Why palm trees get a haircut?

Posted: May 8, 2019 | | Labels: , , , , ,

I love unkempt palm trees and never understood why people insist on this intrusion into the life of a tree. Recently I found out that the reason is that rats and raccoons live in those crazy trees and I loved it. Though now I think twice before I park myself to sketch under one of them :)

I saw a group of people singing while trimming palm trees once. They were working in harnesses, using large machete knives and were laughing and keeping the rhythm of the song with their work. I hope all of the palm trees are getting a haircut with songs and laughter.

Caterpillars under a huge oak tree.

Posted: Apr 30, 2019 | | Labels: , ,

I recently was sitting under a huge oak tree and sketching with my friends Suhitasketch and Teaandmarmalade. At some point, Suhita pointed these beautiful caterpillars sitting on her sketchbook and soon I counted over a dozen on our table.

After a quick search, I found out that these beauties are Western Tussock Moth

They are actually pests and chew through a lot of oak tree leaves in the area. Stanford University is fighting them by releasing microscopic worms (predatory nematodes) and spined soldier beetles, as well as power-washing trees and surfaces where eggs are laid and cocoons are left.

Refilling my tombow fudenosuke brush pen.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 | | Labels: , , ,

I've been using tombow fudenosuke for some time now - it's a great workhorse - easy on any paper and with a varied line width and waterproof ink it just worked as a very simple tool to put in a pocket lately. But it ran out of ink right before my trip and I did not have a spare one - so I tried refilling it with Platinum Carbon ink and it worked so great that I now keep doing this every time the ink starts to look a bit off!

These photos and a quick sketch will fill in the blanks of the following instructions:
  1. Pull out the back cap from the pen (use pliers) 
  2. Get some ink into the syringe
  3. Gently (drop by drop) add some ink to the foam core that sits inside the pen (you can also take it out and add ink that way - but I kept it inside to keep my hands relatively clean). You will not need a lot of ink to saturate the core.
  4. Close the cap and see how your pen writes now!
  5. If you overdid it with the ink there will be a bit of leakage from the tip. I left my pen sitting on a paper towel for a bit of time and it soaked all the extra.

Steps 1 and 2:
 Step 3.

Measuring Time with Flowers - part two

Posted: Mar 13, 2019 | | Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Here is the first part:
And here is second:

Join me on April 27th for the Joy of Gouache Workshop!

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 | | Labels: , , , , ,

I will be teaching gouache workshop this April as a part of series of on-location sketching workshops through The International Urban Sketchers organization and San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers Group.

In this workshop you will learn the joy of gouache through limiting your options and taking it with you on location for fast sketching. 

This workshop is geared towards people who have experience with gouache and want to try new techniques and get better and those who have struggled with gouache before and want to give it another try. (People who are trying this medium for the first time are also welcome.) 

Participants will learn about basic tools: layering, brush techniques unique to the gouache, then we will switch to some color mixing and brushwork on a more advanced level.

There is an additional materials cost of $15, paid to the instructor on the day.

To register please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-joy-of-gouache-tickets-54767234272

This workshop is part of the 2019 San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers’ 10x10 series. For more 10x10 workshops, click here.