A Visit To Golden Gate Park - San Fran

1:54 PM

We picked up the rental car on Friday morning at the airport. We even managed to get on and off the BART System without incident....getting the tickets to ride the BART was an entirely different matter. Let's just say it's not an intuitive process.

We figured once we had the car, we'd really start covering some ground. So what did we do? We parked the car and walked around for 5 hours!

We started off in the Japanese Tea Garden and what a treat this place is to all of your senses! There was a calmness there that made it hard to leave even though we were sharing the garden with a host of other folks.
Some much was in bloom and there were so many cool lanterns to see...it seemed there was another secret garden around every curve of the path. The koi were rather lazy with some basking in the warm sun.
In the two pages above, I chose to go with a grid pattern of small boxes on my two pages. I limited myself to 20 minutes per block. I hand-drew the blocks and then decided what to put in them. This allowed me to capture a lot of different views in a short period of time. Because of the time limit, I didn't get caught up in the details (too much).

This type of sketching is a great way to capture a day's outing when you don't have much time at each location. Do a quick sketch in either pen or pencil, snap a photo ref and add color later as time allows if you don't have time on location. Try limiting yourself to just 5 minutes and see what you get—you'll be surprised at what you can capture!

You'll note that some of the structures are cut off by the edges of the boxes. Because I chose to stick with my 20 minute time frame, I knew I wouldn't have time to erase and start over, so I left them as they were. Setting a timeframe and sticking to it (no matter what) is a great way to "train" yourself for working live on location.

From the Japanese Tea Garden we went over to Shakespeare's Garden, the Ancient Garden, Rhododendron Garden and then on to the Fragrant Garden.
We sat down on a bench for a while only to find we were annoying the squirrels as we didn't have any peanuts for them!
After all the gardens, we were a bit lost until we discovered the path to Stow Lake...up 979 steps...okay, not quite that many, but it sure felt like it! Almost immediately, we spotted an empty bench, and it didn't take us long to claim it.

We decided to do some sketching since we were too tired to keep walking, but there was a problem with this bright idea of ours...it was bright. Too bright. As in we were looking straight into the setting sun as we attempted to sketch. However, we'd decided it was just too bad because we weren't moving!
You can see from the glare in the photo this was not the best of places to be sketching, but it worked out.
As I mentioned before, the object of the trip was not to sketch but to visit as many different locations as possible. I'm thrilled that I was even able to sketch the two I did as that's two more than I did in NOLA.

After finding dinner and collapsing back at the cottage, we both discovered we had a slight sunburn for our efforts of the day!

Next up, a different kind of mission....

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22 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Looks like so much fun and the sketches are terrific!

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    1. Thanks, Vicki, it was a fun trip! I'm looking forward to going back.

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  2. What a blast it would be to have that much time to sketch while working. Pays to be your own boss. :)

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    1. Hmmm, some days I'd agree with you, Lisa, and some days, I wouldn't it! It's a mixed bag, but it does have benefits!

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  3. Amazing sketches of very dedicated artist!

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  4. your art is always such a delight to the senses Laura. These pages are sooo lovely. Realistic, colourful, appealing, a feast to absorb. I love your artistic talents!

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    1. **blushing** Thank you, Carole! It's a passion for me and it makes me happier than you know, to know that others are delighted and hopefully inspired by it.

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  5. I love these sketches. I love how you marked off small boxes. It made for a more interesting page. I am going to have to try that. Did you have a hard time finding something for the tall boxes? what a fun trip.

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    1. Cris, the boxes are a great way to capture a lot of little sketches in very little time. We just did an assignment in one of the classes where we had just 5 minutes per box and the pages turned out great!

      As for the tall boxes, you would be surprised when you start to look for subject matter it's everywhere...it's really not any different than sketching in a portrait format.

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  6. I love your boxy two page spread. Wonderful how yon scattered the color about.

    ...and I had to chuckle at your parking and walking. When I was in college a girlfriend and I flew from Chicago to England --16 hour flight then. When we finally got on land we got ourselves to a double decker bus to head to a hostel and both promptly fell asleep on the bus! Fortunately the bus driver knew where we wanted to go.

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    1. You lucky duck—England is on my "hot list" at the moment. Dying to go, but I'll try to stay awake!

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  7. I love the boxes idea - it's wonderful. your sketches are beautiful

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    1. Give it a try, you'll be surprised how much you can get done so quickly!

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  8. Ah... what a delight to hear more of your San Francisco adventure. This two page spread looks so interesting. I really like the different sized boxes to capture different images. Can't wait to see and hear more about your SF adventure!!

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  9. Hi Laure! Such lovely sketches! I was wondering what the size of your sketchbook is so I'd have a better idea of how big your boxes are...and what you can do in 20 mins. :)

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    1. Hi, Sue, this particular sketchbook is 5.5 inches x 8 inches tall. Open it is 11 inches x 8 inches tall.

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