Tents and Trees

I drew this scene once before, the Here There sign sculpture on the Berkeley Oakland border. At that time it was just big letters on a lawn facing a busy intersection. Now a homeless camp sits among the letters.

camp at Here There

 

Meanwhile, back in Dimond Park, the doomed oak has been pruned of its heavy branches. Only the skeleton trunk is left now.

skeleton oak

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Light Spills Down Slope

A hurried sketch of a slope in Dimond Park:

 

and the painting of the scene I finished afterward:

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Do Not Climb

In the tot lot next to the doomed oak is a a circular structure with a sign on it that says “Do not climb.” I suppose the little seats mean it’s just a fancy bench, but those big parallel arcs sure make it look like it was meant for climbing.

Do Not Climb

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Shade in the Park

It’s pretty much a routine to go to the park with  Shadow every morning, still finding things to draw.

utility building shadows

And here’s the doomed oak again. I’m studying it as much as I can while it’s still here. The space will look so empty without it.

oak behind restrooms, casting shadows

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Calligraphs

Out with Shadow in the park again, trying to follow people with my brushpen. There was a group of kids sitting on the ground.

sitting on the ground

sitting on the ground

The group leader bent over, then knelt.

bending over and kneeling

One girl stretched and leaned, but stayed rooted to her spot. She was elegantly thin.

stays rooted

I studied the gestures again later.

studies

studies

studies

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Sun and Shadows

Here’s the doomed oak again, the one that lost half its trunk after the last rain. Around one o’clock the sun just lit the outer branches, leaving the inner branches in shadow. It looks almost like a head of broccoli cut in half.

Doomed Oak

 

There is one tree different from all the oaks, pines and redwoods in the park, out in the middle of the lawn. Maybe it’s a magnolia?

One Different Tree

There are so many different kinds of tree in the park, and they cast shadows on each other, like this little lawn tree, partly shaded by an oak at least 20 feet away.

Shaded Tree

Outside the park I found this little shrublet next to a big tree, half covered by the shadows cast on the grass.

Shaded Shrub and Shadows

 

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Trees

My second favorite thing in the world is to hang out with my dog Shadow somewhere where I can sketch. The only thing I like better is to curl up with him and watch a movie.

trees in a row

trees in a row

Dimond Park lost one of its old trees after the heavy rain last winter. Another one of these oaks is slated to be taken down in a month. A huge limb had fallen, taking out some picnic tables, and revealing decay in the main trunk which makes the tree too hazardous to leave standing.

oaks in Dimond park

oaks next to playground

 

trimmed tree in Dimond park

trimmed tree on the lawn

 

redwood in Dimond park

redwood

two trees in Dimond park

two trees when the sun came out

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Tai Chi in the Park

I sat on the lawn with Shadow at my side and tried to follow a Tai Chi group with my brush pen. An old gentleman came up behind me, smiled and said something in Chinese. I wish I could have understood what he said, but anyway it sounded friendly.

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This Week’s Sketchbook

 

next to tot lot

Over the weekend an art festival was held at the park, and a stage set up with a performance by Circus Bella.

Circus Bella

shade, empty basketball court

the color of trees

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Faces

More warmups, using faces from two sources. The first set is from Alex Kayser’s book, Heads. The photos are all black and white, so I can’t really know what the actual skin colors are. The second set is from photos by Martin Schoeller from a National Geographic article, The Changing Face of America. In that case the photos were in color but I’ve sketched them with a different color.

Heads

Changing Face

I’ve been fascinated with skin tones lately, but it’s also fascinating to look at features without any consideration of color.

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