Monday, June 24, 2019

San Diego Urban Sketchers at the San Luis Rey Mission Cemetary

In this video, Kathy Lark shares her liquid graphite drawing while sketching with 32 other Urban Sketchers. We had 2 visitors from Los Angeles, 2 from New Mexico and one from Mexico, ALL of them a part of the global community of

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Lydia's Mini Museum Adventure - 2019

A 1:30 minute video to show parts of the skull exhibit and a few sketches.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sketchbook Flip - Lydia Velarde - Strathmore Watercolor Paper

Sketchbook Flip
Strathmore Watercolor Sketchbook
19 pages
9 x 12 inches

December 2018 to February 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Inland Painters at Felicita County Park, Escondido CA

4 painters at Felicita County Park in Escondido. Oil paints, watercolor, and gouache. Plein air works in progress.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Why Do You Like to Sketch?

Thank you, Patricia Chow, Trixxie Land, Meg Leslie and Meagan Burns for sharing why they like to sketch in this video by Lydia Velarde.

Monday, May 06, 2019

What Sketchbook Are You Using? - USKSan Diego at Oceanside Harbor

7 Urban Sketchers share what type of sketchbook they were using and also open up their books to show us a few of their sketches. This video was taken at a San Diego Urban Sketchers event at Oceanside Harbor, San Diego, California.

Oceanside Harbor

Sketching with the San Diego Urban Sketchers at Oceanside Harbor. My eyesight is still bad, that's probably why I painted in large shapes. Details don't show up very good. I painted this with watercolor then added lines with a Rapido Sketch Pen.

Friday, May 03, 2019


Today I asked 6 Urban Sketchers the question, "Why do you sketch?" This is a 2-minute video of their answers.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Urban Sketching in Chula Vista

Today the San Diego Urban Sketchers met on a street corner in Chula Vista. We had views of the village, Fuddruckers, Memorial Park and the Third Avenue street sign. 

I chose to work in gouache because the next page of my sketchbook had toned paper and I wanted the paint to show up.

While creating the video for this event I asked the San Diego Urban Sketchers how they choose their subject when sketching outdoors. You can hear their answers and see their artwork in this video:

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Taking Flight - an Origami Stab Bound Book

On the left is a "practice" crane we made to get used to making the cranes for the book structure taught by Gina Pisello. On the right is the finished book made of 6 pages of cranes and bound by a Japanese Stab Binding. #100daysofsketchbookentries #The100dayproject

Friday, April 05, 2019

Spanish Village with the San Diego Sketch Crawlers

Once a month the San Diego Sketch Crawlers meet in Spanish Village to draw whatever strikes our interest. Today I noticed a little black chair so I decided to paint it and include everything around it. This is part of my effort to participate in #100daysofsketchbookentries and #the100dayproject. I use Holbein Watercolor and a Rapidosketch pen.

Thursday, April 04, 2019


#the100dayproject This gouache was done from a reference photo taken yesterday at Lake Hodges. I painted it in my homemade sketchbook.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

At Lake Hodges with my Gouache Palette

I decided to work in gouache when I went painting with the Inland Painters at Lake Hodges this morning. It rained today and has been raining at least once a week for a month or so, which has made everything very green. I only have one green in my palette so I get to try mixing with black, yellow and blues for a variety of greens. I'm glad I worked small (4x6) because it got pretty cold and I was ready to pack it up after a few hours.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Sketching in the Waiting Room

I was very active with my sketching habit for many years. I still carry my sketchbook with me but most days it stays in my purse. In an effort to get back to the sketching habit, I am participating in #The100DayProject by doing #100DaysofSketchbookEntries.

I started my first day by drawing people in the waiting room of my doctor's office. I used a Uniball Signo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Watercolor with Inland Painters in Escondido

Painting with the Inland Painters at the head of an Escondido Trail.

Monday, March 25, 2019

I have poor eyesight

Healing from retinal detachment surgery and looking forward to cataract surgery I am facing many challenges with my poor eyesight.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Urban Sketching at Farmers Market at Old Poway Park

I went to Old Poway Park with the intent of sketching. Having music while I was Urban Sketching was a treat. I drew the musician with the saxophone first and was going to stop after drawing him but then I decided to fill my page. If I had done more planning I would have put them in their correct positions and scale. I use Winsor and Newton Watercolors with a Paper Mate Flair Pen. I did the drawing first, then filled with paint.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Main Street, Vista Village with San Diego Urban Sketchers

