Questions Like When to Stop

The biggest city in Sonoma County, CA and the county seat is Santa Rosa. Right now the city is undergoing a major revamping in the center. Courthouse Square is soon to be a lovely park area with no cars driving through (as was the previous case). Bob and I were downtown and I wanted to check it out for a possible sketch project to record the transformation.  Of course I’m already too late for that, since I didn’t sketch the “before”, but Im thinking I’d like to sketch the cranes and signs and construction scene when they’re back at work after the Labor Day weekend.

courthousesq

fountain pen and brush pen and watercolor in 8X8″ hand.book w/c sketchbook

Capturing urban scenes is a relatively new challenge for me. There’s so much detail for the eye to focus on, and I’m learning little by little what to put in and leave out.

And then there’s also the question of when to STOP! It’s hard, because putting in all the shadow shapes is time consuming and not always necessary.

sebfarmmkt

Sometimes, as at the farmer’s market yesterday, I decide to just see how many layers I can put in to capture the story. My idea was to do a vignette, leaving white space, but I was having so much fun adding in characters that I just kept going.

The three young mothers in the foreground had toddlers constantly jumping into their laps and then running around in the grass. The guy behind them was a jazz musician playing on the ground rather than the stage for some reason. Great sounds!

And various people sat down on the bench next to me during the 30-40 minutes I was there and wanted to start up a conversation with me. It’s hard when you’re sketching, but Sebastopol is a very friendly town and people talk to you everywhere like you’re an old friend. Hmmm. Reminds me a bit of Ireland!

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