Pence Gallery Garden Tour

The annual Pence Gallery Garden Tour happened on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. This year private residential gardens were opened up throughout Davis. I was assigned to a small backyard garden but it was packed with native Californian plants and hidden spaces and planters with vegetables.

One of these pieces or maybe both will appear in the Garden Tour Exhibit at the Pence Gallery during June. The opening reception will be June 8th.

050618_Fountain Garden 2
Garden Fountain, pen and watercolor, 9 x 12 inches, 6 May 2018
050618_Gail's Garden Collage 2
A Collage of Gail’s Garden, pen and watercolor, 9 x 6 inches, 6 May 2018

Sketchcrawl at the UCD Arboretum

We met at the steps of the Mrak Building on the UCD campus right along the arboretum. The regulars met as well as out-of-towners from the Sacramento area – Carmichael.

Two young girls with their mother join us. After an attempt to sketch the Taiko drummers who regularly practiced on Saturdays mornings at the top for the garage parking building, the nippy wind forced us inside the Manetti Shrem museum. Here I was able to captured the two girls.

I used Noodlers Kiowa Pecan ink filled in a TWSBI fountain pen. I love my TWSBI and the color of the ink but the ink was something to get used to. I discovered with the palm tree drawing that the ink is water soluble. I had to be very careful on the amount of water to apply without destroying the lines. Other that it produces a very interesting effect…

Amy, 8 x 5 inches in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, watercolor and ink by Marlene Lee
Sophia, 8 x 5 inches in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, watercolor and ink by Marlene Lee
042818_Palm Tree
The Palm Tree, 8 x 5 inches in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, watercolor and ink by Marlene Lee

A Sketch Collage of My Kipling Bags and Other Things

I finally found a term that best described little sketches of a collections of items – sketch collage. I discovered Brenda Swenson’s blog post of her sketch collage and she best described how she came about composing her sketches.

042118 Kipling Bags and Other Things-MS-SB_3

I had done them in the past but never knew how to describe them.

Watercolor Palette

I’m enlarging my watercolor palette. I had been using a Winsor&Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketcher Pocket Box. Quite portable, it holds only 12 colors but I had used it for all my urbansketching over 5 years. ( I had it for over 25 years.) Now I’m ready to expand.

My new palette is a metal palette with a bit more room for mixing colors and holds more colors. It’s a Meeden from Amazon. Also purchased from Amazon are half-pans. I can put 17 half-pans possibly squeezed in 19.

I based my color choices on the warm/cool color palette. I’m aiming for more professional grades, mostly Daniel Smith and Winsor&Newton.

Scan 1.jpeg
Watercolor sketch of Meeden watercolor palette with colors by Marlene Lee


So the list goes as follows:

Primary colors –

  • For yellows – Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow and Utrecht Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • For reds – American Journey Permanent Rose and Blick Alizarin Crimson
  • For blues – Daniel Smith Cerulean Blue and Daniel Smith Ultramarine Blue

Secondary colors –

  • Daniel Smith Quinacridone Violet
  • Daniel Smith Sap Green
  • Daniel Smith Viridian
  • Winsor&Newton Cadmium Orange

I call these earth colors –

  • Winsor&Newton Burnt Sienna
  • Winsor&Newton Burnt Umber
  • Blick Yellow Ochre

And American Journey Payne Grey

I’m searching for a deeper purple than the violet. For the reds, I’m not completely happy with the permanent rose, still need a warmer red. Any suggestions?

Watercolor Sketches

Practicing more on watercolor sketches of buildings especially entryways with flowers. Love how plants add so much personality to a structure. Both sketches were done on Strathmore Visual Journal 140# watercolor CP. The ink is Noodlers Lexington Grey.

022718_Blue Door with Flowers
Blue Door with Flowers, watercolor and ink
011518_Landscaped Front Yard
Landscaped Front Yard, watercolor and ink


Outside Baking Oven Sketch

Guinevere is an hole in the wall cafe that serves great Italian food. The two owners, husband and wife are the chefs and also artists. With my lunch, I was sitting outside next to the baking oven going…sending out savory smells.

021418_Outside Baking Oven
Outside Baking Oven at Guinevere Cafe in Woodland, 2/14/18, Faber Castell sepia marker and watercolor


An artist friend of mine has two beautiful greyhound dogs. And they are so friendly.

I wasn’t quite sure of the green background…but somehow it works.

“Dash” 6 x 6 inches oil on canvas panel

Museum Sketching

Painted this grandmother and grandson sketching at a Wayne Thiebaud’s Exhibit at the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis.

030618_Museum Sketching
Sketching Thiebaud, 8 x 10 inches oil on panel