Sketching Workshop at the Redmond Library June 1st

I had an opportunity to lead a 3-hour workshop, “Keep a Daily Sketch Journal,” at the Redmond Library yesterday. I had 15 students and there were 18 people on the waitlist! It’s nice to know that there are lots of people in the community who are interesting in sketching more or at least learning about it. I had a great time and it was very satisfying because the students all seemed to get something out of it. I loved seeing the variety of things people chose to draw from their day. I will do another sketching workshop there in the fall on nature journaling. The date’s not been set yet but the library did promote through Nextdoor.

Students' Work!

I have been teaching a six-week travel journaling in ink and watercolor workshop recently but there’s been two weeks off unexpectedly because of lots and lots of snow which is not the usual for this area. Roads are finally clear and the weather more mild so we were able to meet up again. It’s nice to be able to get back to the regular routine again! Here are some examples of what my students are working on. It is so interesting seeing what people come up with.

Sea Monsters and Maps!


Drawing Maps

and Sea Monsters!

Sea monsters aren’t part of every map, but they’re a lot of fun to play with! See if you can add one or more to your maps with me in my drawing and sketching map workshop starting March 6th at Cloud 9 in Bothell, WA. This 6-week workshop will explore different types of illustrative and figurative maps that we can draw. Traditional map elements will be addressed as well as making the maps personal and informative. One of the projects will be to draw a place that you know well and are connected to. Illustrating a map tells a story of a place that’s important to you. It’s a thing of beauty but also conveys useful information. I will be using a sketchbook with ink and watercolor but you can use the materials you are comfortable with. Considerations of map design will be addressed and discussed throughout the workshop with plenty of examples of illustrated maps.

All skill levels welcome.

When: Wednesdays, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm March 6th - April 10th, 2019 (6 weeks)
Where: Cloud 9 Art School, 18414 103 Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Contact: for more information and to register.

Travel Sketch from Porto, Portugal in Progress

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I love to travel and I love to draw and paint in travel journals. I work on them while on trips, but mostly after the fact using photographs that I took during the trip and bits of ephemera that I brought back. This is an in-progress sketch of the first outside tiled church I saw in Porto, Portugal this past summer. It’s from the Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina (Chapel of Souls on Rua Santa Catarina).

If keeping a travel journal is something that you’d like to try, please join me for my next offering of Creating an Ink and Watercolor Travel Journal 6-week workshop on Monday evenings that starts on January 7th, 2019. See my workshops for more information and to register.

Urban Sketching Workshop in Bothell, WA - Part Three

The second day of the Urban Sketchers Workshop in Bothell was a beautiful sunny one. Great weather for being outside to sketch. Gabi started with watercolor demos in the classroom at Cloud 9 Art School but soon we headed out and stopped at the Clover Leaf Rebekahs No. 54 House. Some worked on the house and others chose the small house next door to draw for this exercise. The point was to take composition, line, and value and put it all together with watercolor for this sketch.


Putting it all together

First try for the day


Walk-by sketch

Playing with values with only watercolor

Next we had a short 10-15 minute stop at the beaver sculptures in front of the Bothell City Hall. Gabi wanted us to draw them using only watercolor and to get a sense of shape using value. I chose the calculating looking beaver sitting up. My version had him looking a bit evil so I tried it again. They looked much better after they dried.



Then it was on to the next stop at McMenamin's Anderson School Hotel. It was a great building but given where we were - very close to it, it was challenging to draw. Finding a good, safe spot to draw was also an issue. There was a throw down but I missed the picture of it. I was impressed how much people got done on this complicated building in such a short period of time. 



Urban Sketching Workshop in Bothell, WA - Part Two

More from the 2 day Urban Sketching workshop with Gabi Campanario in Bothell. On Saturday after the walk by sketch of the vacuum parts robot casually sitting on a bench, the group moved to Hillcrest Bakery. This is a business that's been family owned and operated since 1934. It's a cute little blue and white shop at the bottom of Main Street. The drawing exercise here was to focus on line work and composition.


Hillcrest Bakery

Line Work and Composition Exercise

Gabi's first sketch demonstration was on the side walk next to the bakery but with 12 or so sketchers that got a bit crowded so we moved across the street to draw. The throw down of sketchbooks was interesting as always and my sketch.


The fourth stop of the day was at Bothell Landing. It was a beautiful afternoon and it was packed with all sorts of people from young ballerinas, family reunions, two or three wedding groups, a girl in her huge puffy quinceañera dress held by her younger brother, and plenty of others. We first got to tour through the Hannan House, one of the three historic buildings grouped there.  Gabi gave a demo of three ways to show value when he drew the school house. One was pencil, another was pencil with crosshatching and the final was watercolor. The exercise for us was to practice value. Incorporating the earlier ideas on composition and line work was encouraged - not surprisingly.


Bothell Landing

Value Exercise

Urban Sketching Workshop in Bothell, WA - Part One

Over the past weekend, I was in an Urban Sketchers workshop at Cloud 9 Art School in Bothell, Washington, led by Gabriel Campanario who started Urban Sketchers in Seattle about 10 years ago. It was a great class with plenty of inspiration but also challenges in trying to put the concepts down on paper and have them work out. After every sketching stop, there would be a throw down where everyone would lay out their sketchbooks (or iPad) and we could see what everyone from the group had done. That part was always interesting. Here are some pictures from the workshop and the first two challenges.



Historic Tree in Bothell

An exercise in composition

This exercise was focused on composition. The tree was to be the main character in the sketches. It was then a matter of finding a spot to draw it. The photos show Gabi doing his demo for the tree, the spot I chose to draw the tree from, and then the throw down of sketches. Composition is a tough thing to do well in an urban setting when so much is calling for attention. "Draw me, draw me!", "Include me too!", "Ooh, that's interesting..." It's definitely something for me to think about more when I'm trying to sketch outdoors.


Walk-by Sketch

10 minutes


Gabi gave us ten minutes to sketch this whimsical and creative vacuum parts robot sculpture. And here's the throw down of our sketches.