September 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM
You can never sketch the Fremont Troll enough. More here.
(Four-color BIC pen on 5.5″ by 8.5″ Stillman And Birn Gamma Series sketchbook.)
I’m hardly a lonesome sketcher in Seattle, and that makes me really happy. Every third Sunday of the month I can go sketching with the Seattle Urban Sketchers. And every other month —or so it seems— sketchers from other cities come to visit. Hello, Tommy Kane, Marty Harris and Jim Bumgarner.
Seattle is such a sketch-friendly city that if you move here temporarily, as Joshua Boulet did last fall, you may find it very hard to leave.
Boulet, 35, is a comic book artist, illustrator and sketcher originally from Texas whose work I just discovered a few months ago. I was particularly captivated by his book, Draw Occupy Wall Street, an engaging visual account he inked while living at Zuccoti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy movement in New York City.
Draw Occupy Wall Street, by Joshua Boulet
Recently, Boulet illustrated the ‘Best of Seattle‘ issue of Seattle Weekly with lively ink drawings that captured the pulse of the city. They showed politicians clapping during the unveiling of Bertha, the waterfront tunneling machine, live music performances by the best local singers and patrons lining up at the city’s favorite bakery.
After some exchanges online, Boulet and I finally had a “sketching date” this morning. And as you would expect from two guys crazy about drawing from life, we talked non-stop on the matter. I told him I’ve been experimenting with Bic pen and watercolor, as you can see from the drawings at the top of this post. Then he showed me his tricked-out Pilot Pen that he fills with Dr. Ph. Martin Black India ink. This is the kind of stuff that makes sketchers bond. We drew each other at the Fremont Coffee Company and then we headed to sketch the Fremont Troll. You can never sketch the troll enough!
Boulet recalled the first time he saw the Troll. He stumbled upon it by accident, he said, and took that as a sign that he made the right decision to move to Seattle. I can relate to that. An introduction to the Fremont Troll will make any artist feel welcomed to this city.
Now, let’s hope Boulet will stick around. Seattle needs to see more of his talent.
July 16, 2013 at 5:03 PM
The number of amazing scenic locations along the Pacific coast between Seattle and San Francisco is too many to count. How do you even start planning a road trip?
For our week-long vacation, my wife, Michelle, and I decided to make stops in Newport, Ore., and McKinleyville, Calif., before arriving to our destination, a hotel facing the ocean in Pacifica, south of San Francisco. We had stayed there 12 years ago, before we got married, and loved it. Why not repeat?
Except Pacifica and San Francisco, the rest of the trip was a new experience for us and for our two kids. We visited the aquarium in Newport, got our feet wet in desolate beaches along the coast, admired the majestic redwoods in Humboldt County and saw a colony of sea lions from a bluff in Moss Beach, Calif.
Though I don’t feel like drawing as much as I used to on my time off — I already sketch for my job! — I could not keep my hands away from the sketchbook to record some of those precious moments. If you have recommendations for a future coastal trip, perhaps closer to home, I’m all ears!
April 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM
Sketched April 21, 2013
The parents of one of my daughter’s classmates are taking recycling to a new level. Inspired by TerraCycle’s Drink Pouch Brigade, they’ve been collecting used CapriSun drink pouches and turning them into cool lunch bags.
Last Sunday, they hosted a work party at their home, and kids helped create and decorate one-of-a-kind artsy bags using a sewing machine. When the school holds its annual Art Walk fundraiser a few weeks from now, these bags will be part of the items on display. Isn’t that cool?
I was impressed with the sewing skills of my fellow school parent Steve Engel. “It’s hard to be a man,” he joked, claiming that his wife had the idea and just made him do the work. My daughter was mesmerized by the process and now wants a sewing machine for her birthday. If only my 76-year-old mom, who worked as a seamstress, could have seen her!
December 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM
Last Saturday was the 13th Annual Drawing Jam at Gage Academy of Art, a top art school in Seattle where they are very rigorous about drawing from life — a principle I practice religiously! Hundreds of people show up for the Jam, where you can draw your heart out painting a cadre of models. Picture Benjamin Franklin, the Seafair Pirates, musicians, theater performers, you name them.
For some reason, this year they also let an odd performer into the mix: yours truly! My gig as a model consisted in sketching people while they sketched me, something Gage Communications Director Mark Livingston envisioned as a “through the looking-glass” sort of experience.
I was flattered by the invitation and the one-hour session was much less nerve-racking than I anticipated. Thanks to Stillman & Birn, which provided sketchbooks to everyone in the room, the session became a bit more like urban sketching and less like studio drawing, though some artists still used big easels, rendering almost life-size representations of my big nose. I was quite impressed!
September 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Sketched Sept. 10, 2012 [Click on the sketch to see a larger version]
A usual scene for us bus commuters. Sketched on one of those mini pocket sketchbooks I’m really digging lately.
September 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM
Sketched Sept. 3, 2012 [Click on sketch to enlarge]
Remember that mini pocket sketchbook I blogged about recently?
I’m really enjoying it. You’d think a 5″ x 4″ spread is too small to draw wide open scenes, but they’re doable. Look, I even fit Mount Rainier here while I watched the horse races at Emerald Downs on Labor Day.
August 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM
A couple of 7.5″ x 5.5″ spreads from my pocket sketchbook, drawn with that 0.4 Pilot G-Tec-C4 pen I showed you last week.
Olympic Sculpture Park: The opportunity to sketch great sculptures like these pieces by Richard Serra doesn’t present itself every day. I only had 10 minutes to spare but decided to open the notebook for a quick “drive-by” sketch, or, call it a “walk-by” sketch. The time limitation always presents a challenge, because it forces you to simplify.
Bedlam Coffee terrace: Sketching with friends outside Bedlam Coffee in Belltown. Weather was perfect this weekend, wasn’t it?
August 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Sketched Aug. 18, 2012
A wedding party arrived at the Wallingford Dick’s Drive-In as I was sitting in the car with my family, ready to enjoy our ice cream. My wife took a few photos with her iPhone and I made this quick sketch in my pocket sketchbook. The bride and groom later stood in the parking lot near their limo to eat their burgers and fries. You gotta love Seattle’s best-known drive-in!
More drawings at Dick’s from the Sketcher archives:
Mr. Spady, I vote for a Dick’s Drive-in in Lynnwood
I had my first hamburger at Dick’s drive-in
On Veterans Day, I say thank you to Dick Spady, of Dick’s drive-in
August 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM
It’s Friday! That means I’m only one bus away from not having to take the bus until next week.
You know, the bus is my main form of transportation in Seattle and I sometimes use the commuting time to sketch.
Lately, I’ve been practicing semi-blind contours of fellow passengers engrossed in their reading or lost in their own thoughts.
A pure blind contour means you keep your eye in the subject and draw without looking at the paper. In a semi-blind contour, you can look at the paper while you draw, but the idea is to do it as little as possible. In both cases, it helps to keep the pen on the paper and draw in a continuous flow.
For these mini sketches I use a 2.5″ x 4″ Moleskine Volant mini notebook and alternate between my Lamy Safari Fountain pen, a Uniball Vision pen or a pencil, whatever tool I happen to have in my shirt pocket at the moment.
Let me know if you try this. It’s a great exercise to improve your hand-eye coordination!
June 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Sketched June 26, 9:03 p.m. [Click to enlarge]
Fifteen-minutes pencil sketch while riding the bus home last night. Drawing fellow bus commuters is what got me hooked on urban sketching when I moved to Seattle in 2006.
Staedler Mars-780 leadholder with HB graphite lead on 8″ by 6″ pocket sketchbook spread.
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