Next Monthly Sketch Outing

Nov. 11, 1:30 p.m., at King Street Station
See Monthly Outing page for details.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Watson's Greenhouse and Nursery - Puyallup

Out back this was done under the permanent awning looking west. First time sketching at Watson's and will certainly come back. Good meal at the cafe inside, enjoyed seeing everyone and their work.

Watercolor in a moleskine watercolor book.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pop icons at Funko

The monthly outing of Urban Sketchers Seattle was at the iconic pop-culture hub, Funko store in Everett.

Funko from Wetmore Avenue
The weather was bright, sunny with chilly winds. Being Sunday I was accompanied by my husband and daughter too. I was running late for sketching. I selected a spot near the bus stop on Wetmore Avenue diagonally opposite to Funko, to get the entire view of 1920's historic building and also the warmth of sun. This entire structure is remodeled with the display of huge pop-icons. I did the pen work only as my hands were getting numb, so left the coloring part for later.

After taking the stroll of store around, I sketched the pop entities Harry Potter and Pink monkey with fluorescent green jacket at the front entrance. Funko has only one floor and other floors are used for offices. I met other sketchers here, who were sketching the front view.
Pop-icons at Front Entrance

My daughter was thrilled by Harry Potter section inside the store and she bought her favorite character : Hermione Granger.
It was fun to sketch these characters which have so much impact on kids and adults alike. I loved the sign board with tiny lights and revolving crown icon.
Before going for the meet-up I did Funko sign board and few more pop-icons displayed on the building. I was fascinated by these highest selling geek figures made up of vinyl and bobbleheads. Unfortunately I was unaware of many of these characters.

Indeed a great Sunday fun, at Funko!

Funko Panorama

At Sunday's meet up in downtown Everett, I wanted a view of Funko's relatively new HQ in the old Bon Marche/Macy's building that captured the iconic corner figure and signage. The result is like a panorama, except one that is vertically oriented rather than horizontal.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fun at Funko

We went further afield than usual yesterday to sketch outside the new Funko Headquarters in Everett, WA. I've been looking forward to this for weeks, ever since Tina scouted it out!

There are oversized Funko figures on the overhangs above the first floor. I went up to the 3rd floor in the parking garage to get a look.

It was from there that I did my first sketch... Harry Potter!

I took a break to look around inside and to get warm. The Harry Potter display was my favorite. The did such a good job. I'm a major Star Wars geek but the Harry Potter area was better than the Star Wars one.

I next did an Inktober sketch of the Harry Potter trio inside the store.

We shared our sketches in a plaza across the street and took a group photo with the Funko facade in the background.  


There were some new people and also a couple sketchers who hadn't come out with us in a while.  And then Parker was visiting from New York! 

Many more photos, mostly inside:

Sun, Fun and Funko

10/15/17 Funko storefront
The intersection of California and Wetmore in Everett was a lively place Sunday morning, and I’m not talking about the line of people waiting outside the Funko store door. It was lively because sketchers were on every corner and even on the rooftop of the parking garage across the street, sketching the most colorful residents of downtown Everett.

I was there a month ago scoping out the location for Urban Sketchers Seattle, but I stayed on the street level that time. On Sunday I went up to the garage rooftop with several others, where we got a fantastic view of the storefront (and the bright sun at our backs kept us warm). I’m not familiar with this lavender-colored monkey, but I was told he’s a video game character. I never found out why a line of people began forming an hour before the store’s opening, but I was told by employees that it’s been like that every day since the store opened in August. They obviously know something I don’t.

On Wetmore Avenue, I caught Anne and Vivian sketching the storefront (plus Batgirl and the same monkey overhead). 

Although Everett is a little further north than we typically go for a Sunday outing, we got a great turnout on this chilly but sunny morning. What a fun place!

10/15/17 Wetmore Avenue

Suzanne on the rooftop
Michelle sketching the storefront

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fun with USk at Funko

Urban Sketchers from Seattle traveled about 30 miles north to the world headquarters of Funko for the monthly outing today. We met at 10am even though the store doesn't open on Sundays until 11:00. A line was already forming when I arrived at 9:30 am. We got an insider's tip and went to the roof of a 4 story building across the street from Funko.
I brought two sketchbooks, one for ink wash and one for watercolor line and wash.
My "mysterious" sketch of  Bat Girl  for Inktober Day 15
The parking garage roof was a great viewpoint for sketching the customers lined up waiting to get in and the giant figures of pop heroes securely attached to the overhang. The sunny exposure made it much warmer than the cold 50°F weather would indicate. It was positively chilly downstairs in the shade.
Formerly the old Bon Marche, this was where I bought onesies for my babies. In the distance, down Wetmore Ave., you can see the tan colored Funko building reflected in the blue glass sides of the last tall building.
My finished spread with building reflections, fall foliage, people lined up and Carolyn sketching.
The Crown Logo casts a shadow across the sunny sidewalk where Carolyn was sketching.
I was hoping that I could Pop! myself at the little Do It Yourself action figure counter inside, but it's not quite ready yet. So I had to settle for a digital Pop!elganger with the Pop! Yourself avatar creator online. I do hope they add sketchbooks and pens in the accessories section.
I "popped" myself  as a super hero sketcher on the parking roof across from Funko

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Stay for the Scones...