This sketch was created on location on Main Street in Vista, CA. The location of the San Diego Urban Sketchers event on Sunday. The area has many outside sculptures and murals to enjoy. The first minute of this video shows the artists and their work and the second minute shows the street art. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Los Rios Street with Urban Sketchers

This sketch was created on Los Rios Street this weekend while attending an event with Los Angeles Urban Sketchers, San Diego Urban Sketchers, San Clemente Urban Sketchers and Long Beach Sketch Meet Up. I normally sketch for 2 hours but this event was 4 hours which included coffee, visiting, taking photos and sketching. This extra time allowed me to tackle a full spread in this handmade sketchbook.
This is the video I created for the event: 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Urban Sketching in Old Town San Diego

The San Diego Urban Sketchers met on the corner of Twiggs Avenue and San Diego Avenue in Old Town to sketch and welcome 2 out of town sketchers. We had Urban Sketchers from France and New York join us for the morning. Making friends around the world is one of the benefits of urban sketching.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Lydia Velarde Sketchbook Flip - Homemade Book Sept. - Nov. 2018

This book was made in a workshop at the Mingei Art Museum in San Diego. I used the papers they gave us which was from various promotional material and stationery. It created a challenge with watercolor. I gessoed some of the pages and used various media in this book.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Drawing from Life - "Chess Retreat"

Every year our friend drives down from Los Angeles for a Chess Retreat. He stays at our house and we play marathon chess. I am the one that warms him up because I am not as skilled as Ray and my husband, Gary. This time I won one game and he won 4 or 5. After he is warmed up he plays with Gary and Gary wins most of the time. It doesn't really matter who wins, we have a good time playing chess, reminiscing about our younger days and listening to classic rock music.

The best part is they are mostly still while I practice my life drawing.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Chess game

Playing chess with an old buddy of ours.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Life Drawing at the San Diego Watercolor Society

Left: Five 2-minute sketches with a Japanese Brush Pen
Right: Two 10-minute Sketches. Pendil Contour Line Drawing and Watercolor

Two 20-Minute sketches with Watercolor

20 minute with interruptions. Watercolor pencil.

a time filler, pencil with watercolor

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Flowers in Gouache

In the past, I have not been too fond of painting flowers but I have this lovely still life on my kitchen table and have taken on the challenge. This time I focused in on a section that had high contrast. Using its' negative shapes to create the little flowers. Painted in Gouache.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Still Life - Flowers in Watercolor

Practicing flower painting from life in watercolor. This is a section of my Valentine Bouquet.

I started with a contour sketch.

The flowers.

Practice. What have I got to lose?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Casein sketch of Crow

This was my first time using casein. I have struggled to learn gouache and decided to give casein a try. My son gave me a nice set of James Gurney Shiva Paints (set of 6) and it was a good introduction using this medium. This painting sketch painting was done from a photograph.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Neighbors en plein air

This small gouache is a plein air sketch of my neighbor's house.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Sketchbook Pages 13-24

These are pages 13-24 of my current sketchbook. The pages mostly contain exercises from a Charles Reid DVD I have been watching. I also have some gouache practice sketches in this video.

Monday, February 11, 2019


Painting my scissors for more gouache practice.

Friday, February 08, 2019


I am not going to let my bad eyesight get me down. Still practicing my watercolor. These are pistachios, painted with watercolor.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Common Threads

This book was created in a workshop given by Orly Avineri and Beatriz Heaton. The Common Threads workshop was 4 days long. There were so many steps and methods learned during those 4 days. The experience was just as exciting as the outcome.

The finished book I made during the workshop.

These are some of the pages from the book.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Self Portrait

I updated my social media profile pic based on what I look like lately. I no longer wear a patch after eye surgery but my eye is still very red.

Attempt #1
This was drawn with colored pencil.
I have limited vision so I accidentally drew my good eye a little wonky.

Attempt #2
I think this is a lot better.
I used a jpg of my social media profile drawing and altered the color of my eye in Photoshop.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Burns and Bruises

I made this cartoon based on my experience in the pre-op for eye surgery.

I suppose it is customary to check for signs of domestic violence.

Monday, February 04, 2019

My portrait by a friend.

My friend, Vern, sent me this portrait after he heard I had eye surgery.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Mini Lap Journal

Today I worked in my mini lap journal. I was given this blank book (bound by another artist) at an Orly Avineri workshop a few years ago. We dyed it and enhanced it in the workshop and there are many more pages I have to work on. Due to eye surgery earlier this week my eyesight is still not up to par. I found working in this book very relaxing.

Friday, February 01, 2019