100 Views of Silicon Valley: Baylands / Shoreline Park

The Baylands Nature Preserve and adjucent to it Shoreline Park are an amazing part of Silicon Valley and home to many birds, amphibians, mammals (some of those are running, biking, flying kites and kayaking on she lake).

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Baylands / Shoreline Park

Sketchbook #112: The story of old bulbs

I found some old flower bulbs in my storage this spring and realized that without any prompt from me, without a ray of light or any soil or water, they started to sprout some green leaves. Since the process began I decided to stick them in some soil I had in a box and the project was born!

These are sketches that depict my fretting as to what kind of flowers I might have (the choice was between daffodils, tulips, and hyacinthus). There was some drama too: one day my neighboring squirrel dug out some of the bulbs and one even got on the ground outside... but it did not stop the project. Plants are amazingly resilient! Sketchbook #112: The story of old bulbs18Sketchbook #112: The story of old bulbs

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

Black Belt saga continues with more training, tai-chi, stretches, preliminary testing and me drawing people who go through this for the first time and those who've been through this already several times and those on support team. I miss dogs who used to come to the training sessions but we changed location and I almost never see the joy of "my master is running by" :)

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale is an amazing city filled with fruit trees and cozy houses. I love and use it's library (upper left) and always noticed a cell tower above police station from afar.
I watched the last cherry orchard in Sunnyvale become an apartments and shopping center (though there is still a little store with an old sign - all that is left of the old ways of he fruit valley - before the silicon days. Oh - and bottom left "El Paseo de los Suenos" - an abstract sculpture which brings in it's idea California settlers, geological structure and solstices.

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Sunnyvale

Sketchbook #112: Magnolia Flowers in Gouache

I love all kinds of magnolias - from the gentlest flowers whose shape follows the wind to strong cups of pure white color to a thick-petaled monsters of several layers that supported prehistoric beetles before bees existed. And did I mention the fuzzy qualities of buds? Drawing them is always a joy!

Sketchbook #112: Magnolia Flowers in GouacheSketchbook #112: Magnolia Flowers in GouacheSketchbook #112: Magnolia Flowers in Gouache

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Mountain View - Google

Google occupies a wide range of different buildings in Mountain View and around the area but they all have some things in common: colorful umbrellas, chairs, and google bikes. And googlers everywhere :) Soon there will be a whole set of specifically google buildings - I sketched the construction site at the beginning of this project. Based on what's in the proposal it will be a grand building - but I am sure my way of recognizing a place by a bright set of yellow, red, blue and green will work there too :)

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Mountain View - Google
Here is a couple of process shots:
100 Views of Silicon Valley: Mountain View - Google 100 Views of Silicon Valley: Mountain View - Google

Sketchbook 112: Reading Time

We just finished one book where everybody dies and started another one - there were several deaths in the first two chapters already...

Sketchbook 112: Reading TimeSketchbook 112: Reading Time

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

Black belt journey is filled with many repetitions of the same techniques. As kids and adults go over the same set of exercises trying different approaches, tips, and tricks for better form and a stronger result I find myself doing the same with the sketching same poses over and over - this time I decided to draw negative spaces around people.

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt TrainingSketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

I continue my record of the journey to the black belt - parallel pen, black ink and lots of hot tea during a very early morning training.

Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training Sketchbook #112: Black Belt Training

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Los Altos

I've been in love with some streets lined with blooming trees in Los Altos for a while now. But when I tried to find a good angle to draw I saw that the best view is from the car actually - while driving. So I ended up setting my little stool on the divider and painted top two paintings very quickly - while cars zoomed by loudly. And the bottom two are Los Altos Libary and a historical oak tree behind it.


100 Views of Silicon Valley: Palo Alto

Top two images are of the Stanford construction next to the Bol Park. And the bottom two images are a quick glance at the Cubberley Community Center.


Sketchbook #112: Reading Time

I have to admit that one of the most reliable and versatile tools I know is a humble ballpoint pen. Even though I enjoy all sorts of crazy and cool fountain pens, spend hours finicking them into perfection only to start all over on the next day, still, if you ask me what one drawing tool will be with me on the desert island - my answer will probably be a ballpoint pen :) Though there are some ballpoint pens I like more than others ;)
Sketchbook #112: Reading Time

100 Views of Silicon Valley

This is one of the mini gouaches I did recently while out on a quick urban sketch/meet with Suhita Shirodkar. This is a construction site of a brand new Google Campus in Mountain View.

As I looked at this page and at a few other mini-paintings on my table and in my sketchbooks I realized that I am collecting a nice set - and decided to give it a name and a goal. This is how "100 Views of Silicon Valley - a collection of iconic views in mini gouache paintings" were born.


Sketchbook #112: Thundercloud Plum Tree (aka purple leaf plum tree)

These magnificent blooming trees always make my spring extra special!
I have one under my window and track it progresses from bare branches to burgeoning buds to the gentle crocheted vale of pink flowers to a strong mane of putple leaves. And I never notice when this tree sheds leaves - somehow I never do - it's always a surprise to me when I see it's naked again :)

Sketchbook #112: Thundercloud Plum TreeSketchbook #112: Thundercloud Plum Tree

New Workshop: Gouache Your World!

I am honored to announce that 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.

This workshop will give participants basic tools needed to use gouache successfully. It is geared toward people who struggled with gouache before but also to those trying this medium for the first time.

Joint me on April 7th on Stanford Campus for three hours of instructions and painting. I am assembling a little kit of materials for all participants (there will be additional $15 fee for these). I will share additional materials and of course my sketchbooks during this workshop.

But wait - after my class, there will be NINE MORE amazing classes - all of which look like I want to take them at least once! Click here to learn more about them all and let's sketch together!

Workshop link:

Sketchbook #112: Everyday Life - Cello Classes and Black Belt Training

I've got a Pilot Parallel Pen and now having so much fun drawing everything with this crazily expressive turns! Gesture drawings are most exciting as I tent to overwork the longer sketches but I hope to find a middle ground somewhere.
Sketchbook #112: My Life Drawing ClassSketchbook #112: My Life Drawing ClassSketchbook #112: Cello