Inktober 12-13

Once again, the proprietor of the Stonehouse Bakery in Rainier Beach welcomed the Ad Hoc Urban Sketcher group to his cafe for our sketch outing. USk is often made welcome in local businesses when we come to sketch, but Patrick's enthusiasm for our group is personal and genuine and extends to having a batch of hot Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Scones ready when we arrived!! On my first visit, it was the quirky cobblestone building that fascinated me, but it was chilly yesterday, and I stayed inside and drew several small scenes - my scone, the chrysanthemum on a nearby window, and Tina before she decamped to sketch outside.

2015_10_16 USk Stone House
Here's my sketch from a few years ago. As Kate and Tina have mentioned, Patrick is moving to a new location in White Center in January 2018, and I look forward to visiting him there!

Friday, October 13, 2017

One Last Time

For the past 2 years we've sketched  at the Stonehouse Bakery and enjoyed the hospitality and delicious baked goods of Partrick Choy. He will be leaving that location at the end of the year so he invited us to sketch one last time at this unique building.

He made special treats for us and I found the cream cheese pumpkin scone to be the best! It was fresh out of the oven so I ate it rather than let it cool while I sketched it. Several of us chose to stay inside, sketch, eat our scones and have pleasant conversation.  It was a delightful time. 

While I ate my warm scone, I sketched the people in front of the decorated fireplace mantle.  I liked the "East More Pie" sign.

By 11:30 the weather was sunny.  I planted myself in the sun and was able to stay warm while I sketched the truck and pumpkins.

Patrick joined our group photo one last time in front of his unique location.

A few more photos:

A Farewell Scone

10/13/17 I delayed sketching until my scone was half gone.
Nothing keeps me from a warm pastry -- not even sketching.
The Stone House Bakery on the south end of Lake Washington has been a sketcher-friendly venue the past couple of years. The first time was almost exactly two years ago when, after warming up first with a scone and coffee, I was able to go outdoors long enough to sketch the Stone House itself. When we went in July last year, we all went outside to sketch the colorful décor, including the blue truck parked there permanently. The owner, Patrick Choy, is moving his popular bakery to a new location, so Urban Sketchers Seattle met at the old Stone House location today for the last time.

Again fortifying myself first with a scone (cream cheese pumpkin!) and coffee, I intended to eventually sketch outside if the morning warmed up. Almost all of us began the same way – sketching our scones. I decided I needed to stay warm a little longer, so I sketched the view out the window (including a bit of the lovely stonework around the window).

10/13/17 Looking out the stone window
With only a half-hour left, I zipped up my jacket, pulled on my hoods (yes, plural), and went out to the café’s haunted house. I gave the fellow below 15 hasty minutes before I scurried back inside, rubbing my hands together. I guess there’s no denying that fall is here. 

Many thanks to Patrick for being a gracious host to us the past couple of years. I’ll certainly get to his new location for more scones, if not sketching.

10/13/17 A slender patron

Check out Sue's sketch of me! I think it's the first time I've recognized myself in someone's sketchbook!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Meet the Correspondent : Ujjwal Mahajan

Hello fellow Sketchers!
I am super excited to be writing my first post for Urban Sketchers Seattle blog. It's a great honor and pleasure to be a part of this forum.
My name is Ujjwal Mahajan. I was born and brought up in India. By profession I am an Architect and Product Designer. Me and my family moved to Seattle, Bothell in 2015. My husband is a Software engineer and we have a lovely daughter studying in Elementary school.
Since childhood drawing and sketching was part of my life. At the age of 9, I started doing oil paintings and had inclination towards art, thereby choosing the field of Architecture. Sketching is like meditation to me and I enjoy every bit of it.

I was introduced to Urban Sketchers group and Gabi's sketches by my brother, 9 months ago. The concept of visiting new places and sketching them live with actual surroundings appealed to me. It was a door opening to my passion and Urban Sketchers Seattle group. Thus, the journey started of carrying a sketchbook and a pen always! 
My first sketch crawl with USK Seattle was in January 2017 at Hing Hay Park, Chinese New Year celebration and it was a completely new beginning for me.
With USK Seattle I revived my architectural sketching skills, working on perspectives, trying different mediums, exploring new places and many more, it's simply amazing! Till date it's being so energizing, encouraging, meeting new people, sharing knowledge and learning new techniques each day. For a new comer like me, it is a warm and welcoming experience.
Apart from sketching, I enjoy traveling and calligraphy. Fortunate to move to a city like Seattle, which is full of natural beauty and artistic talents. I have been visiting new places in and around Seattle, capturing all the memories through sketches in my Travel sketchbook. Following are few sketches.
Center for wooden boats, Seattle
Meadowbrook Park, Seattle
Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Ballard Locks, Seattle

I look forward to share my experiences through sketches and stories here. I'm thrilled to be a Urban Sketcher Seattle Correspondent.
Happy Sketching!! Let's 'see the world one sketch at a time'.
My blog :
Flickr : ujjwaltmahajan

Friday, October 6, 2017

Color in the Japanese Garden

We planned a short notice sketch outing when the weather seemed good and the maples would be in their autumn colors at the Japanese Garden. We might have been a bit too early but we didn't want to wait until out next window of time as it could be raining then!

