A New Year

For New Year’s Eve and early January, I was in California. While there, I was able to meet up with San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers for their monthly Sketch Night which was held at Whole Foods in Berkeley.

Flowers, fruit, and vegetables are three products many stores place near their entrance to entice consumers. The variety of colors and textures at Whole Foods was very appealing, and I could not resist sketching a shelf of vegetables.

After finishing the first sketch I realized something could be improved. I was using a pen and pack of crayons – outlining basic shapes with my pen and filling in those shapes with bright waxy crayons, thinking that the crayons would nicely accentuate the produce. Instead of limiting the use of crayon to the vegetables though, I got carried away and started filling in the shelves. This counteracted my original intention of making the vegetables stand out. I decided to do two additional close-ups with the refined method – using crayons for the vegetables and crosshatching the shelves with pen. This created the distinction I was looking for.

Encountering this problem drove me to think about using more than one medium per sketch. Does one medium communicate the character of an object or scene better than another? What combinations are possible? Could you combine crayon and watercolor; pastel and ink; charcoal, pastel, and watercolor? A mixed media sketch is something I have not tried yet.

A big thank you to Cathy and the SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers for their warm welcome and for an enjoyable evening sharing sketchbooks, approaches to sketching, and interesting Bay Area sites!

Happy New Year to all!

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