Staying almost three weeks in Southern California gave me plenty of opportunity and time to sketch. My first stop was Orange County where my favorite destination is the beach, especially on overcast days when the atmosphere is soft and diffuse. The muted grey and aqua colors create a relaxed environment for reading books, building sand castles and listening to the rhythmic surf.
|Hole in the Wall Beach, Orange County, CA|
Most of the homes lining the streets in Capistrano Beach are one of a kind. I love it when I can find something as interesting and compelling to sketch as Joanne and Mark’s house from the comfort of my own room. Mark is a contractor and built the house to their specifications right down to the weathervane with the sailboat that crowns the roof. Tropical plantings accent the house with exotic flair.
|Mark & Joanne's House, Capistrano Beach, CA|
After a week, I moved up into Los Angeles County. The dense traffic, intense sun, and heat were an adjustment after enjoying big spaces and cool ocean breezes along the coast. While attending a child’s birthday party at Grand Center, I found a shady spot to view Los Angeles City Hall. Manicured and composed, the iconic building glistened white against intense blue sky. A promenade of tall palm trees framed the building precisely. Lots of heat radiated up from acres of concrete making the shaded areas prime property.
|Los Angeles City Hall, Los Angeles, CA|
I took advantage of my location in the center of Los Angeles by sketching characters on the street. La Brea Ave is a popular destination lined with restaurants, cafes and home design boutiques. I had a good time scouting the area and found a LA woman sitting outside a coffee shop working on her computer. Although it was 85 degrees under the umbrella, she wore a red plaid flannel shirt over her short shorts. Her bright yellow curls screamed personality.
|Los Angeles woman at an outdoor cafe|
Pools are ubiquitous in Los Angeles homes and commercial settings so children should learn how to swim for their own safety. Swimming lessons are big business at massive swim centers throughout the region. Sketching at a lesson in a private pool, I tried to highlight the magic of teaching and learning.