Monday, 24 October 2016

Annual Figure Drawing Session!

Joined the annual figure drawing session at Fort Mason hosted by the Bay Area Model Guild. The morning session in the 1,2-minute pose room consisted of furiously scratching pencil (or charcoal), lightening fast page turning, and that dreadful sound of the alarm clock (signalling the end of a pose). I was going through my sketchbook so fast, that it took me almost 7-8 pages in to realize I'm drawing in the last of its kind, rare moleskine watercolour book that I grabbed up in China (by that time all North American outlets have phased into the new edition, which has a slightly different surface texture) So I ran out during the 5 min break, stormed into FLAX next door, and got myself whichever sketchbook I found first.

Another frantic 30 minute session later, I thought that was enough stress for the day and switched to the long pose room at the suggestion of a fellow sketcher. Truly it was a bless. No crowd, no stress. Since I draw quicker than the pose change (most other painters are using oil/acrylic), I move around myself to get different poses (hence the above result). Bonus point for having a sink to wash off the paints in the classroom!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

On the Occasion of SF's New Tallest Structure

Joined the SF Sketchers to mark the occasion of the Salesforce Tower becoming the tallest building in SF. Light drizzle, construction noise, and curious glances from the construction workers (seeing a bunch of suspicious onlookers staring at them and furiously scribbling for an extended period of time)
 First time using a new brush I brought back from Japan (the only place that sells it in a brick-and-mortar store, albeit underground of course) It was softer than my previous brush, which explains the uncertain edges here and there.
Walked around the block to find a nice brick building with a stunning backdrop that is the Millennium Tower. I was originally planning for a fisheye lens effect towards the end (since using normal perspective will cut the top of the building off)...but since I forgot to bring a pencil, my grand plan still fell through. Oh well, next time!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Short Hop over the Pacific: Autumn in Japan

Done over a week-long trip to Japan, in between meeting up with friends and former colleagues
 Sunset over JR Osaka station was too stunning to ignore (I can never ignore good train station concourses!) So I sat down for 30 or so after getting off the bullet train, before dashing off to check-in at the hotel, before dashing off to meet my former colleagues; which, by pure luck or innate timetable planning ability, I made it within minutes of the arranged time, all with no pre-planning whatsoever. I really just finished having lunch with friend in Tokyo, thought it was about time, walked into Tokyo station, bought ticket for the next train to Osaka... Japan sure has trained me well

A view onto the narrow alleyway just outside friend's apartment. Always feeling self-conscious of being mistaken to be a stalker, I tried to find as inconspicuous a place as possible, so to avoid staring straight into some people's door.... (Which is always harder to find in bustling Tokyo) Despite how it looks, a garbage truck still made it through the narrow maze and collected all the trash while I was drawing the scene. Adding the overhead electric cables were always a bonus that I rarely get to enjoy in the US!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Golden Gate Bridge All Day

Went with the SF Sketchers to the Home Land Security Art Exhibition at the West batteries near GG Bridge. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately), I got lost on the way (typing in Fort Winfield Scott in Google Maps somehow defaults to Fort Point at the very northern edge of San Francisco). At this point, I finally realized that something is horribly wrong, since the description in the meetup clearly says Presidio, but my remaining route can no way lead uphill. Since the ending point is already nearing, I decided to just accept the fact, parked my bike, and drew whatever I can. 
 The shadow on the left from the hills was so interesting I abandoned the bridge all together!
This is after I went to the correct meet up point (finally!) and drew the expected view. The weather was nice and warm, but the wind was so strong I could hardly see amidst my free-flying hair... For some reason, there were a few people down at the very bottom of the cliff (looks no more than a moving speck of dust from where I was standing), wonder how they got there...