Sunday, December 20, 2009

VP Challenge: Mexico City

Finally...a Virtual Paintout entry finished before the last day of the month. Having more time because of the Christmas holiday, I was able to work on this longer than usual; and I also was able to 'borrow' my wife's set of pastel, water-soluble pencils-which I really like-to compliment my watercolor pencils. They allow for a certain opacity that is hard to get from pencils alone.
Finding this hillside neighborhood makes me want to visit it in person.
Reference link here.
Happy Holidays and thanks to Bill Guffey for the interesting and challenging idea of The Virtual Paintout.

Monday, November 30, 2009

VP Location: Nova Scotia

Another quick last-minute sketch for the Virtual Paintout: Nova Scotia, Canada. A street view of the smoke stacks of a power plant outside a trio of coral snakes standing unnaturally in stiff vigilance. Reference link here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Virtual Paintout Challenge: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Virtual Paintout challenge sketch: Kiln Rd. Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. This was a last-minute (10pm) submission as the monthly challenge changes over on the last day of each month...just wanted to get in that VP archive! The actual Google Maps view that acted as the basis for this color sketch is here.

This is the skeleton of another, abandoned Belfast sketch started earlier in the month:

...maybe salvageable with the help of a calmer hand, a keener sense of perspective and relational proportion, and a big eraser.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Entrance Ramp to R. Infante Santo, Lisbon Portugal

Continuing with the Virtual Paintout monthly challenges, this stop Lisbon. I thought this unusual view might be interesting to draw since it would give me a chance to use a lot of the colors that I don't usually gravitate to. Even though I did do that, the internal jury is still out as to whether this piece is a success and/or finished.
Here is the link to the Google Map view, so you can see for yourself this colorful urban street canyon.
Where to next, Bill?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crosswalk-Abbey Rd. London

Another sketched painting for The Virtual Paintout: London. In this view, the white building behind the trees on the left is 3 Abbey Road NW8-home of Apple Records and Abbey Rd. Studio: drawn in the fortieth year after that famous crossing. (BBC video story of the crosswalk today.)
Reference link here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Barcelona: Scenic Vintage Monorail Ride...and a Miracle

This is a painted, 'street view' sketch of a vintage monorail ride at a turn-of-the-20th century amusement park on top of Tibidabo Mountain overlooking Barcelona, Spain. I did this drawing as a submission to an on-going project called The Virtual Paintout: a monthly artistic challenge in which participants are given a city to explore and paint using the incredibly cool street view feature of Google Maps.
After much searching and wandering, I honed in on this amusement park with its atypical structures and interesting views. With an artist's eye I circled, looking high and low and back and forth, for a suitable angle from which to base my composition. Little did I know that-through these actions-I was to be the recipient of a random glimpse of auspicious coincidence, revealed to me in the most capricious manner: a million to one chance discovery of a bonafide Christian 'miracle', more obvious than twelve pizza Jesuses, IMHO and with all due respect.
Click on my drawing and you will 'see' what I am referring to:
the figure of Christ descending from the heavens!
Grant you, I have drawn this figure in the sky myself; but those that know me will tell you that I am not prone to chicanery or religious make-believe. When I do a drawing from a photograph, I usually go to great lengths to portray the scene with a modicum of accuracy-at least as much as my skill level will allow. is the Google Maps image in which this 'miracle' has manifested itself and upon which my rendering is based:

If you would like to see this in Google Maps for yourself, the address is 48 Cami de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, Barcelona, Espana. In the boundless realm of possibility, there is this one street, one spot, and one direction where this phenomenon exhibits itself and even though I suspect that any miracle begins and ends on this side of the boundless veil...what can I say: I was impressed.
Long live serendipity.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Everyday Matters Challenge #18: Draw the View from the Window of...

This drawing is inspired by a photograph I took out the window of our hotel room in Lucca, Italy when we traveled there in 2005. It continually seems like just yesterday.
Using a set of woodless graphite pencils which are smooth as silk, I transported myself back to that exquisite traveler's moment when one wakes up in yet another new place and gazes out at the crisp scene so full of promise, wondering what's down that path and around that far bend.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Everyday Matters Challenge #83: Draw a Nearby Body of Water-A Pond

This is a beautiful, intown neighborhood duck pond near a project I am currently working on in an area of town called Buckhead. I did the pencil sketch drawing half 'plein air' while waiting to meet with some clients/friends who want a couple of porches built on their house. I drove around for the best vantage point and with pad over steering wheel, I drew what I could in one hour.
I am starting to see the limitations of my beloved Tombow markers and may have to branch out and learn to use true watercolors...maybe. I am also grateful that the work in the renovation business-for me anyway-keeps coming in.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This space is reserved for a sketch of our feral feline forest creature "Annie-bug" who passed away yesterday, after being a beloved presence on our porch for 12 years.
R.I.P. 'Bug.
Originally posted: 4-22-10

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Everyday Matters Challenge #193: Draw a Close-up Part of Something (the inside of a TV)

Several months ago, my wife and I were sitting in the kitchen getting ready for dinner. It was raining pretty hard. A bolt of lightning hit something right outside our house. The bowl of peanuts I was so calmly eating flew into the air as I involuntarily catapulted out of my chair.
After we got over the shock (and relief that our house wasn't on fire), we assessed the actual damage. Among the casualties was this small TV.

I took the back of it off hoping to see something obvious to fix, but there was nothing. After it sat around for awhile, I got intrigued by all the spots of color and form, so...I pulled one last picture from this dead TV before it was taken to the recycling center.