1 January 23

Weekend Building Sketching

It’s a very different world now than when we were last blogging but with the implosion underway in social media it feels timely to restart the habit. We will see how we do with the activity in 2023.

I have a daily sketching practice, always of objects from life. On weekdays I tend not to have time to venture out and often this means I do a quick sketch of something in the kitchen, vegetables being frequent choices. But on weekends I sally forth to find a building to sketch. At some point a year ago I decided I needed more practice sketching buildings so this became a weekly habit. I don’t go far as a rule, either on foot in the neighborhood or sometimes over to campus either on foot or on bike.

My daily sketches are in a 5.5” × 5.5” notebook. I am currently using a Hahnemühle watercolor sketchbook, which has exquisite 100% cotton paper. Having good watercolor paper for the sketchbook is fun because the paper tolerates a lot of abuse. My sketches are done with some combination of watercolor, watercolor pencil, and ink, but how I deploy these varies from sketch to sketch and week to week. Here are three examples of my building sketches from my current sketchbook.

An ink and watercolor sketch of a house with a tree trunk and a lamppost in front of it. The sketch at left is of a house across the street from the local food co-op, which is conveniently only a couple of blocks away. The ink work is with two sepia Faber-Castell pens, one of them a brush pen, another a fine-tipped marker pen.

A square format painting of the roofs of two houses behind a wooden fence. This painting at right is from yesterday. I didn’t actually go outside to paint this, since it was raining all day (we got 1.94” of rain in the storm, and San Francisco got a near-record 5.46” of rain yesterday). So I looked out through the window in my office at home to paint. It is entirely in gouache, which I am not very experienced with and find a little cumbersome to use in the field. Not a problem looking out my window though.

Three pine trees and a deciduous tree in front of the windowless side of a multistory building. At left is today’s sketch, which is of Young Hall on the UC Davis campus. I sketched this in a combination of watercolor and colored pencil.

Posted by at 04:49 PM in Design Arts | Link |
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