Monday, June 29, 2015


Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon: Card Players

Lithia Park

Laurelhurst Park, Portland.

Peninsula Park

I hadn't been to Peninsula Park in decades and we picked a perfect day to go. It was warm and the scents of the roses and the linden trees were intoxicating. Volunteers were manicuring the 5,000 rose bushes, children played in the fountain, the bees buzzed and the birds sang. It was perfect.

I hadn't sketched much lately, so I decided to play it safe and make several little sketches--all on a 5"x8" page. 

After the park, we stopped to get freshly poured honey from a local beekeeper. The bees had been feasting on linden blossoms, so the honey was sweet and mild--and perfect.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Black and White or Color

Last week, I went to the waterfront with some sketcher friends and we drew the dragon boats.

I never got to the painting, so my boats do't show any of the vibrant colors that we saw. Of course, with watercolor, mine never would look bright. Someone thought it had the look of a woodblock.  I may try making a linocut  print. 

On Saturday, the Urban Sketchers of Portland went to the Sunnyside neighborhood and some of us sketched the people painting the sunflower in the street intersection. I tried ink and then found that it was easier for me to capture loose gestures using my magic mulit-colored pencil. 

Still, the colors were far from the magic of the colors of  life.

By afternoon, another sketcher and I sketched in the shade of the trees and structures of the Sunnyside Enviromental School. Most of the colors here were greens and browns and grays. When adding the watercolor, I realized  that my new Sailor calligraphy pen I had tried had water soluble ink, so any colors I used would be mixed with black. I decided to go for a limited palette.

On Sunday, I had a very short time for a downtown sketch, so I went for the minimalist approach. The car (one of my least favorite things to draw) came after I started and there was no way to work around it. Just as I packed up, the driver pulled away.

I love color, but I always feel more comfortable with black and white...and maybe an accent or two.