“Stick” figures

Today I sketched with sticks… I had a bamboo pen, kabob skewers and a sharpened chopstick, dipping into Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink. I really like the primitive feeling of sketching with sticks, will need to use china ink; the Noodler’s won’t dry unless it has contact with paper, so it kind of messed up a bit while watercoloring.

By the way, this was in a very nice beachside eatery, El Salpicón in Barceloneta. So, beside enjoying the sketching, I spent a nice afternoon with my family.


Sketching at Abracadabra

I have sketched a few times while having a beer at one of my favorite spots in San Juan, “Abracadabra”. This time I was in a bit of a rush, but liked the looseness and sense of informality of the sketch. I did it with felt tip pen, markers and watercolors, 8.5″x5.5″.


Getting more comfortable with markers

I’ve been getting more and more comfortable using markers on my sketchbook. True, I hate the bleed thru, but I just ordered a sketchbook that apparently solves that; will write a review after I try it.

I have ventured a bit into using colors, both on a small 6″x4″ sketchbook as well as on a larger 8.5″ x 11″ one. I still mess up one of every three sketches (at least), but getting more comfortable every day.

Here are some of my latest efforts:






Directly to Color

I had to shelter from the rain at Cuartel de Ballajá. Actually I’m blogging from there right now; the non-stop shower, although light, hasn’t let me get to my destination.

A couple days ago I found in an art supply store, hidden among discontinued and obsolete items, two sets of six Design 2 markers. I felt like I was in American Pickers… The owner, an old friend, sold me each in $6. And they are really juicy!

I remembered I had them in my bag, so decided to give them a test ride. As part of the upcoming Urban Sketchers Symposium I’m taking a workshop that is about going directly to markers, no pencil or pen lines, so did the double test. Here is a pic of the sketch:


Charcoal it is

This past Saturday my wife and I decided to do some sketching with charcoal. We stacked a few apples by a glass vase with daisies on our dining table. I can count with my fingers the times I had done compressed charcoal before, but nonetheless this was a fun and interesting exercise.


Some sketches from last week

Here are a couple sketches I did last week in Old San Juan. The first one was done with pencil and watercolor, the second was done with a Sharpie, water soluble graphite and watercolors. Both were done on a cheap, 8.5 x 11 Mead Academie sketchbook.




Today I went sketching to the Galería Nacional in Old San Juan, where my friends Vladimir Garcia and Doel Fresse have set up a very interesting and attractive exposition called “Revuelo”; they covered the building’s courtyard with 450 pink kites, beautifully contrasting with the bright blue sky and the colonial architecture.

I went larger than usual, using a 10″x 15″ watercolor pad. I used a magenta waterproof drawing ink for the kites and did the rest with watercolors, washing freely over the ink. I also did a few experiments with other media, such as markers and pastel pencil; maybe later I’ll post them.

Before heading home, I purchased a souvenir pink kite to remember the event. Apparently I’m the first person that buys it. I must say that sales are not the strength of the employees there… It’s none of their business to tell visitors they think the kites are expensive. Its not that I didn’t know how much they were, as Vlad had sent me a message earlier this week. Imagine a waiter saying he thinks a dish is too expensive…

Anyways, here is my Revuelo:

Sketching @Pier 4, Old San Juan

I had wanted to sketch a ship for a while now, and today finally got the chance. This was done with a double ended Sharpie and watercolors with a waterbrush.

Sketching @ Plaza de Armas

Here’s another quick sketch while taking a break in between jobs; spent around 25 minutes doing this one. I watercolored first, then used the Sharpie and then did a couple shadows with a greyish lavender Copic marker.