A book, a show, and a sketchcrawl

It’s finally here! My book of urban sketches Sign of the Times is here. Over 80 urban sketches of vintage neon signs. Sketched over 5 years in San Jose, California, the collection is annotated with stories that celebrate these fading beauties. Get your copy here (And yes, I’m happy to sign your copy if you’d like me to).

Or better still, come to the show opening at History Park, San Jose this Sunday, pick up a signed copy and see the show which contains over 75 original sketches, many of which are in the book. (I sketched a total of about 200 sketches over the last few years and picking and choosing was hard!)

And of course there’s the sketchcrawl to follow. What’s an urban sketching show without one, right? The weather is looking great for sketching on Sunday and History San Jose is a treasure trove of stuff to sketch.

See you on the 18th then? If you’re too far away to join us for the fun, here’s where you can get the book.

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One Week 100 People: Day 5 and more (plus some insights)

Day 5 of One Week 100 People didn’t go as planned and all I ended up with is one sketch late on Friday evening of the Friday-evening-beer-drinking crowd at SoFA Market in downtown San Jose.
100_people_day5Technically, it was enough to get me to 100 sketches, but I wasn’t happy to end like that, so I kept sketching through Saturday.

Here are a couple of selfies at the hair salon.

And then I did a few quick ones of people at work. This is the sort of story-telling drawing I love doing (It’s not a coincidence my workshop at the UsK Symposium in Porto is called People at Work: Quick Capture Vignettes)

I think I’m calling #oneweek100people2018 done now, although that doesn’t mean I won’t be sketching people: they’re my favorite subject to draw.

Reflecting back on the week, I didn’t exactly do what I started out wanting to do, (See my ambitious post on gearing up here) but I did have some insights into what works for me. Like all learning, these might work for me, but not for you. Everyone works differently.

  • Understand the big purpose, don’t get bogged down in the details.
    I decided I wanted to take up the challenge because working on one thing in a focussed way has always been really good for me when I hit plateaus in my work. Once that was the goal, it became less important to hit 100 than to draw a lot. It didn’t matter so much that the 5 days slipped into an extra day.
  • Say yes.
    I wanted to skip the challenge this year. With a show coming up this weekend, ( that’s a post for later this week) freelance deadlines looming and lots of days of single parenting days over the last month, ‘too busy’ sounded like a valid reason. But we’re all ‘too busy’. For some, not adding in the extra pressure of a challenge would be the right choice. For me, seeing if I could fit it in in stolen bits of my day was the right choice. I’m going to try and say yes to more.
  • Finish up.
    I decided early on to stay drawing people until I got to 100 even if my week got too busy. If that happened with you, consider continuing to draw this week. Two weeks of people sketching is better than one, perhaps?

Here are links to Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 of my challenge. Keep sketching!



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One Week 100 People: Day 4

Day 3 of One Week 100 People.

Figure drawing today, so here is everything I did, from the one-minute gestures to the watercolor portrait.


This watercolor portrait is what I ended today’s session with. 100_people_day4_3

About 15 people to go tomorrow to get to 100 with the #oneweek100people2018 challenge. Last of the people sketches for this week, coming up tomorrow.




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One Week 100 People: Day 3

Day 3 of One Week 100 People. Back at my local cafe. I will try and get to sketching something more exciting this week, but so far I haven’t had the time to do more than a short break at the coffeeshop…Still, I’m glad to be able to do it.

A good coffee is always a good way to start a sketch. Art Graf, a waterbrush, and ink.

I tried that again with watercolor. This was going somewhere and then I lost it in the end,  think. Or maybe I needed to keep going and add some last touches?

A few quick ones. You can see I draw the same people over and over quite often…

And one last one.

Tomorrow is my weekly Figure Drawing session, so I’ll post charcoal drawings from that session. We always work with the same format, (10 one-minute poses, 2 5-minute ones, 1 15-minute pose and then a long post for the end of the session) so I have a good idea of how many sketches I’ll end up with tomorrow.

Hope you’re learning a lot with your #oneweek100people2018 challenge, whether you’re hitting your daily goals or not.




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One Week 100 People: Day 2

Day 2. It was a little crazy to try and attempt color sketches on a day with so little time. I stopped on my way home at Whole Foods. Luckily, it was 70ish today and I could sit outside and watch people scurry in and out. Here are my sketches, all of them.

On these first few, I’m trying to work in color (and shape) first which is harder for me than the other way around, especially with action. Why work like this? Mostly just to force myself to work differently than what comes naturally.

I drew a bunch of dogs today. I’d have to study them more to be able to draw them well: they’re such great shapes, it’s fun to draw them.100_people_day2_3


At the bottom of this page, with the little figures, I start to tire and revert to my usual way of working with movement: line first.100_people_day2_5

And I end with just a fun page of loopy line work and a bit of color over it. That’s day 2 of #oneweek100people2018 and I’m a bit past the 50 mark.  I think I’ll slow down and do a few studies tomorrow.

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One Week 100 People: Day 1

Day 1. I tried to get past 20 sketches today since tomorrow promises to be a much crazier day than today.

Going easy on myself by starting out at my local coffeeshop today. Coffee shop people are kinda easy to draw ’cause they’re not moving  much, and  basically heads and busts, not full figures.

And here’s more from the day, at my daughters taekwondo class this time. I can tell it’s been a while since I worked with quick action, I’m rusty. I’m going to have to go seek out some more action and draw it this week.

That’s Day 1 of #oneweek100people2018 for me. Hope you got some people sketches done today. Post them online, and tag them, or share a url, I’d love to see them.


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One Week 100 People: Let’s go!

It’s time for #OneWeek100People2018. If you’re feeling overwhelmed already, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Every person you draw this week is one more sketch than if you didn’t draw at all.

Keep it simple.

Really simple. 

All people sketches count. Draw from television, draw from magazines. The piece below is from a figure drawing session.  

Remember to tag your sketches #OneWeek100People2018 and enjoy the process!

Posted in Everyday Sketches, Figure Drawing, people, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment