Monday, March 28, 2011

Death Valley: Thursday-Friday, March 24-25, 2011.

The Dunes.
On Day 2 we went to the Dunes.  I hoped and planned on doing a bunch of watercolors at the dunes, unfortunately, I did not really think ahead!  Sand and wind were my enemy, and they were at their most sandy and windy.

I did find that drawing at the dunes was OK, but I was having pen troubles.  I ran out of Noodler's ink, an ink introduced to me by Dean Gustafson, and my fountain pen did not like to go back to my old ink.

Here is my first Watercolor of the day, and the most successful.  The wind and sand held off for most of the time I was painting this one, but slowly crept up on me.  My colors started to seem really granulated!  I thought that perhaps my paints were old, but it was sand!  Very quickly after that my pallet began to fill with sand and I had to stop and clean it out.

2nd and last watercolor of the day.  It got really comic! My pallet was full of sand, and the sand was sticking to all the wet areas of the painting!  The cool thing, actually, was that when the painting was dry and I wiped off all the sand particles  an interesting effect was left behind, so maybe it was not so bad after all!  If I ever get to try this again I'll just have to figure out how to protect the pallet.  


Dunes simplified.

I really loved trying to get the flow of the Dunes, even if I did not quite succeed.

Some Pencil attempts...
Another thing I failed to take into account was the time of day.  We were at the Dunes in the middle of the day, from noon to about 3:30, so there were not many shadows.  The Dunes were very bright when the sun was out and flat when the cloud cover arrived.  Early morning and late evening are the best times to see the Dunes.  I'll know better next time.

Non photo blue pencil...

Friday, Day 3.  This small range of mountain shapes was to be found opposite the entrance to the Hole in the Wall wash where we were camped.  I was pretty obsessed with wanting to draw and paint this particular part of that range.  It's the front part of what is called 20 Mule Team Canyon.

The same mountain again, in watercolor.

My second attempt, a little smaller.  I think this came out better.  I should have kept going with the watercolors, instead I moved on to Zabriski Point to try an Oil.
My last drawing of the trip.  At Zabriski Point.  The shadows were very deep and lovely at this time of day but I chose to ignore them in favor of just capturing the lines of the hills.  I took lots of photos, so perhaps I'll do some work from those later on.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Drawing in Death Valley.

Death Valley: Day 1. Wednesday March 23rd.

Zabriski Point.
My first drawing at Zabriski Point, looking up the walkway and out over the northern uplifting ridges.

Zabriski PointWow, what a view.  I was sitting down below the large overlooking view area, almost out of sight of most of the other tourists.  I could overhear people talking to one another in a variety of foreign languages, mostly German and Japanese, some French.   

Zabriski Point.
The view is just breathtaking.  Drawing it was both maddening and really, really fun!

Painters Pallet
This is a hasty sketch of a small part of the area called "painters Pallet".  This is part of a one way drive through a portion of the main valley. It features some wide vistas and narrow washes.  Amazing!

Painters Pallet
I loved the view of this dramatic wash, also in Painters Pallet.  I wanted to return to this site to paint but did not have time.

Hole in the Wall Wash.
Our Campsite, from under our shade/rain structure. We camped near the end of the Hole in the Wall Wash, a rough and tumble, undeveloped camping area!

Dante's View
This was my first drawing at Death Valley.  Done at one of the highest viewing points, Dante's View.  Wow!  You can see almost the entire valley.  At some points your view can cause some serious vertigo!

Dante's View
Trying to draw a vista this large is humbling, but super fun!

Dante's View
For this drawing I hiked down the path, off the main viewing area.  It kept going, so I did too, until I could get a better view, almost straight down the valley.  It was downhill, so it was pretty easy, not so, climbing out!

This drawing was done at the very bottom of the same valley sketched above.

Painters Pallet.
This is just the beginning of Painters Pallet.  I really wanted to do some watercolors here, but sadly, I was not able to get back.  The visit was much too short.  So, I'll just have to go back!  My thoughts before the trip were that I would mostly do watercolors while in the park, instead I ended up doing a lot more drawing, which was a revelation in itself.  I really enjoyed doing these drawings.  I was using my Namiki fountain pen with Noodler's Ink on this first day.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Drawing @ Cafe Van Kleef, Oakland, ca.

 Drawing at Cafe Van Kleef, Downtown Oakland, ca.  The place is cluttered beyond belief with all sorts of fantastic kipple and decor.  They also had a hot jazz band to keep us boppin'. Dr Abacus! They played a hot version of the Sesame street theme.
In attendance were myself, Sebastian.  Jason Courtney, Dean Gustafson, Dvora Kline and her friend Katie.

More attempts at drawing the strange angle I had on the
band.  I'll have to try again sometime.
Looking out from below the stage at the south
side of the bar, which is a long skinny space.
Dr. Abacus, from way down below...

 Jason Courtney's great sketches, along with his comments on the evening: Here, the bar scene facing away from the stage.

Dvora's friend Katie. The jazz quintet! Uh, that is, two members of the quintet and leftover marti gras and new years decorations.

the cabaret singer, Alison Lovejoy.
An appreciative audience. 
This guy came over and blocked my view as I was drawing the people above, so I expressed my annoyance by drawing him as uncharitably as possible. He didn't actually look quite so much like Freddy Krueger.
 The jazz band came back on after the singer and rocked the house and brought everybody out onto the dance floor. Except for me, and one other couple across the room. The guy seemed too absorbed in hisMacbook to notice there was music, and she seemed a little annoyed and bored with that. This is a collage of multiple pages of sketches to illustrate the scene.

More appreciative audience members from earlier, with some charming decor.

Monday, March 14, 2011

25th Anniversary of Triple Rock Brewing in Berkeley!

Dean Gustafson.  
While Drawing at Triple Rock we noticed a flyer telling us of the 25th anniversary celebration, coming the following Monday!  So, we came back and did some more drawing while enjoying their re-created "First Batch" Pale Ale!  
More by Dean, with his brand new Lamy fountain pen!
More Dean...
More Dean...
Seb drawing from the Friday before...

Seb drawing from Monday March 14th, Anniversary Day.

Originally the place was called "Roaring Rock", a fact which I had forgotten about long ago.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday Drawing @ the Frog and Fiddle Bluegrass Jam

Thursday, March 10, we went to Alameda's Frog and Fiddle to check out the new site of the long held McGrath's Bluegrass Jam.  It recently moved to Thursdays at the F&F after many years of Monday's at McGrath's.   I guess it's now officially the Frog and Fiddle Jam!  Maybe someday I will be ready to bring either my Mandolin or Banjo. 
 For now I will stick to the sketch book.

Some good Faces at the F and F.
Moved to another sketch book and drew with my new Koh-I-Noor Aristochrom 3400's.
Dean Gustafson's drawings...
more by Dean...
more by Dean...

Lee's sketches of painting ideas generated at the event.

We were joined by Carrie Galbraith and new recruit, Eugene. When I get some of their scans I will add them to the blog.