Today had a bit of fall crispness in the air but was otherwise perfect. I found a tree with some color and decided to try my new square Pentalic Aqua sketch book by doing a two page spread of the wide scene.

Since I was the first sketcher along the path, several people stopped to chat. A couple had used watercolors. One young woman asked how I got the effect seen most in the upper right corner. I explained it's granulation and is shown to good effect on this paper but happens because of the characteristics in the paint. It is Daniel Smith primatec, made from the actual stones or minerals.
The koi were jockeying for position to get as much of the food as possible.  The kiosk sells packets  so visitors give them what's good for them.  They appear as two small, orange flecks in the sketch.

I'd spent a lot of time on this sketch, letting layers dry (and talking to people). So I only had a few minutes. I've sketched this lantern and bridge before but decided this would be a good choice for a minimalist ink sketch and would also fulfill my Inktober drawing for the day.

We were delighted to have Jane Blundell from Australia join us today. She's in the USA teaching a number of workshops. All the ones this next week at Daniel Smith are full but there is a demo tomorrow afternoon. Along with her is Jonathan Livesey. USk Tacoma sketched with him on Wednesday so I met him again today.

group photo done by a passerby who composed well, showing the garden and some of the dramatic sky.

Not-Quite-Peak Experience at Japanese Garden

10/6/17 A chilly morning at Japanese Garden

10/6/17 Koi
For several years now, we’ve been wanting to sketch at Japanese Garden when the maples are turning, but it’s tricky. Urban Sketchers Seattle usually plans outings several weeks in advance, but the weather is so iffy in October that it’s impossible to know that far out whether a given day will be dry (and there’s no shelter at the garden).

This year we tried something new: We tentatively planned for any of the Fridays in October when a regular outing wasn’t scheduled, and if the weather seemed promising a few days out, we would schedule the garden that day. We took a chance on today, and our luck held out – although chilly in the morning, the sun appeared often enough to give us good shadows.

I actually got a jump on the group by visiting the garden yesterday too, which was more consistently sunny. On that day I went in the late afternoon, so the sun lit the trees on the opposite side of the koi pond, and I captured a little more color.

10/5/17 On the sunny side of the koi pond.
The maples aren’t at their peak yet, but who knows what the weather will be like in a couple of weeks? I’m just as happy that we took a chance on today. 

Australian painter and instructor Jane Blundell is in town this week and was able to join us at the garden! 

Jane Blundell joined us at the garden.
Jonathan and Jane

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ballard Locks (not the scenic view)

2017_09_17 USk Ballard Locks

Well, I was a kind of embarrassed about posting this sketch. See, I was feeling a little grumpy the last time Seattle USk met at the Ballard Locks. Every time I go to this popular spot, it seems more crowded and more covered in caution signs and barrier fencing (trying to keep the tourists out of the ship canal). So, contrarily, I sat down on a bench with no particular view and drew what was in front of me. Too much realism?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sunshine and Peacocks at Chateau Ste. Michelle

9/22/17 Chateau Ste. Michelle

It’s been at least a couple of decades since I last drove east to the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville. The state’s oldest winery, it’s on a lovely wooded property, resident peacocks roam the grounds, and wherever you sniff, wine is in the air! As if all that weren’t enough, Urban Sketchers Seattle had blue skies and sunshine on a day that could have gone just as easily towards clouds and rain.

9/22/17 Claude, the peacock
Along with several other sketchers, I walked toward the vineyard, and none of us could resist nibbling the fat, purple grapes we plucked from the vines. I was braced for tartness, but the one I popped into my mouth was fully ripe and amazingly sweet – sweeter than any grapes we buy at the store. With that sweetness still lingering, I plunked my stool down at the side of the entrance road to sketch the rows of trees welcoming visitors.

Next I walked around the winery grounds looking for the resident peacock pair. They were both sitting on the manor house porch, preening lazily for nearly the whole time I sketched Claude. He stopped preening long enough to stand for a moment and look around, and I saw that he was limping, apparently from a run-in with a visitor’s car.

As is often my habit, I had about 15 minutes to kill before the throwdown. The chateau (which houses one of the tasting rooms) is a large building, so I bit off a piece small enough to chew in those remaining minutes.

Although Woodinville is a little further than we typically go for Friday outings, we had an excellent turnout of sketchers on a gorgeous autumn day.

9/22/17 Chateau building