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.