every single one of those watercolour Moleskines, plus my fire hydrants (and other metal pipes) book from 2011, plus my recent accordion panorama of UC Davis, plus many more. You won’t be able to flick through the books, however there will be some sort of display where you can look through the digital scans of each book and display them on a screen.This will come with an opening reception with a special talk by myself on Thursday October 6th, from 6pm.

I can hardly believe it’s come around already. Posters have gone up all over campus, including some full-page ones, and above is one of the folded fliers from outside the Design Museum, which is located in Cruess Hall. There have been a couple of nice articles posted, one in the Davis Enterprise and one in UC Davis Dateline (“Our Urban Sketcher”). I’ve been sketching in Davis for over a decade now, and it’s really interesting to see the progression in my books, even just in the past few years. This year at UC Davis is called “Year of the Arts” – the Manetti Shrem will be opening, as well as the Pitzer Center, as you may have gathered from my many sketches of them – and in the posters my show is kicking it off, which is tremendously exciting; it’s actually my first proper exhibition on campus, believe it or not. The title of the exhibit comes from something I always say about sketching not just being about drawing your surroundings, but about interacting with them, having a conversation with your city, listening to it speak through the act of your drawing. Plus, fun fact, I actually talk to fire hydrants.

So if you are in Davis between September 19 and November 13, and would like to see my books on display, come along to the UC Davis Design Museum in Cruess Hall from Monday to Friday, 12-4pm, or on Sundays from 2-4pm. Entry is free. I’ll be in from time to time to have a look at them, so if you see me do say hello, I’ll be happy to ramble on about sketching, I’m never short of things to say on that subject! (Wait, come back! I haven’t told you about curvilinear perspective!”)¬† Or come along to the reception and talk on October 6th, when I will talk about my work, about Urban Sketchers, sketchcrawls, and Why You Should Keep A Sketchbook. I hope to see you there!

Announcement on UC Davis Arts website:

“Conversations with the City: Pete Scully, Urban Sketcher”, UC Davis Design Museum, Cruess Hall. September 19 – November 13, 2016, Mon-Fri: 12-4pm, Sun 2-4pm; Free.