Thursday, July 23, 2015

Coal City.

So, like every summer, everybody enjoys outdoors after 6 months of cold weather. Water activities is a favorite. This time, we went to Coal City beaches. I tried to apply what I learned in the past Seminar by Urban Sketcher Chicago, and sketch more people to make my sketches alive. Life is good. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2015

Was it fun!

This is the second time I attended this annual Seminar in Chicago. I had great fun and learned things. First I took a morning workshop called Capturing People in Motion by Angie Hauch. This is an attempt to improve my skill to sketch people, let alone people in motion. First we had 15 minutes to warm up. I sketched my team mates.
Later we sketched people in motion. We had to get the idea that we will have only 10 or 15 seconds to capture people, the best approach to give us more time, was to sketch people coming to us or walking away. The instructor insisted in us using charcoal to loose up. It's a media I don't normally use, "keep an open mind" I remembered Barbara McCafferty Weeks. I understood right away why charcoal. This media doesn't let you to be caught in drawing detail!
I did several sketches of people, one per page, the I realized I was going to fast through the pages of my sketch book, so I switched gears to pencil and smaller sketches, got it!

Lots of people with dogs! I think the 4 dogs came out so cute!
Then we incorporated the surroundings to the people, we went to Connor's Square.

After lunch I attended a workshop called Sketching With Color Pencils by Mark Jones. I'm always use ink in my sketches, but this time I went for graphite. The blend of graphite and color was surprisingly beautiful, not too much contrast, however I harden edges and corners as the instructor recommended. 
Great day, fun and full of friendly people.



Friday, July 3, 2015

Lunch at Panera

I couldn't sketch my food this time, or any time. As soon as  my food is on the table, I've got to eat it. I like my soup hot and my grilled sandwich warm, so instead, I sketched these skinny long neck girls, doing what everybody does nowadays...look at their smart phones during meal time. The top buns seem to be popular among girls with long hair during the summer. The best of all... they were good models and my meal was hot. Mmmh mmmh.

Friday, May 29, 2015

10th year anniversary

Bob and I have been married for 10 years. Is it a big deal? Yes, of course. We felt like kings of the world for this accomplishment, and that's exactly where we went to, The top of the Hancock building in Chicago. First time there. We went for a couple of drinks to The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor and this was the view. Amazing. Then we went down to the restaurant the Signature Room at the 95th to our reserved table. Food was incredible. Way to celebrate!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Donkeys gone.

Handcrafts vendors are everywhere in touristic places like San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We were at the main square when I couldn’t help but to get a few crafted burros made of wood, donkeys. They were so roughly done but so cute.  Since they were small, we could afford to assign some space in our luggage so we got a herd of four burros. 

During the making of this sketch, we sit down in a bench in the main park. I was on the left, then the burros to my right on the bench, next my husband and then a person who is the subject of this story. It was a junkie, he started a conversation with Bob. Bob patiently waited for him to leave, until Bob stood up and left for a walk. Now only the burros were between this man and me. I could smell the cement/glue he was smelling. I tried to concentrate on finishing my sketch until I couldn’t stand the smell. I stood up too and left my precious sit with a view. Later we saw a woman who gave him money. Even later we so the man with something on his hands, we thought he bought some food, which made us happy. After lunch something was missing. We realized we left the burros behind somewhere. We returned to the bench to ask the shoe shiner who witnessed our adventure with this man and it was the shoe shiner who told us who took the burros, it was the junkie. What I thought was food in his hands was in fact the burros saying good bye to us. I’ll miss my burros but after all these words, my point here is that every time you see a sketch you will remember the side stories during the sketching time. I hope that man have a better future….and my burros. As for now I’m happy to report that we replaced the lost burros with the cutest pigs. Here there’s a picture of them in the crime scene.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Guanajuato city. Part 3

It's been so long since last time I posted. I finally managed to finish some white and black sketches. I felt rusty but once I started I couldn't stop. My husband and I went to The Alleyway of the Kiss. This alley is so narrow that a person barely can pass through. Two persons could kiss each other. Legend says, there was a miner's daughter who was in love with a poor boy renting a room across the alley. They saw each other in the balconies. The father discovered them and warned his daughter not to see him again. When he discovered them again, the father stabbed a knife on his daughter's back killing her. The boy gave his lover a last kiss in her hand. Sad story. I prefer to believe you can kiss your love one....alive.
We visited the Hidalgo Market also. A former train station built in 1910. This structure was planned to bring an economic growth to the city of Guanajuato but the project never finalized, so when the then president Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the building, it was transformed into a market. The iron structure's design was created, they say, by Gustave Eiffel.

Guanajuato city is well known for its tunnels. In 1780 there was a collapse due to the rain that killed many people. Therefore the city redirected the river trough underground caverns. The small rooms supported by wood beams on the right side of the sketch used to be restrooms... probably guess well... the human feces dropped to the river... Later (fortunately) these river paths were converted into an underground net of roads to relief the growing traffic. Although the tunnels may seem dark, they are well illuminated and it is perfectly safe for pedestrians. Walking these roads left me in awe because of the beauty of its old architecture. I love Guanajuato.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guanajuato city. Part 2

The second day we visited the Regional Museum of Guanajuato, Alhondiga de Granaditas. Once outside, I sketched the East wall of the museum looking down the street where the clock tower and part of the roof of Hidalgo Market can be seen. I let the bright colors of the houses  that look like they are hanging from the hills to contrast  the market. This is just a sample of how all houses in downtown Guanajuato look like confetti. The market was a French style train station built with iron in 1910, the year the Mexican Revolution started.

I packed my stuff and just few steps (like 20 steps literally) walking East the same street, I unpacked my stuff again because I found a lovely old house I fell in love with. I didn't realize why did I like it so much until now, that I'm writing this lines. The building was full of life. It had many plant pots hanging from the verandas with bright flowers and several cages with different birds. The intense yellow color paint, was covered in dust, yet the decoration made the building shine. The Museum and this house are one block apart exactly on the same street, yet the street names are different. 28 de Septiembre St. for the museum and Pocitos St. for the house. Funny thing. It's one of those odd things that happens in this beautiful country and drive tourists crazy!