Last Sunday was one of those picture postcard perfect days we are cursed with here in San Diego. It was a great day to catch up with the San Diego Urban Sketchers and try my hand at capturing Little Italy and its iconic sign. If you've never been, it's a bustling place with very little parking, lots of tourists, and the constant excitement of airplanes on their steep approach to nearby San Diego International Airport. To give you some idea of the number of landings, check out this crazy video: io9.gizmodo.com/5965233/five-hours-of-planes-landing-at-san-diego-international-airport-in-less-than-thirty-seconds
I lucked out and got a prime parking space, then parked myself between an electrical box and some big terracotta planters. After I penciled things in and laid down a few light washes, I decided to adjust my own angle of approach. Since I'd gotten a late morning start, I decided to finish my sketch in the afternoon when I'd have some bigger shadow shapes to play with. I then met up with the rest of the group, and after a life-affirming bagel and coffee, returned to the scene of the sign.
Sargent supposedly said, "An artist painting a picture should have at his side a man with a club to hit him over the head when the picture is finished." I probably could have used a good 'club man' when I got back to my little sketch, but in the end, it was still a pleasant little picture, which is all I really set out to make. Done, I popped back into the café to re-charge before heading back home. At this point I was seeing paintings everywhere, so I decided to get one more in just for fun, Only this time, I tried a different approach: no pencil---just squint at the values and 'ready, set, paint!'
I have a passion for plein air painting. I try to capture and share the moments of beauty I find. You can see some of my work online at: