Last Saturday I donated my 1995 Ford Escort to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We scheduled a pick up and just before the appointed time I figured I’d take the opportunity to sketch my old mechanical companion one last time. I did the line work rapidly, as I had only about ten minutes before the appointed time; but the driver was late, so I spent more time on the watercolor than usual. Fourteen years and 100,000 miles! It stranded me once or twice, but was a good car overall.
Here’s a good quote:
At this point, don’t aspire to be great, or even to be original. Aspire to be prolific. That’s an aspiration you can control, and one that can lead — in less time than you might think — to greatness and originality.
That’s from Freehand Drawing & Discovery Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers by James Richards. It’s a highly-recommendable book on location sketching and much more.
Just a quick one – it’s a trick drawing / painting while standing up. Behind them is a mirror and you can see me reflected in it drawing this
I went to water our community garden plot over the weekend and captured some moments there.
I saw these carefully pruned trees in a commercial area of Pasadena the other day, and thought they were funny enough to sketch. After a while I kind of got upset, thinking, “Who does this to a tree?” My first thought was of someone so uncomfortable with Nature’s random beauty that they had to square it off. Then it occurred to me that these are probably not trees at all, in fact they’re more than likely shrubs that grew up to tree-size, and they were probably always squared off, so why stop? It’s actually very funny, intentionally or not. I’d like to think it’s intentional.
I got the old Ford washed over the weekend. I loaded my Noodlers Ahab fountain pen with Lexington Gray ink and did a little sketching.
It’s a little-known fact that in Southern California the hottest month of the year is in fact September. That’s more anecdotal than scientific, but I don’t care, I swear it’s true. It was nice to draw a bit and get my mind off the blistering heat.
I started to draw this man’s wife or girlfriend, but she got up and moved. Oh well…
UPDATE: I did a little color work on these just for fun:
Some sketches from our annual Big Sur camping adventure last month. These are my camping shoes – once, long ago, they were reputable, now they’re so beat up I only take them camping.
One of the many California scrub jays that wait for you to drop something edible.
And this – from a camping dream. It always amazes me the weird dreams I get while camping. I don’t remember much of this except in involved being in some kind of studio and seeing all my drawings, from like my whole life, laid out against the wall in the hallway. I have no idea what that might mean, but in the morning I was compelled to draw it while it was still fresh in my mind…
This is from last night at our local favorite weekly restaurant. They sat by the window (that’s an SUV parked behind them) and never broke eye contact with each other for, I swear, 45 minutes. I got the feeling they’ve been together a long time.
I decided to try a light pencil underdrawing for this one, which I almost never do – as I usually like to draw directly with the fountain pen and just see what happens, but I wanted a slightly more simplified, cartoony technique than usual. ALSO – this is the first sketch I’ve done with my new Noodler’s Ahab fountain pen – what a fantastic pen! Check out this link for more information on the pen – and a fantastically geeked-out video about, well just about everything you’d want to know about the pen and MORE!
A busker in front of the movie theaters in Burbank, 10:pm on a Friday night. Jack and I sketched him together before going in and seeing “The Dark Knight Rises”. Jack said he was playing sad songs about breaking up with a girl. He played almost entirely with his eyes closed. I gave him two dollars. He had quite a few in his tip box already.