Cathy Sketching at Le Bateau Ivre, Sepia pen and watercolor, 8x5
Cathy Sketching at Le Bateau Ivre, Sepia pen and watercolor, 8x5

Cathy Sketching at Bateau Ivre, Sepia pen and watercolor, 8x5"

We had a wonderful Tuesday evening sketching and dining at Le Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat) in Berkeley. The ambiance and food are fantastic. We sat in the dining room with lovely brick walls and a fireplace. When we sketched there last year we sat in the café area which is equally charming.

International Sketchcrawl 35 is Saturday, April 21!

Here is a link to the Sketchcrawl website where you can find out if there is a group sketching near you (or start a location yourself).

San Francisco looks to be a particularly juicy sketchcrawl, starting in North Beach and ending at a free Burlesque Queens sketching marathon at a hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf, hosted by Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. The  burlesque performers are in town for the Tease-O-Rama, a “showcase and convention dedicated to the thriving neo-burlesque revival.”

Unfinished sketch of stuff on table with bits of business card

Unfinished sketch of random stuff on table with bits of business card

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Category:
Berkeley, Ink and watercolor wash, Interiors, People, Sketchbook Pages, Sketchcrawl
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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. I’ve been inspired by your blog to sketch lots more. OK now I have a question. I want to add watercolor to my sketches. How do you do it? Do you take a little kit with you into the cafes/restaurants, or do you do the lines there, then go home for the watercolor enhancement? Any tips for handy convenient little kits?

    • Hi Wendy, Thanks for letting me know my sketching has inspired your sketching. That’s so cool! You’re right that I carry a little kit with me and usually paint on site. Sometimes I’m sitting in a cafe, other times standing on a street corner or sitting on a curb. Newspaper stands, post boxes or even those fold up seats for tots in shopping carts can make handy tables for holding the watercolors when standing. You’ve inspired me to do a post with pictures about what all of us in our group use for sketching and watercolor since we all use something different. But in the meantime…

      There are two watercolor kits I really like. Right now I’m using a Schmincke Set like this one that I got when it was on sale for about half off. My all time favorite is this Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Field Box. I end up replacing most of the paint pans in any kit I buy with empty pans I fill with my own paint from tubes so this Cotman version with it’s student grade paint is probably a smarter buy than their more expensive “Artists Field Kit” I actually own. I was using an inexpensive Niji waterbrush but not too long ago bought a travel brush like this Travel Brush and I really like it. If I’m trying to get in as much drawing as possible, moving around a lot, then I will save the watercolor for at home, but I try to do as much on site as possible.

      My sketch buddy Cathy on the other hand more often sits to sketch and adds watercolor at home. She will often do 4 or 5 sketches to my one. Cathy is petite and has a small, low, very light weight stool she carries with her and uses a really tiny palette. I’m very tall so need a tall stool which adds weight and bulk so I don’t always carry it with me.

      Watch for the blog post with pics of our sketching stuff sometime soon–but after I post the pics from my new studio, which I promise to do this weekend.

      Thanks again for writing, Jana

  2. Great post, Jana–love the sketch of Cathy. I, too, am (always!) interested in how others manage ‘reportage.’ I love the postings from your group and, for sketching places for my group, have often taken inspiration from (read: copied) the interesting places y’all sketch. (Thanks to you, we sketched at a local fire station recently. Wonderful outing!) I’ve been trying figure out how you and Cathy physically manage the sketching, particularly outside. Standing and holding paints, brush, pen, and sketchbook is just not something I’ve been successful with. Especially doing several sketches in succession–having to wait for the page to dry, etc. Do you take more than one sketchbook? (BTW, my group is trying out the Strathmore Drawing pads that you use and loving them.) And I’ve been trying to figure out whether Cathy puts the paint down first, then inks over it–that’s what it looks like to me. Anyhow, y’all keep up the GOOD WORK–you have many admirers here on the East Coast who just love looking over your virtual shoulder!

    • Thanks for the nice note! I was pleased with the sketch of Cathy–it makes up for some of the horrible ones I’ve done of her. Wow! That’s so cool you guys went to the fire station too. I hope your firemen were as cute and nice as ours!

      I usually paint on site. Sometimes I’m sitting in a cafe, other times standing on a street corner or sitting on a curb. Newspaper stands, post boxes or even those fold up seats for tots in shopping carts can make handy tables for holding the watercolors when standing. I use two different watercolor kits and one, the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Field Box, (or the more expensive W&N Artists’ Field Kit) is better for standing outside because it all connects together–palette, paints and water supply and has a thumb ring at the bottom so you can kind of hold it and your sketchbook in one hand, or balance it on the left side of the sketchbook or just use a clipboard to hold both. Lately I’ve been using a Schmincke set like this one which needs a table or to be put on the ground with the water supply which I carry in a little plastic screw top container.

      I like working in one main watercolor sketchbook at a time plus I carry a small Strathmore 4×6″ one for subway and other quick sketches. Cathy carries multiple sketchbooks–and works in all of them. that would confuse me, but she is such a prolific sketcher that she probably fills four of them in the time I fill one. She likes doing lots of very quick sketches, capturing every aspect of a scene and often adds watercolor at home. I enjoy taking my time and going deep into one or two views, with lots of detail.

      I’ve rarely seen Cathy put paint down and ink over it. We both almost always draw directly in ink and add paint afterwards. But her drawing and painting are very free and loose. I tend to go slower. Cathy is an amazing artist and I’m so lucky to get to sketch with her and learn from her. I’m always delighted by her sense of design and the stories she captures in her sketches.

      You guys have inspired me to do a post soon with pictures about what all of us in our group use for sketching and watercolor since we all use something different. Watch for the blog post with pics of our sketching stuff sometime soon–but after I post the pics from my new studio, which I promise to do this weekend.

      Thanks again for leaving such a wonderful comment. I love the idea that you guys are along with us on our sketching expeditions, looking over our shoulders. I tried to go visit your blog but wordpress told me it was no longer available. If you’re posting your group’s artwork somewhere, let me know. Jana

  3. Yes to the comments above, Jana. I follow you every day even though I don’t comment often, and enjoy all Your wonderful stories and the interesting local places that you and your sketching friends visit and sketch. Thank you for all of it.
    annie

    • And thank YOU Annie. You’ve been a treasured blog friend for such a long time! It’s always nice to hear from you and to know that you’ve stopped by for a visit! Jana

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