Thursday, December 19, 2019

Lydia Velarde Sketchbook Flip - March/April 2019

  1. This sketchbook was made from an existing book. Pages were torn out and I added various papers for sketching and painting. Most of the book is made with watercolor paper.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Old Poway Park with Inland Painters

This morning the Inland Painters met at Old Poway Park on Midland, in Poway. The park staff was busy decorating for a big Christmas event on Saturday. There were many decorations and a lot more being put up which made for a wonderful subjects.

Painted on an 8 x 8 watercolor block.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Matchbox Book

These are photos of a mini sketchbook I made from instructions found in the book, Book Play by Margaret Couch Cogswell.

The paper of the box was taken from newsprint that I used to cover my art table. It has splotches of paint, hand-carved stamp "tests" and also felt tip pen marks when I was checking to see if they still had ink in them.

 The little book is made from past paper I made and has a little accent from the newsprint paper. It is bound with a pamphlet stitch. It was pretty easy and fun to make.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

360 GraF'Book Review

This book was sent to me to try. I guess you can say it is my first "official" review. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ask The Sketcher: What Have You Learned From Urban Sketching with Louisa...

Louisa Schofiels shares some of here sketches and what she has learned from Urban Sketching.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Monday, October 07, 2019

SDUsk Attends the Rendezvous in Poway 2019

The City of Poway, along with the living history groups the Shadow River Regulators, and the Apache Canyon Gang, presented the annual Rendezvous at Old Poway Park. History came to life as we walked back in time to the 1800’s. Check out the great sketches and some of the living history participants. Video by Lydia Velarde,

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ask the Sketcher - Ann Schwartzwald - What type of sketchbook do you use...

Ann Schwartzwald shares the sketchbook she is using and shows us a few of her sketches with water-soluble pencils and a Tombow.
Ann Schwartzwald on Facebook

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ask the Sketcher - Nikhil - What type of sketchbook do you use for Urban...

Nikhil shares his favorite sketchbook and a few sketches with us.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Ask the Sketcher - Kathy Aldrich Shows Us What Sketchbook She Uses

What type of sketchbook do you use for urban sketching is the question of the month. In this short video Kathy Aldrich answers the question for urban sketchers.

Poway Lake en plein air

We found some shade at Lake Poway and stayed long enough to get some plein air painting done. This is a small sketchpainting created with casein. 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Ask the Sketcher: What type of sketchbook so you use for Urban Sketching?

The Urban Sketcher Youtube Channel Call Out for September 2019 is
What type of sketchbook so you use for Urban Sketching?

The Urban Sketchers YouTube Channel would like to feature individual urban sketchers or chapters sharing their answer to What type of sketchbook so you use for Urban Sketching? We are requesting answers submitted in video format for our YouTube Channel. These do not have to be professional videos and can be videos taken with your phone!
Guidelines: Please submit anytime during the month of September 2019. We prefer very short videos (2-3 minutes for a group). By submitting your video you give permission to have it edited and/or combined with other submissions if necessary. MPEG4 OR .mp4 file extension, steady camera, clear, intelligible voice, little to no background noise, no advertisements. To submit your video for consideration please send via We Transfer to Lydia Velarde at I am looking forward to viewing and sharing answers on the Urban Sketchers YouTube Channel!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Direct painting

I left my Casein paints on my palette and threw it in the freezer. The freezer part was probably not necessary but I wanted to see if I could reuse the paints or if they would dry up. Of course, they weren't as creamer as the first time a squeezed them out of the tube and on to my palette but I was able to revive them by spraying them with water.

This sketch was painted directly on the paper, without making a drawing first. I used an empty spot on my sketchbook page so these railroad volunteers are only 2.25 inches tall.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

En Plein Air at Elfin Forest

I am still working with Casein and practicing my technique. I tend to use it like watercolor and create transparency but I would like to train myself to use it more opaque. In this exercise, I used both methods.

 I was with the Inland Painters at Elfin Forest which had a nice stream. We got to paint with sounds of water running through the rock piles.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Using Left Over Paint

I had a lot of casein on my palette after painting on location yesterday so I wiped all of it off on the next page of my sketchbook. Today I decided to paint one of my Seven Gods of Happiness using leftover paint from a studio painting I am working on. 

Benten is the goddess of creativity and the only woman in the group, of course, she is my favorite!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trout Cove en plein air with Inland Painters

I continue to work in Casein paint to understand the medium. I like the consistency yet get frustrated when I forget what I am using and go back to painting with a technique I use with watercolor. Glazing. Glazing is applying light washes of color over another. Casein is opaque and I am still working out its qualities.

This painting was created in my sketchbook while painting with the Inland Painters at Dixon Lake in Escondido. The book contains watercolor paper.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mixed media

A sketchbook page filled with leftover palette paint.

TwainFest 2019 - San Diego Urban Sketchers

The San Diego Urban Sketchers attended TwainFest 2019 for 2 hours of sketching and fun. Twainfest was a FREE celebration of Mark Twain and other writers of the 19th century.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Figure Drawing with Casein

I am still working with Casein and getting used to using it thick and creamy. Because I am primarily a watercolor artist, I have a tendency to water it down too much. The more I practice with casein the more I like it. I think that in some cases it is ok to water it down but I like the thicker strokes with bold paint the best.
This page was created in my sketchbook on watercolor paper. The poses were 5 minutes and under. I used pencil and added color when the model was taking her breaks.

