Monday, 29 August 2016

Sun, Buildings, and Shades! at Santana Row, San Jose

Dropped by Santana Row (outdoor shopping complex) this afternoon to do a few studies. I wasn't expecting much because the complex was completed only in 2003 and I'm mostly interested in dated buildings...but I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was there bike parking (there's not even any roads with decent bike lanes feeding into the complex!), the fences that surround the trees have a flat surface that is perfect for my water jar and palette while the tree provides ample shade against the raging afternoon sun!
Pink building with fancy balcony fences

Right across the street, a performing arts centre I believe

The shadow is so stunning in this view that I couldn't resist painting it in full! A nice couple stopped to say hi and then asked if I was Japanese. I was a bit surprised, said no...and then ask them if they were Japanese, and they got even more confused than I was haha

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Sun at Full Force: Scenes from Capitola, CA

Spent weekend with dad walking around Capitola. A totally different experience from Point Coyote last week! Well, probably because one is facing the Pacific, the other the SF Bay.

 I tried to squeeze myself in the tiny shadow created by a bike rack, trash can, and a tree. Behind me were stream of people filing out after brunch / lunch. Even the shade was proved too weak agains the blinding sunlight (probably why the colours are tad darker than usual) I was looking for that curious railroad bridge in the left hand background when I saw it when I first entered town, so we ended up finding our way on top of it ...-->
Even the tracks were totally rusted, it was still labeled as off-limits. Still, there were people (normal people, mind you, not delinquents or suspicious graffiti artists) strolling casually on there, so we gave it a try anyways. The view on the creek was good, occasionally there were paddleboard-ers coming through. Even though the beach was burning, the breeze through the bridge was so cold my fingers were totally numb afterwards :(

Monday, 8 August 2016

View that was worth the cold: Palace of Fine Arts

For an unsuspecting biker passing by, this might be most surprising scenery. Even as I was biking slowly down the quiet road looking left and right for the PFA (Palace of Fine Arts), which I have been to on one previous occasion, I was still shocked to see this view pop up on the right out of nowhere. So one naturally had to stop the bike on the spot and pulled out the painting supplies. Thankfully the remaining body heat from biking all the way from Caltrain station kept me warm until I finished this piece. All the tourists coming and going were complaining about the cold, and I was like, cold? what cold? It hit me though in half an hour that they were not joking about the cold...

I was supposed to find the SF Sketcher Meetup group, but I failed to get up in time for Caltrain (for a 10AM event, I needed to catch the 2nd earliest Caltrain at 8:15!) But I decided to come anyways and after finishing the first drawing, decided to go into the PFA and see if I can see any sketchers there. As luck would have it, the group just finished their walking tour and starting to sketch the palace. So I settled in too. The cold wind and my starving stomach tormented me, but sketching with a group was such a relaxing experience it was worth postponing lunch~

I usually keep a straight face when I'm sketching in public so that I don't get distracted by talking to passer-bys. But this a little boy came up to us, pointed to one of the ladies and said," look mom! There's an elderly lady drawing!" And then looked at me and shouted, "Mom, this little girl is also drawing!" Which cracked me up so bad I had to respond :P
The lady is definitely not elderly by the way...and I'm pretty sure I look at least high school...

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

More water! This time onsite at Coyote Point, San Mateo

Wheeled my bike over to San Mateo over the weekend in search of some good water scenes. Water in SF is usually rough, so I decided to take my chances at a closer waterfront park that has an enclosed marina in San Mateo. The park turned out to be much better than I expected. Weather is much cooler than South Bay even at 2pm (and sunny!) and area has many nice facilities (trash cans, water fountain, and washrooms) And hills also make the scenery much more interesting. Basically I just lean my bike wherever I want to draw (on a tree, on the rocks, etc) and start working.

 Quiet marina (save for the occasional Pokemon catching families walking by)

 Rocks, hills, and wind-blown trees, oh and plus people fishing on the rocks
More wind-blown trees and rocks. (At this point I decided I was too hungry to draw more)