Peninsula Sketch Crawl November 10 10-2 2018

Sketching is an immediate response to what you observe.

We sketch to learn.

We sketch to record.

We sketch to study and we sketch to play.

There are as many approaches as there are people.

There’s continuous line sketch.

And sketch with wash.

When I look back at my sketchbooks – London, Siena, Florence, Big Sur – I am struck with how much emotion and memory these little drawings and paintings contain.

And it’s a nice thing to do together.

For all these reasons and more, we’ve organized this first Peninsula Sketch Crawl.

It’s free!

And you don’t need much.

A journal or sketchbook. A pen. Watercolors if you want to get into color.

That’s it!

Pack a picnic lunch and your supplies and join us on the Monterey Rec Trail between Fishermen’s Wharf and Heritage Harbor, 10 am – 2pm, November 10 (2018)

We’re all beginners.

We’re all creative.

We all have something to contribute!


PS Are you coming to the Sketch Crawl? Here are the supplies I suggest. Let me know if you have any questions –

What to Bring

The whole idea of sketching is to travel light, and to be ready at a moment’s notice to capture an image or tableau that piques your interest. Sketch is to painting as snapshots are to photography. See it, capture it, move on. For this reason less truly is more.

For a sketch excursion you’ll need something to make a line. I prefer a pen to a pencil so that I am not tempted to erase. Something to suggest volume. Sometimes I use walnut ink or indigo ink in a water pen to create single tone wash. Sometimes I use watercolor to add a bit of color. Now you need a brush (or so). I use a #12 traveling brush I got from most of the time. I also carry a #6 traveling brush to add detail. Sometimes I like a flat brush to make easier oblongs for buildings and fences, but, it makes the process a bit to easy and mechanical looking….that’s up to you.

What colors to I bring. For watercolor sketching I just use three colors. A yellow, a blue, and a red. “Can you make every color out of those three paints?” you may ask. No, of course I can’t, but, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I could have every color Windsor Newton makes, and I still couldn’t make every color. I’m just not that skilled. So, I use three colors. I can make my reds cooler or warmer adding yellow or blue, my blue more green or purple by adding my yellow or red, etc. If I want a neutral grey, I mix all three until it turns almost pure black. This is all good practice I think.

Don’t forget paper. You really want two kinds of paper. For line drawing you’ll want a light-weight sketch paper book. Note whether your chosen pen bleeds through your chosen sketch paper. If o, I bring along a single sheet of wax paper, the size of my sketchbook to put behind the page I’m drawing on.For the water media, You’ll want good quality watercolor paper, I use 300 gram Fabriano cold press.

What’s left? A water bottle, a cup to dip your brush into the water, and a hand full of paper towels or tissue to dry your brush. Anything more than this is just because it is always easier to buy art supplies than it is to use them, and, maybe you just want to have a workout and carry more.

Some people like to carry a folding stool to perch. Not a bad idea, but, I just find a bench or sit on the ground. Some people like to carry a pochade box with a tripod. It’s OK with me, but, I like the “quick draw” aspect of my sketchbook in a shoulder bag.

Keep in mind, we are not making masterpieces to hang in a museum. We are practicing looking, seeing, and rendering. You may find that the limitations of your tools actually inspire innovation.

OK here it is in list form –

Pen – Fine Roller Ball or Felt Tip, your choice

Water Pen – Fill it with water or 50-50 water and walnut oil

Brushes – #12 Round and #6 Round

Paper – Sketchbook (5” x 9” approximatley) and a stack of 300 gram watercolor paper that fits in your note book

Watercolor Tube Paints – Rose Madder, Indian Yellow, and Ultramarine Blue is what I use.

Water bottle


Paper Towels

See you there – Tom Birmingham

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