Long pose.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Twain Fest 2019

Today I went to Twain Fest with San Diego Urban Sketchers. A celebration of Mark Twain and other writers of the 19th century.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Just hold on a second!

I had a lot of paint on my pallet after Plein air painting so I used the "smush and slide" method. This was introduced to me in an Orly Avineri Workshop. You get the sheet with the paint and smoosh it on another piece and slide it off, leaving the paint on the new paper in an interesting manner.

I found many interesting characters and shapes in this concoction and created this fun piece.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Inland Painters at Felicita Park, Escondido

The Inland Painters met at Felicita Park in Escondido. Kathy shared her challenge when Plein Air Painting and Pat shows us her Tombow Pens.

Practicing Plein Air in Casein

I like casein because it is so creamy and goes on the paper easily. It looks just like gouache when on paper but I like the feel to casein better. I also like the smell.

Last night I prepared an orange rectangle on my sketchbook page because I wanted to see how opaque the paint was and how it would look on an orange background. I am still working at getting a pure clean color so I don't think the orange background was a good idea. The colors look a bit muted. This might be due to the medium or just my way of applying the color.

I will probably keep working in Casein for a little while.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Plaza de Panama - San Diego Urban Sketchers 2019

Rachel shares her favorite pen and Renata shows us her handmade sketchbook and paint pallet. Maria visited from Australia and Serena practiced her guitar during our 2-hour event at Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park. Plaza de Panama is in the middle of Balboa Park and surrounded by beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Urban Sketching at Balboa Park, San Diego

Sketching at Balboa Park with the San Diego Urban Sketchers. It's such a treat to welcome guests from all over the world and today we had special guests, Maria and Jim from Australia! This is my sketch of the Bell Tower and the top of the Old Globe Theatre.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Life Drawing

I didn't want to fill too many pages with warm-up figures so I chose to work small. This page has 30 second, 1 minute and 2-minute poses. These were created with a rapido sketch pen and filled in with watercolor during the model's break.

 We moved on to 10 minute and 20 minute poses. I worked in a Japanese felt tip pen that has a gray tip and a black tip. My strokes seemed to get more confident as I progressed which resulted in stronger sketches.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Mini Lap Journal

Working in my mini lap journal today using watercolor, white gelly roll pen, china marker.

Balboa Island, Newport Beach

I worked in a small purse-sized sketchbook so I could create a quick memory of our visit to Newport Beach. When I sketch during visits with friends I tend to focus on my sketch rather than conversation so I try to keep sketches small and short term.  There were many historical homes dating back to 1935 and 1936 on Balboa Island and this particular house was across the street from our friends. The car drove up during my sketch process and as soon as I started to add it, the car moved out of the view. 

Monday, August 05, 2019

San Clemente Life Guard Station Jeep

I had some time before my friends arrived for a visit to San Clemente so I sat on a bench facing the lifeguard station and jeep.

This sketch was completed fast and small because I didn't know when they would arrive. Always a pleasure to relax and let time slip away with a sketch.

What is your favorite subject when Urban Sketching?

Patricia Chow,  PJ,  Rachel, and Zhen share their favorite subject when Urban Sketching.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Saturday, August 03, 2019

What is your favorite subject when Urbans Sketching? with Linda, Mark an...

Linda Counts, Mark Mark Nakanishi, and Melissa McCracken share about their favorite subject when Urban Sketching.

Friday, August 02, 2019

The Spanish Village Art Center is home to over 200 working artists and a beautiful place to sketch and paint. I tried this piece in a large (10 x 11 inch) watercolor sketchbook a fellow urban sketcher made for me. (Thank you Alicia Hallett!)

Most of the building was in shadow and it was a bit of a challenge for me to keep the other parts of the building and plants pure.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Jamie Utter and Bianca Romani Share Their Favorite Subject When Urban Sk...

Drawing Attention
I am honored to be a part of the Urban Sketchers Volunteer crew as YouTube Manager. Thank you to Patricia Chow for the recognition in this article. The San Diego Chapter of Urban Sketchers was also featured in an article by Meagan Burns.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Desert Garden - Water Containers and Multiple Palettes - San Diego Urban...

Joanne shows us her combo water container/water sprayer. Barb shares her portable water bottle and 2 Urban Sketchers tell us why they use multiple palettes. You can also see the artists sketches of the Desert Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego, in this 4:42-minute Lydeo.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Lori Mitchell's favorite urban sketching tool.

Lori Mitchell shares her favorite sketch tool and gives up a little flip of her sketchbook in this 1 minute video.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Shiho Nakaza's Favorite Urban Sketching Tool

Shiho explains why this brush from Rosemary & Co Artists Brushes is her favorite Urban Sketching Tool.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Joanne Geroe's Favorite sketch tool

Joanne shares her favorite sketch tool and her new homemade, portable sketch table.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brothers Provisions in San Diego

I have been drawing big and bold since my eyesight is "impaired". This sketchbook (9 x 12 inches) has 60 lb. sketch paper which wrinkles up with watercolor so this morning I used a Stabilo Aquarelle Pencil and a water brush. I didn't have to apply much water to get the shading or dark areas. On the bottom right I applied a photo of the other artists I was with.

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.