Day 17 at Home: Virtual Life Drawing

I attended my first two virtual life drawing sessions over the last couple of days. I am blown away by the generosity of models at a time when their livelihood has disappeared as they shelter in place. Both sessions I attended were run for free, the first one marked Transgender Day of Visibility. It was a donate-if-you-wish-fundraiser run by the model Álida Pepper for the Trans Disaster Relief Fund fundraiser.


This second set is a different session with model Anna Catherine, who ran a Zoom session with mostly short poses. I used watercolor, acrylic ink, and colored pencil on most of these and tried different ways of drawing including with my ink dropper. You can watch a bit of that here.

If you do attend an online session, even if it is free, do remember to ask how you can pay the models. In this difficult time, it really, really helps.

Online life drawing is different than being the room, for sure. I’m finding that I need to work more what I already know. And I can’t say why, but I want to stylize more than I usually do. I like sessions without instruction or moderators best, it comes closest to being in a room, just drawing and getting in the zone. But most of all, I am really, really thankful for having this now when we are all in our homes: people from all over the world join in, and that is pretty amazing.

Posted in Everyday Sketches, Figure Drawing, people | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Day 16 at Home: Tuesday Special, Zoom Music Lesson

It’s Tuesday again, time for another music session with our fabulous teacher. We miss having here here at home, but it’s Zoom lessons for now. Here are sketches from the lesson and some videos I took while sketching. (Sorry parts of it go off-screen, I handheld  my phone while sketching)


And here is the aftermath of my painting session. Not bad, except my whole house is littered with setups like this: sketchbooks and supplies lie wherever I sketched…music1


Posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Techniques for Beginners

I’m excited to finally share a project I’ve been working on over the last few months.

 The Urban Sketching Handbook: Techniques for Beginners is a part of The Urban Sketching Handbook Series.


 Aimed at beginning sketcher or those practicing art in other forms and interested in urban sketching, the book includes many of my sketches photographed in steps to help you explore different approaches to seeing and drawing on location. I share essential skills for sketching everyday objects, architecture, and people and bringing them all together in a sketch. The book also includes sketches shared by nearly 70 urban sketchers from around the world and their thoughts and advice specifically for beginners.

It’s ironic that one of the last bits of the book draft I wrote only a few weeks ago was about sketching from home, and this sketch of the view from my window, reproduced in a series of steps in the book, demonstrates what we’re all practicing now.

I’ll share some excerpts from the book over the next few months. The book will be out towards the end of the year, but it’s available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or at an independent bookstore near you. For preorders outside the US, check this page for links.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Day 15 at Home: One more cup. And the mail van

My cup sketching isn’t over. I saved this one for last, because it is my favorite little mug in my small collection.

You might notice I’m still sketching the kids, they’re just not all I’m sketching 🙂
When I saw the mail truck drive up today I stepped out and did a sketch. The mailman is quick, I caught him right at the start as he loaded the mail for our street into his satchel, but he didn’t take long delivering it. While I sat on the pavement I counted one jogging stroller, 4 kids on bikes, 3 people walking 2 dogs, and 1 person doing yard work, all practicing social distancing.

And that was our day 15 at home.

Posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 14 at Home: Teacups

Sunday was a drink-tea-all-day kinda day. Drinking my morning chai out of a cup given to me years ago by the Urban Sketchers Pune group.
Brought back memories of a misty morning on Pune University campus , sketching with new friends, followed by poha and hot chai at the canteen under big banyan trees…

This is a collection of mid-century modern mugs that I sketched as I Zoom-caught-up with Urban Sketcher friends. I bought all of these at a Preservation Action Council of San Jose garage sale.


That was my Sunday. And now, back to the workweek that seems a lot like the weekend (Except that my kids are starting to have online instruction from their teachers: Yay! Teachers, that’s a steep learning curve for you, thank you for the work it takes to get there! )

Posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 13 at Home: Construction

This one’s a sketch from when I curbside-picked up a contact lens order from my optometrist. I love construction sites, always, but this was SO exciting: when I parked my car to wait for my curbside pickup, the construction was right in front of me. Yay!


Posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 12 at Home: Learn from the Kids

Learn from the kids, eat comfort food (this corn in milk recipe closely replicates what we’re eating) and re-read your favorite books, watch your favorite shows. Nothing beats Calvin and Hobbes, The Complete Collection for reading over, and over and over.

I stepped out to get the garbage cans back inside, decided to sketch them, came back in and the garbage cans still stayed at the curb…. Ah well, not like there isn’t time to run out again and get them back in.

And that was Day 12 of Stay-at-Home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hope you are well. Take care.

Posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments