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.
A hurried sketch of a slope in Dimond Park:
and the painting of the scene I finished afterward:
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
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
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.
I studied the gestures again later.
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.
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.
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
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
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 next to playground
trimmed tree on the lawn
two trees when the sun came out
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.
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.
shade, empty basketball court
the color of trees
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.
I’ve been fascinated with skin tones lately, but it’s also fascinating to look at features without any consideration of color.