Archive for the 'Field' CategoryPage 3 of 4


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.

Makapu’u Lighthouse

A view of Makapu’u Lighthouse from the summit lookout (above) and a panorama including the south-eastern shores plus rabbit and shark islands (below).

Makapu’u Point

More Hawaii sketches! Above is one from the lower of the two lookouts at Makapu’u Point summit, facing northwest toward Makapu’u Beach, Sea Life Park, Makai Pier, Waimanalo Bay, and beyond.
Below, is the view just to the right of the above coastline. Rabbit Island and Shark Island or “Rabbit and Shark.”

Little Tokyo Afternoon

I paid a visit to my old neighborhood yesterday: Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. First, I walked past my leaky old window. It still has the curtains I rigged up four and a half years ago. They’re looking pretty worse for wear now.


Then lunch at Suehiro. I sat at the counter and ordered the Okonomi Plate. Katsu chicken, vegetable gyoza, and boiled spinach. Along with that comes miso soup, mac salad, and a sort of slaw. I was eating my spinach when I sensed this little japanese lady sitting beside me, laughing under her breath. When I turned to look at her, I saw she was laughing at me. She said, “No soy sauce. Usually, eat with soy sauce.” And she continued to quietly chuckle. I said, “Oh, yeah, I guess so, but it’s fine like this.” She chuckled again. “No flavor,” she said. “No, there’s flavor,” I said. “It tastes like spinach.” I smiled. “Okay,” she said, “but I think, no flavor.” I caved. “Alright, alright,” I told her, and I drizzled some shoyu on the spinach. I have to admit it was a little tastier.


I struck up more conversation with the lady as we ate our meals. She had ordered rice balls — triangular hunks of rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed), usually with something at its core, such as salmon or dried plum. These didn’t have anything inside of them. She didn’t realize that when ordering. No flavor, she said. I mentioned that I liked rice balls with dried plum and she told me that the best is in her hometown of Mito, north of Tokyo. Best umeboshi. That’s the dried plum. We talked more about where we were from. I mentioned Seattle. She told me her daughter had lived in Seattle. Now she lives in New York where she teaches pole-dancing. I showed the lady my drawing of a soy sauce bottle, miso soup, and katsu sauce bottle. She told me that she paints — watercolor — and that her daughter likes owls, so she paints owls for her daughter. I quickly drew an owl on the page with the other drawings. We laughed at it.

After lunch, I went over to Kinokuniya Bookstore and picked up a few things. Some new Aquash waterbrush pens — small, medium, and large, and some sumi ink. I noticed one of the Aquash sets came with a waterbrush pen already filled with sumi ink. I didn’t want to buy the whole set, so I just got the ink and decided I’d fill one myself. I’ve yet to do it, but am looking forward to experimenting with that.


I also got something I’ve been wanting to pick up since seeing a post on Enrico Casarosa’s blog several months back. Hiyao Miyazaki’s Original Storyboards for My Neighbor Totoro.

IMG_7752.JPG IMG_7754.JPG

I still haven’t gotten a real chance to devour this book, but from flipping through it a couple of times so far, one thing that really stands out to me is how he actually uses quite few lines, yet he is able to really illustrate and communicate or describe what he wants to so clearly. More lines would just get in the way. I think this really illustrates his mastery as a draftsman and is something I could certainly benefit from by keeping in mind.

Koko Head

Looking east toward Koko Head from Paiko beach. This concludes the drawings from Paiko.


The House On Paiko

This drawing of a fenced-off vacant lot, drawn from the beach and looking toward Paiko drive on the other side, is called The House On Paiko. This is where Jamie grew up. Sometime after she and her family left this property, the house was torn down and this is what remains, still some 15-plus years later. Jamie tells me the coconut trees are no longer there, but this one large tree still stands. Someone has added a swing to it, and nestled up in the tree is a wooden plank. Perhaps the same plank that her brother would sit on, scouting the quality of the surf before paddling out.


Paiko Beach

In Hawaii, it’s a law that no one can own the beach. It belongs to the people. Therefore, beachfront properties must make access to the beach available to the public every so many feet, etc. These are called “right of ways.” Below is a quick sketch of the right of way from Paiko Drive in Honolulu or “Paiko Right-Of-Way.” Paiko is the street that Jamie (my girlfriend) grew up on. I don’t know if it’s the official name of the beach, but I call it Paiko as well. Just as Jamie grew up on this street, she also grew up on this beach. In this first post of sketches from an afternoon at Paiko, in addition to the sketch of the right of way, there is another quick sketch of the beach, looking westward. Click the image for a larger version.



Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

I returned home from Hawaii earlier this week, where I spent Christmas. I made an effort to do a fair amount of sketching on this trip and so I’ll be posting those here. Lots of beach sketches and the like. Here’s the first one, Lifeguard Stand at Kaimana.