International Festival 2017

Held Oct. 1 on a Sunday at Central Park, Davis. Another artist and I drew portraits for 35 people in 4 1/2 hours. It was a wonderful time. We chatted with our sitters and found so many different stories. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Done mainly in pencils on Strathmore Toned Gray Paper. About 20 minutes each.

Here’s some of the drawings done.

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A Process of a Painting of Gwapo

This was a commissioned 8 x 10 inch painting of Gwapo, a water-loving dog. With each step featured here, I emailed the owner of the progress.

It begins with a photo provided by Gwapo’s owner, their German Shepherd mix. Gwapo loves the water and this is a favorite picture of him in the water.

Gwapo in water

I wanted the focus to be around his eyes. So his eyes are positioned in the upper third of the canvas and a third from the viewer’s left side. It’s a loose interpretation of where the golden mean is.

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Shadow patterns are established. The background colors are put in lightly.

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Areas in the light on Gwapo are more accurately painted in.

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From this point I start refining the details of Gwapo’s fur. The color around the nose was off when I put in the nose color. So I had to make readjustment there with values of the nose and the surrounding area.

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More color and more paint. And more detailed work around the ears and eyes.

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When I’m somewhere satisfy with Gwapo, I began working more details in the water. Paying close attention to the circular pattern of the water, I had to redraw the ripples to line up correctly.

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Completed painting of Gwapo.

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(I may have to replaced this photo. It came out too light.)

Sketching at Nob Hill in San Francisco

Traveling from Davis, CA, I grabbed the chance to sketch alongside with the San Francisco urbansketchers as well as Liz Steel and Jane Blundell, notable urbansketchers both from Australia. I even met sketchers who came from Chico (3 hours away) and Washington.

The weather was surprisingly warm despite the 70 degree. About 60 or so sketchers gathered at Grace Cathedral at Nob Hill. Beautiful architecture and for those who love buildings it was a sketcher’s dream. For me I stuck close to simple subjects… a couple, a window, a door and a statue….All my urbansketches are done in a pocket size Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. “Keeping it simple” is my name.

A couple on their phones
Captured this couple sitting side by side at the side of Grace Cathedral on their phones
The Door
A door that leads to the office for the Episcopal Diocese
A stained glass window
One of the beautiful stained glass windows on the side of Grace Cathedral
Graceful statue at Huntington Park
One of the four figures at the Huntington Park

As usual after three hours of sketching we all met at Huntington Park to share our sketching experiences and to meet up with old friends and get to know new ones.

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New Sketchbook

A fellow urbansketcher gave me a Stillman & Birn sketchbook. It is their Beta series meant for mixed media with a soft cover. So I experimented.

Below are my initial watercolors. I tend to lay watercolor on heavy but I found the paper just did not soak up the watercolor. Too heavy and blotchy.

So I applied less watercolor. The next watercolors are more to my liking.

Less is more….

Let’s Draw Davis Sketchcrawl

Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl group met at Community Park. Full of activity – soccer, swimming, tennis…

I captured this woman at Community Park swimming pool. I’m guessing she’s a grandmother watching her grandchild swimming

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At the Swimming Pool

 

I’m into sketching people but not in groups. Too challenging. I find individuals who are not moving a lot and sketch them. I drew these parents at their child’s soccer photo shoot.

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Parents at the Soccer Photo Shoots

 

Old storage shed at Davis High School soccer field. When I see this, I remembered the time when my son was playing on the JV soccer team. The boys set on those beat up benches. After 10 years they are still beat up.

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Old Storage Shed at High School Soccer Field

 

Monster tree! The roots are coming out of the ground. You can see this tree in front of the library.

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Monster Tree

Lessons learned

I just finished an online workshop with Felicia Forte. She is a well-known representational oil painter whose works has been exhibited throughout the US as well as abroad. I had taken her workshop in Los Gatos, CA and felt that I can learned more from her. So I signed for her online classes.

There were many “aha” moments but the main point I have taken away from the sessions is that I need to pay more attention to clean brushstrokes and to be decisive in what colors I mixed. Below is a quick oil study that I did after finishing.

Nectarine Study
Nectarine oil study by Marlene Lee

Old Cars

As part of the Yolo County Art & Ag Project, I was on a farm whom owner collected old cars. This is an artist’s dream. Old cars all lined up in various conditions.

Old Cars at the Garcia Farm 2017
Old Cars, 9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas panel

Sketching at the Davis Farmers’ Market

Sketching at the local farmers’ market is drawing subject overload. A sketcher’s dream. So our local sketch group, Let’s Draw Davis, met there headed up by Pete Scully, a locally and maybe internationally known urbansketcher. (He also had published sketching books in which some of my sketches are in.)

I’ve been trying to get more quick sketch people in.  I love sketching people performing, all dressed up or just behaving in a normal fashion. The arm of the band singer and the head of the nursing mother is a bit off but quick sketching is about capturing the gesture – no concern about getting the proportions right.

Check out my Flickr page for more sketches. Enjoy!

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Band Singer, 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in a Moleskine pocket size watercolor sketchbook, marker and watercolor
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Nursing, 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in a Moleskine pocket size watercolor sketchbook, marker and watercolor