New Class: Sketching Out-of-Doors for Beginners

Healdsburg’s Clock Tower

Have you ever wanted to learn how to sketch in watercolors but didn’t know where to begin? Or maybe you just want a refresher on what it’s like to get out and paint the beautiful sights around Sonoma County. Well, join me for a one day class in Healdsburg, California that will inspire you to put your phone away and reach for a brush instead.

Sketching Out-of-Doors for Beginners (Saturday June 15, 2019)

New Class: Unraveling The Complexity Of Travel Sketching (Saturday June 1, 2019)

I’m excited to announce that I will once again be teaching my travel sketching class this year for the San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers 10×10 series! Together we will tackle a new location (Golden Gate Overlook) and discover new styles and techniques that will enhance your sketchbook and make any trip memorable.
I recommend signing up soon because it will likely fill up fast!

Here is the link to my registration page.

Fort Point Lighthouse Below the Golden Gate Bridge

Before last weekend, I had never sketched Fort Point Lighthouse, located just below the towering Golden Gate Bridge. The iron lighthouse was built in 1863, but once work began on the bridge in 1933, the lighthouse was obscured from view and soon decommissioned. A fog signal and navigational light were then placed at the base of the bridge’s south tower. It became a National Historic Site in 1970 cementing its perch overlooking the bay.
If you haven’t experienced the bridge from below, you’d probably be impressed by the energy surrounding it. The structure’s enormous size, the sounds of non-stop traffic, the tide moving in out of the bay in conjunction with the weather swirling around the span all provide an electrifying experience that crackles with energy.
I sketched atop the fort for a couple of hours, before strong winds, fog and cold drove me to seek shelter in the fort below.

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

Grammy Award Winner Paul McCandless and Charged Particles

Last night Grammy Award winner and world renowned jazz superstar, Paul McCandless, played with Bay-Area Jazz Trio, Charged Particles, to heat up The Jazz Club in Cloverdale, presented by the Cloverdale Art Alliance. McCandless recently celebrated his 45th anniversary with the jazz super-group, Oregon.

Sketched with my new Caran D’Ache water soluble colored pencils in a Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook.

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition to display fine art. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it was rebuilt in 1965, along with a renovation of the lagoon. Today the Palace remains a popular tourist attraction and is a favorite location for wedding photographs. It’s also a great place to sketch!

Christo’s Wrapped Snoopy House


Back in 1972 Sonoma county was graced with Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Running fence. This fence, made of sheets of fabric supported by polls, stretched over hills, traveled through farms, and crossed roadways for 24.5 miles only to disappear into the ocean at Bodega Bay. Christo’s drawings and photos can be seen here:
Charles Schulz, a local to this area, was also a fan of the fence installation and immortalized it in one of his Peanuts comic strips in 1978 (
Twenty-five years later, Christo returned the compliment by creating Wrapped Snoopy House, a life-sized doghouse wrapped in tarpaulin, polyethylene, and ropes, and presenting it to Jean Schulz for permanent display at the Charles Shultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.
I recently visited the museum and sketched the sculpture.