Goat Rock Beach

A near perfect day (weather wise) painting at Goat Rock Beach today. I’m still working on new techniques. The most important thing I learned is that I have a lot to learn.




Episcopal Church

Working in a new style today. Partially successful and partially not. But overall, I’m happy to have learned something new. This watercolor sketch is of an Episcopal Church on Broad Street here in Cloverdale.

Analy Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College


The Ready, Set, Sketch group met at Santa Rosa Junior College today under crystal blue skies dripping with sunshine. The biblical flood that has plagued us for the past couple of months appears to be over, a welcome change.

I sketched Analy Hall where the art department is located. It was here that I took etching class nine times and would to take it again if I could. So other than sketching, printmaking is my second artistic love.

Unraveling the Complexity of Travel Sketching

Workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Urban sketchers is excited to be holding it’s own series of 10 workshops around the Bay Area: 10 teachers you’ve been wanting to take a workshop with, and workshops geared towards all levels of sketchers!

My Workshop in San Francisco

Title of workshop: Unraveling the Complexity of Travel Sketching

Level of difficulty: Beginning
Instructor: Richard Sheppard
Date/time: May 6 and May 7, 10am-1pm (I have two spots that just opened up for Saturday May 6. My May 7 class is currently full.)
Meeting place: San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts, on the corner of Baker St. and Bay St.

Class description: The best souvenirs are not the things you buy or the photos you take while on vacation, but drawings you create in a sketchbook. Sketching allows the artist to slow down enough to get acquainted with surroundings that are so often overlooked while framing the world through a lens. Yet sketching in public can be a daunting experience for the self-conscious sketcher, or for those that are just unprepared. The first part of this class will cover tips on getting beyond the emotional roadblocks that keep us from sketching. Then we’ll discuss materials, styles, and techniques that are best suited for travel sketching. The final part of the class will cover developing a visual vocabulary as well as choosing subjects that are memorable and meaningful.

To register contact suhita@gmail.com and put “San Francisco Bay Area 10×10” in the subject line of your email. Suhita will let you know if there are still spots open and she will help you through the registration process.

Tower of Sketching Books

I admit it. I love art books. Drawing, watercolor, illustration, animation, and of course, sketching are some of my favorite subjects. This stack represents approximately 15% of my total art book collection, but even still, I feel my library is no where near complete. What are some of your favorite art books?

How to Make a Journal of Your Life by D. Price

Process Recess by James Jean

The Urban Sketching Handbook: People and Motion by Gabriel Campanario ( I have a sketch in this book!)

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes by Gabriel Campanario

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Reportage and Documentary Drawing by Veronica Lawler

Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory

PR3: The Hallowed Seam by James Jean

Lapin a Saint-Emilion by Lapin

Manchester Sketchbook edited by Jan Chlebik and Phil Griffin

The Artist on the Road: Impressions of Greece by Richard Sheppard (my book!)

Mostly Montreal by Shari Blaukopf

Sketchbooking by Barbara M. Stecher

Road to Rome: An Artist’s Year in Italy by Marlene McLoughlin

Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook by Brenda Swenson

Random Beach Bodies by Melanie Reim

One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawlor

Impressions of Wine Country by Richard Sheppard (my book!)

An Illustrated Journey by Danny Gregory (I’m one of the featured artists!)

An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

Seattle Sketcher by Gabriel Campanario

On-the-Spot Drawing by Nick Meglin

Creative Sketching Workshop by Pete Scully

The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario

Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings by Wil Freeborn

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques by Thomas Thorspecken

Sketching People by Lynne Chapman

Drawing People by Barbara Bradley

Now Where Was I? by Steven Reddy

Papas’ Portland by William Papas

Papas’ Greece by Tessa and Bill Papas

Back Roads to the California Coast by Earl Thollander and Herb McGrew

Drawing Fire: A Combat Artist at War by Howard Brodie

The Urban Sketcher by Marc Taro Holmes

The Artist’s Guide to Sketching by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade

Artist’s Journal Workshop by Cathy Johnson

Freehand Drawing and Discovery by James Richards

Pick’s Drive In

Pick’s was originally opened in 1923 as a Reed & Bell Root Beer Refreshery and has been a local favorite in Cloverdale ever since. Serving much of the same menu it did when it opened, “Big Daddy” cheese burgers, french fries, grill cheese sandwiches, and milkshakes, the quality of the food as notably gone up since David Alioto (Healdsburger) purchased the restaurant last year. It’s great to see a classic independent eatery with great food and a friendly staff hold its own in this corporate 21st Century world.

I started this sketch standing across the street from the Drive In until the rain drove me indoors to finish.

Watercolor on Arches hot press paper and uni-ball Signo white ink pen.

The Cloverdale Citrus Fair in the Rain

Rain, rain, rain. That’s all we’ve seen in California so far this year. I’m not complaining though. I’d rather have too much than too little. Within reason, anyway.

Since the storm wasn’t supposed to let up for days, I chose not to let the moody weather keep me from sketching. Bundled up in a raincoat and hat, I stood without an umbrella across the street from the fair and pulled my sketch kit from a plastic bag. Small droplets of rain blurred, splashed, and dotted my sketch. But it wasn’t long before the rain picked up and I hid under the overhang of an empty building to allow the paint to dry.

Watercolors on Arches Hot Press paper.