Saturday, July 28, 2012

Last sketches from San Luis Obispo

My goodness, you can tell it's a good sketching trip when, a month later, you still haven't gotten all the scans posted! Here are some sketches that I did while exploring San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles last month--focused on historic buildings and neighborhood scenes.

Híjole, es obvio que dibujé mucho en mi visita a San Luis Obispo y Paso Robles: una mez ya ha pasado y ¡todavía no he compartido todos mis bosquejos!  Aquí hay algunos dibujos que hice al explorar la cuidad, enfocados en edificios y vecindarios históricos.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sketching Stroll

This trio watercolor sketches are from a walk we did with the "Ten Toe Express" group, who paired up with Muse Art + Design to inject an art theme into their normal neighborhood strolls. It was fun to be out with around 30 walkers, sketchers, and photographers, admiring the neighborhoods of SE Portland at an "artistic pace!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Elfin Forest in Morro Bay

While visiting Grandma in San Luis Obispo, I biked out to the "Elfin Forest" to go sketching one bright sunny morning. These oaks, while also very old, are much more compact and slow-slung than the trees at the Los Osos Oak preserve I had sketched the day before.
I wanted to hop off the boardwalk and crawl into the snug, shady spaces underneath these lovely craggy trees and spend the day there, listening to the bumblebees and staring at the patterns of the branches...alas that my time in town was so short! But I did get to admire the lovely fractal patterns of the estuary before I biked back into town.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Los Osos Oaks

While visiting my grandmother earlier this month, I took a bike ride to the Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve. I'm already a fan of oak trees, but this particular spot simply knocked my socks off--gorgeous grizzled coast live oaks that are estimated to be around 800 years old, and have a ton of character and expression in their branches.

There were so many amazing shapes to explore that I quickly realized it would be good to fill my sketchbook with little thumbnail sketches, to catch as many snippets as possible while I wandered around. In the margins around each mini-sketch, I've got notes on wildlife--lizard behavior, transcriptions of unfamiliar birdsong, etc. (Click on the image to get a zoomed-in version.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Waking up on the Train

I've been posting a lot from the overnight train trip that I took to San Luis Obispo at the end of June. One of the highlights of that trip was opening my eyes early in the morning and seeing this sunrise whooshing by the windows right in front of me, somewhere north of Sacramento:

It's great to travel with watercolors. Yes indeed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hills of San Luis Obispo

Whenever I travel to the central California coast, I just adore the rolling hills that are dotted craggy old oak trees. As I came into town on the train this summer, my speed-sketching brain of course tried to capture some sense of that distinct and lovely landscape.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Waterscapes from a Moving Train

On my recent 25-hour train trip from Portland, OR to San Luis Obispo, CA, I had a great time sketching the landscapes as quick as I could as they flew by the train windows. This little trio was from when the train entered the northern section of the "Bay Area" of California, near the cities of Martinez and Richmond.

 The stumps of old piers that have long since rotted away are a visual delight.

Using a black brush pen and a gray brush pen really lets me get a scene established fairly quickly, with a degree of depth despite the speed.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Postcards from the Train

Last week I took a train ride from Portland, Oregon to San Luis Obispo, California. Some folks might find the idea of a 25-hour train ride to be daunting. I found it to be a great opportunity to sketch out a heap of little postcards to send to friends!

 See more after the jump...