Sktchy art school fun

I joined a class/challenge 30 faces 30 days. These are quick sketches, using different philosophies according to that day’s instructor. It’s super fun, and since I’m using Procreate, have already learned a couple tips. Here are days 1 & 2.

day 1
Day one, model Dan Powell
day 2
day 2 model Camila Freitas

Alla prima sunset

Late in the afternoon a couple of friends of mine and I set up our tripods and paints and casually began painting the scene across the bay towards the Golden Gate and Marin, knowing that soon the sun would be sinking behind those distant hills and bridge. We sketched in the basics, thinking we had lots of time. Suddenly, the sun was just an “inch” above the horizon!! Painting as quickly as I could go, I got this in before it disappeared completely into the dusk.

The San Francisco Bay Area is such a trove of amazing views! Sunsets are so spectacular in nature, and so trite in paintings, but, I love them, and had to give it another try. I could work on it some more, but I like the freshness the way it is too.

two shows coming up

The East Bay Plein Air Painters are having a group show at the Berkeley Yacht Club. I will be participating with a dozen or so other artists. “East Bay Views” will be on their walls from Dec 5th 2019-Jan 28th 2020. Reception Sunday Dec 8th, 4 – 6 pm at 1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley CA 94710 Come join the party and see all the lovely art from these talented people!

In Benicia, on the main drag (1st Street), they have an annual Holiday parade and art/craft market. The HQGallery, of which I’m a member, will have two booths near the gallery to show our works. It should be a fun event, for kids as well as adults. Saturday Dec 14th, from 10 am – 3 pm. 333 First Street, Benicia, California 94510.


While recently in Scotland with a painting group, plein-air painting in the walled garden of a castle in the cold with every layer on I could find, a message came to me in a text in my pocket congratulating me on my award! I was mystified, as I had not heard of this. A short time later another friend sent a photo of a painting I had entered in a Bay Area show, with a blue ribbon! This explained it, and what a fun way to find out!

You can see this painting and the other award winners at the El Cerrito Public Library at 6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito CA until December 10.

Photo of a painting for which I won a blue ribbon.
Garapata State Park at sundown.

a graphite portrait

When was the last time I picked up a pencil to draw with??—it might have been about 4 years ago. I’ve been wanting to return to working on the faces project and drawing with graphite just feels fun. My original goal was 500 faces, just because it sounded neat, but is that even possible at this slow pace? Doubtful. This felt difficult, I was not happy with the blending of tones — maybe it was the paper or the pencils, or just how much time had passed. Here is a portrait of a woman I admire.