Cool Christmas Sketching!


A great group of sketchers took a break from the hectic holidays to have some serious fun.  We set off from our basecamp at Better Living Through Coffee to wander and record downtown Port Townsend in all of its holiday cheer.  Eight sketchers in all braved the elements—Ginny had to leave early, Julie and Kathy missed our group shot but met up afterward to share their creations.  Merry Christmas, Urban Sketchers Port Townsend!

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Wednesday Outing—Christmas time in the City!


Wednesday, December 13: Downtown PT Holiday Decorations
Winter holidays are always full of great decorations, especially downtown.  Walk around Water and Washington streets and find a sketching inspiration at one of the store window fronts, the Christmas tree at the Haller fountain, or just the shoppers doing their local shopping thing.  Meet at Better Living Through Coffee at 10am and return there at 12:15 to share sketches.
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Veteran’s Day 2017

I’m honored to share my perspective of the 2017 Veteran’s Day ceremony for Petty Officer Third Class Marvin G. Shields. Both my husband and I are military veterans; each of us deployed at separate times for separate conflicts, leaving the other behind.  We each returned safely…but not all did.  I planned to attend this ceremony before I realized it was World Sketch Day.  Once I connected the dots, I set out to both attend and record the event.

Here is an overview of my process, which I hope will encourage you to sketch  a special event for yourself in the future!  You don’t need magic or elaborate equipment… just simple gear, an observant eye, and a willing hand.  Although in November, hand warmers have their own magic…

Before leaving home, I cut two 9” by 11” pieces of Arches 130 lb. rough watercolor paper and used blue painter’s tape to fix them to plastic-covered boards (covers from a broken 3-ringed binder).  Across each sheet, I placed a separate piece of tape to divide each sheet into two “frames.”  My equipment: paper, pencil, kneaded eraser, two Sharpie markers, small watercolor palette and water, two brushes, and hand warmers.

I arrived before the ceremony and found a background spot to stand and sketch.  The ceremony was only 30 minutes long… no time to waste!  For the first “frame,” I used pencil to sketch the major shapes:  tent, flags, sidewalk, and a few figures.  Then switched to fine-tipped Sharpie to finish the line work.  In the top left frame, I started sketching the head of a man standing nearby – but abandoned that when the color guard staged themselves right in front of me.  Couldn’t resist that!   I did a more careful pencil sketch of the color guard on the other sheet, then outlined them in pen.

To my left were several servicemen and women in formation.  I went back to the (temporarily) abandoned head sketch and added the rest of them.

One frame left, not much time…. what to do?  I drew my view of the back of the headstone, the smaller flags, and other features around the grave.  The ceremony was almost over by that point and I thought I was done.  Then the bugler appeared.  I stood at attention for the first stanza of Taps, before realizing I had one more thing to do.  I uncapped my Sharpie one more time and added the bugler to the bottom right.  And with that, the ceremony was over.

As the crowd cleared and the crew packed up tent and chairs, I retrieved my car from off-site and returned to the cemetery to add watercolor.  To finish them later would mean I’d miss the opportunity to capture the colors and the mood of the moment.  And I’d get too fussy about making it perfect!  After erasing extra pencil lines with the kneaded eraser, I brushed in color and added some thicker lines using the broad-tipped Sharpie.  Made notes about location and date, signed each sheet, and my mission was complete.

Thank you for reading this ~ and happy sketching to you!


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Drawing Inspiration Uptown

IMG_0964IMG_0966It was chilly, but mercifully dry, for our Saturday outing Uptown.  8 hardy souls endured and triumphed!  Great work by all—look forward to seeing it posted!

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Saturday Outing Uptown!

November 25, Saturday: Uptown Victorian Homes.  We’ll meet at the Chetzemoka Park parking area at 10 am and spend the morning sketching the beautiful Uptown neighborhood with its Victorian gingerbread (and the Farmers Market besides!).  Depending on weather, sketching from our cars may be an option.  We’ll meet back at our starting point 12:15-12;30 to share our work, swap stories and take photos.  Lunch in town for any interested parties.

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Palace Party!

Nine intrepid sketchers, including friends from far afield, came together for a warm and pleasant indoor sketching session as guests of the historic Palace Hotel.  The staff were welcoming as always and the potential subjects were plentiful.  Great work by all!

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Nov. 8, Wednesday, Palace Hotel Port Townsend

PALACE HOTEL:, 1004 Water St. PT

Wednesday, November 8  10:0am-12:30pm

The Palace Hotel in downtown Port Townsend is a turn of the century

boutique hotel that shows off some hints of its former life as a brothel.

Weather permitting, feel free to sketch outside in downtown PT.  We

will meet at 10am in the second floor lounge (enter through the door

on the left of the main door) to disperse to various sketching spots then

return there at 12:15 to share and photograph sketches.  Optional lunch

in downtown PT.

The Palace Hotel on Water Street.jpg

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