Sketching at the Manetti Shrem Museum

“Let’s Draw Davis” sketchcrawl met at the Manetti Shrem Museum in Davis, CA. Beautiful day but a bit nippy. The Wayne Thiebaud Exhibit is on display now so I head on inside to view. I captured some of the sketchers and the iconic horse sculpture inside the museum.

Manetti Shrem Museum Entrance
Manetti Shrem Museum sketch by Marlene Lee
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A Young Urbansketcher sketch by Marlene Lee
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Andrew’s Shoes sketch by Marlene Lee
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Horse Sculpture at the Manetti Shrem Museum sketch by Marlene Lee

30 Buildings Sketches Finished

I started these series of buildings sketches back in November. My intention was to be able to sketch buildings. Since completed 30 of them I feel somewhat comfortable. Most of the sketches were based on photos from Pinterest or Flickr. Only one is onsite. I started off with a Faber Castell Sepia S nib. Love the brown. And then later sketches were done with a TWSBI Ecco fountain pen filled with Noodlers Lexington grey ink. A big difference from working with straight black.

Sketching Buildings

One of my drawing weakness is sketching buildings. So I had been practicing in my Moleskine sketchbook (8 1/2 x 5 inches).

I started out using a Faber Castell artist pen in sepia. Most of my previous sketches had been in black ink but wanted a warmer and toned down color. Somewhat an antiquated look.

Then I discovered the TWSBI Fountain Pen while watching a youtube video by watercolorist and sketcher Peter Sheeler. For ink, Noodlers’ Lexington Grey. With the ink grey tone, the sketches seemed like they were done in pencil. Such a nice soft quality.

I’m up to building sketch #11.


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.


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

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