At the Window

I am used to sketching on Zoom now, but even so I had trouble drawing the model tonight. Despite a strong pose and interesting costume, my first sketch was way too tight.

I got out a two-inch flat brush for the second pose and used it with better results. Because the brush is so large, it forces a more relaxed and a more exaggerated sketch. By the time I began the third pose, which is the one with this post, I knew what I wanted and how to do it. I was able to turn the brush to get details in the fingers and variegated color in the head. If only we had had a time for a fourth pose!

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A September Morning at Mission Beach

Mission Beach was perfect for painting this morning, warm, not hot, breezy, not blustery, bright, not dazzling. The view in every direction was compelling but I finally settled on trying to capture the action of the waves and the people who delight in them.

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Reflections in the Lily Pond

I met friends early this morning at the lily pond in Balboa Park. Because the pond was in shadows, it dramatically reflected its surroundings. I got to work and did my best to capture it all.

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Morning Light at Sunset Cliffs

It was low tide at Sunset Cliffs this morning, and the mellow sea set off the earth tones of the cliffs. The Cliffs are locally famous for its sunsets, but its morning light is really special too.

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I experimented a little tonight while Zoom sketching with the Fresno group. I have been using masking fluid or resist as a way of keeping parts of the black paper really black. Tonight’s model wore stripes, and presented me the opportunity to use this new technique.

I drew with it by squeezing it out of a bottle, and by applying it more thickly with a brush. After it dried, and after I painted the picture, I rubbed it off, along with any paint that was painted over it, and black line was revealed on the page. If you look you can see it all through the sketch.

I am going to keep working with it awhile and see what I can do with this technique.

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A Harbor View

Last Thursday, I painted at Tidelands Park in Coronado. As it sometimes happens, I noticed this more interesting view of the harbor when I was in the midst of my first painting. The geometry of the palm trunks against the Coronado bridge really appealed to me.

I was able to get a good start on this second harbor view by getting the basic shapes down on my paper and taking a few photos with my phone. I finished this up today, using my photos and the rowboat from my first sketch on Thursday.

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San Diego Harbor on a Smoky Day

I got up early and went to Tidelands Park on Coronado Island, just across the harbor from downtown San Diego. On a typical September morning, the sky and water would be dominated by blue hues.

Today, however, we had a heavy marine layer that was thickened with smoke from the California fires. Even by noon when I was leaving, there was no sign of blue skies or water. The ships, sailboats, bridge, and buildings, all blended together as they receded away from view. To show the marine layer, I took a 2- inch brush and pulled a wash across the whole top of the page.

The number of wildfires in the western states is unbelievable. Our amazing firefighters are getting a handle on our local large wildfire, but it will be a long time before all the fires are out and our air is clean again. Climate change is real.

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