Day Two of the Pleasanton Sketch Workshop

watercolor textured with plastic wrap and collage

Day two of the Pleasanton workshop we focused on preparing pages with collage and textures in preparation for our sketches.  It can be daunting to launch into a sketch with a permanent pen on a blank sheet of paper, so we start out with some color, texture, or collaged design and incorporate that into our drawing.  On this page I just recorded the foods we ordered for dinner the night before, along with some nature finds on the walk to the restaurant.  Most restaurants have business cards which serve as handy collage items to do a page on a meal eaten out.

bubble wrap texture and wine bottle cork stamping with map collage

I picked up the business card when we entered Nonni’s for lunch and cut out their logo to glue down.  When I sketched the fellow at the table next to us, it took only a minute because of the preparation of the paper ahead of time.  I added a few items from the table and had it mostly painted in before the meal arrived.

After lunch everyone agreed (what choice did they have?!) to get out of the comfort zone and go somewhere on Main St. “out in the open” to sketch ALONE.  We were racing down the expected rain and it was getting windy and cold.  I watched as one student was approached by two different couples who spoke to her while sketching on the side of the street.  This is what keeps many of us from sketching in public of course, this exposure to public scrutiny. It’s always pretty harmless, but you have to get used to it.

By the time I’d finished this sketch my fingers were blue.  Time to go back to the warmth of the art center to finish up for the day!

Tomorrow a slide show of the students’ sketches!



  1. I liked the photo of the table with art supplies. I am so hoping you can do a little one-Saturday class on the streets, stores, and cafes of Santa Rosa or Sebastopol. The collage element to get things going is just great. Once again, your sketchbooks think outside the box or page. Congratulations on a great class.


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