End of the Year stuff

It’s that time of the year again. Time to go back to Petroglyph in Willow Glen. The kids look forward to going back every year to paint a new piece of pottery that they bring home just in time for Christmas. What gets them every time is how shiny and bright their pieces look after they’ve been fired. They paint. I sketch. The studio is usually super-busy at this time of the year.
Above, before I added color. Below, after.


One more sketch from the paint session. These are both done without much thinking and planning and in little fits and starts between helping my kids with their pieces. Below are my kids in the foreground and a couple dressed for the holidays at the table behind them.

One more holiday-ish sketch. Finger painting. From a very chaotic White Elephant party.

I’m currently using (and loving) the Stillman and Birn softcover books. These are the Beta (blue cover, white paper) and the Delta ( green cover, cream paper) both of which have a nice heavy paper. The best prices I’ve found are at Blick. At 8×10 inches the size is big enough for my loose line and the softcovers mean I carry around a little less weight in my bag (and they’re easier on my wrists when I stand and sketch).

As the year draws to a close, I continue to sketch vintage signs around my city. Last week I did a post about Mel Cotton’s, yet another store that is shutting down for good.


And right by it is an old flowers shop from the 1920, Hill’s Flowers. Finding and sketching signs around the city is the fun and easy part. Finding the stories and history behind them, not so simple. So if you know of a longtime resident of San Jose, someone who might know more about the historic businesses in the city, point them in the direction of Vintage Signs of San Jose, I’d love to hear from them.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, tools, Vintage Signs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to End of the Year stuff

  1. Elena says:

    These are lovely- I especially like the Hills Flowers piece. Do you also use Stillman and Birn paper for the vintage sign sketches or is that watercolor paper? Thanks!


  2. Harold Goldfus says:

    Your artwork is wonderfully animated as usual. I particularly like the first black and white drawing, since it makes it easier for me to study your line work. Thanks for the Stillman and Birn tip. I use their spiral bound Alpha notebooks because they really “pop” the colors of my Ecoline pens, but I might give these softcover ones a try.


  3. maylynno says:

    I am fan of your sketches. Any advice about drawing better sketches? Thank you


    • The best advice ( and you’ve probably heard this one a million times but it’s a keeper) Draw a lot. Draw all the time. Don’t find excuses to not be able to draw (time, kids, priorities) It’s a 100% guaranteed way to get better.


  4. Margaret Berthold says:

    Thanks for all the joy and inspiration you’ve brought to my life this year!!! Merry and Happy! Margaret ______________________ Margaret Berthold Fine Art http://www.margaretberthold.com

    On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 1:26 AM, Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook wrote:

    > Suhita Shirodkar posted: “It’s that time of the year again. Time to go > back to Petroglyph in Willow Glen. The kids look forward to going back > every year to paint a new piece of pottery that they bring home just in > time for Christmas. What gets them every time is how shiny and brig” >


  5. M. L. Kappa says:

    Thanks for a very cosy and Christmassy post, Suhita! Love the kids’ painting sessions… And I so agree about sketching or painting often – the best and only way to improve! Happy holidays to all🎄


  6. giocka says:

    It’s always nice to hear the story behind he sketch – although the sketches on their own do tell a lot. I like the idea of painting those signs and the first one of Mel Cotton is great, I love the atmosphere you caught.


  7. anthoniaart says:

    Really nice


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s