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Urban Sketching in the Bay Area

By Alan Butler AIA

Last week I took a three day urban sketching and watercolor class in the East Bay. It was taught by Alameda architect David Savellano, http://davidsavellano.com. He was a great teacher and it exposed me to many new concepts and techniques for both sketching and using watercolor. I have a long way to go, but had a great time sketching at various waterfront locations in Oakland including the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market and along the Alameda Estuary.

The days following allowed me to do some experiments in watercolor in Alameda, San Francisco, and Stanford. Tuesday was a visit to the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park where I took some of the photos shown below, and later sketched on the band concourse. We saw the Richard Diebenkorn show at the DeYoung which I highly recommend. Diebenkorn is perhaps the most highly regarded California artist of the Abstract Expressionist period from the 50’s to the late 70’s. The show covers his Berkeley years in the mid fifties to the mid sixties. This is his most widely liked work and is much more realistically focused work involving figures and landscapes. His use of color and forms is very exciting.

All in all a great week in our own backyard of the Bay Area. Don’t miss the lights on the Oakland Bay bridge after dark!

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