Monthly Archive for January, 2007

Foster Gardens Epiphytes

I’ve begun adding some watercolor to the drawing I laid down at Foster Gardens in Honolulu (see “Foster Gardens” post, January 15th, 2007). I’m tempted to either leave it as is, or continue coloring the whole composition, but I’m a little worried that I’ll muddy things. It seems a little unfinished as is, but I like it at the same time.


Sketchcrawl 12 1/2 (and 101st post!)

I participated in my first Sketchcrawl yesterday: “Sketchcrawl in Your Home!” I had lots of fun with my sumi water-brush pen and I think maybe this was a good warmup for lucky Sketchcrawl 13. Below are the results. I’ve also posted these to the Sketchcrawl Forum and Flickr Sketchcrawl Pool.

sketchcrawl12.5_01sketchcrawl12.5_02sketchcrawl12.5_02asketchcrawl12.5_03 sketchcrawl12.5_04sketchcrawl12.5_05 sketchcrawl12.5_06

Also, I want to add a note that this is my 101st post to the Art & Story Blog, so a mini centennial celebration of sorts is in order. Mind you, almost a quarter of those 101 posts have been made in this month alone. I’m on that kind of productivity kick.

Oh, Seamus O’Toole!

Good morning. Here are my further attempts at capturing the beautiful and grotesque features of Peter O’Toole. They’re a little better than the one I posted late last night/early this morning, but still not *quite* there.



“Venus, if you will
Please send a little girl for me to thrill
A girl who wants my kisses and my arms
A girl with all the charms of you”

—Ed Marshall (performed by Frankie Avalon)

I just saw Peter O’Toole in Venus and after many shoddy attempts to draw his caricature, I’ve arrived at the one you see here. This is as close as I get tonight. Take it or leave it. I only hope you can see a resemblance.


What a tremendous performance from O’Toole and what a tremendous film! Venus is a melodrama* and a love story and one of the best damn executions of both that I have seen in a long long time. I think perhaps not enough can be said about it, and so I’m inclined not to say a thing more on the subject.

Along with this, I want to point out that this is the first post of a drawing done with the Aquash water-brush pen filled with black sumi ink (see “Little Tokyo Afternoon”). I’ve actually done a number of other sketches with it in the past couple of days, which I’ll be posting here. I’ve enjoyed inking with a brush in the past and this tool makes it that much easier. I love it!

*EDIT: Webster’s defines melodrama as “a work (as a movie or play) characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization.” Since Venus is characterized by characterization and not so much by the predominance of plot and physical action, I suppose it doesn’t really qualify as a melodrama. Which is probably just as well, since melodrama has some poor conotations. Anyway, it was good. Go see it. And let me know if you think Peter O’Toole should get the Oscar. I think he should, but maybe the Academy would like to set a new record. If O’Toole doesn’t win, he’ll have obtained the record for most number of best-actor nominations and no best-actor award.

Makapu’u Lighthouse in Color


Kaimana Favorite in Color

Pow! Here’s some intense color. Click for a larger version.
Also, here’s the original drawing once again for comparison:
Update: Note, I’ve been told that the colors come up a bit dark for some Windows users. Sorry, folks! It looks very bright on my Mac and I have no PC to check it with.

Blue Smoke

The last of the Hawaii sketchbook pages, “Blue Smoke in Aina Haina.”



This is the mythical wahine of Hawaiian shores. I saw her for a moment and in the next she had vanished into the ocean. This was drawn from memory.


Kaimana Favorite

This is one of my favorite sketches from the trip to Hawaii. Click it for a larger version.


Beach Couple

Also from Kaimana.


Beach Peoples

Yes, I did draw some people when I was in Hawaii, not just rocks, plants, and architecture. These are from Kaimana beach. I loved the image of this guy flanked by two young wahines and their buns all lined up in a row. Also, the couple with their cooler. I like the way the lady’s face, puff of hair, and hat came out. Happy accidents. What else can a doodler ask for?


Outside Shangri-La

Here’s a view of Shangri-La from “Doris Duke’s” beach.
Click the image for a larger version.

Honolulu Academy of Art

The courtyard pond back at the Honolulu Academy of Art:


Inside Shangri-La

In the afternoon, Jamie and I went on a tour of Shangri-La, the Hawaii home of tobacco heiress Doris Duke and now a museum of Islamic Art and Architecture. Photographs weren’t allowed inside the house, but they didn’t say anything about sketching, so I took my sketchbook along and scribbled away. I did several sketches of the interior rooms which were very quick and dirty. Here’s one example:


And then a couple more sketches from the yard. A quick one of the shores…


…and a fountain leading downstairs to the pool. I really wanted to take a dip. I think showing people this pool and not letting them swim in it is a sort of torture. Evil. Truly Evil. My perspective is screwed up on the rendering of the fountain, but c’est la vie.


Foster Gardens

When sketching on Paiko Beach, I made the aquantance of another artist, Spencer Chang, who showed me some of his terrific loose watercolors of places in Japan, Hawaii, and the Los Angeles area. He told me about a group that meets every week in Foster Gardens, a botanical garden in Honolulu, to sketch and paint. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear he’d participated in a Sketchcrawl in Hawaii. So, long story short, later that week I went to Foster Gardens to see what it was all about. In addition to getting a late start, that was also the day it started raining. I walked through the gardens, but the rain made sketching and painting a bit more difficult, so I just took lots of photos and tried not to ruin my camera. The small assembly of people in this sketching/painting group were stationed under an overhang near the restrooms of the park. I wasn’t quite as excited about the compositions I could create from this area, but I settled into sketching this large nearby hunk of wood covered with epiphytes and included the many different trees visible in the background.


I had just completed another light sketch of this in my watercolor book and was getting ready to add some color, when Jamie called me on my cell phone [I finally did add color later on. See here.]. We were going on a tour of Shangri-La later that afternoon and decided we should get an early start to allow for lunch. So I ended up leaving the group early. More on the trip to Shangri-La in a later post.