WS 001: A Line Walks into a Bar…

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workshop no. 001: perception to pen to paper

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sunday, september 24, 12 – 5pm, dolores park, sf

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If you plan on attending, please RSVP to the Facebook event posting. On the day of the workshop, I’ll drop the exact location in the park on the page.

Yep, there’s a whole bunch of text down here – mainly because you’ll be spending five hours with me and you should probably know what you’re getting into. During this time, I’ll give a quick tour of a couple of my sketchbooks, talk about my drawing process and how it’s informing pretty much everything in my life (in a very awesome way!), demonstrate a few sketches using various techniques, and have you guys follow along.

This first workshop will focus on the most important step for sketching: opening up your sketchbook and put a line down! We’re going to be exploring sober lines (confident, straight, accurate) and drunk lines (scratchy, sketchy, messy) to capture the stimulating environment around us. There’s so many interesting potential drawing subjects at Dolores Park – Victorian houses! A pirate ship! Weird people! Delectable looking baked goods of questionable origin! The pissoir! 

(seriously, that last one would make for such an interesting sketch)

And because I’ve been asked multiples times if beginners can join in: YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. There’s something in these five hours for everyone, from people who haven’t drawn since that one time they were forced to in eighth grade art class to people who live and breathe art, but want to step outside their comfort zone and go back to the simplicity of a single, deliberate line.

I had originally set up this workshop as a casual get-together for my friends who had asked for sketching tips, and over time it’s evolved into this… thing.

And this thing is really going to be 80% art class, 20% therapy session, 10% enjoying the lovely projected weather on Sunday outside with great company, and 7% being okay when things don’t quite add up.


and now, what to bring:

The first two are required; everything else after that is totally optional. If you’re not Amazon Prime-ing this stuff and want to pick up some art supplies around the city – ARCH Art & Drafting Supply in Potrero Hill is fantastic. They carry almost all of my favorite materials, and there’s usually an adorable pitbull running around the parking lot that you can say hi to.

  • a pen
    Any pen will do. I’m a fan of my Microns – 005, 02, 05, 08, and BR are staples in my kit. A lot of folks like fountain pens as it’ll give you a variety of line weights in one stroke. Grab a ballpoint pen, if that’s all you have lying around. NO PENCILS!
  • something to draw on
    Sketchbook, loose paper, pieces of cardboard from all those amazon prime boxes, whatevs. I recommend a sketchbook, though. I’ve used everything from dollar store sketchbooks (Daiso has an amazing collection) to Canson spiral bound sketchbooks to Moleskine watercolor albums. My past few books have been from Princeton Architectural Press’s Observer’s Notebook series. I love the varied lined backgrounds on each page, and the paper takes watercolor surprisingly well.
  • dolores park survival gear
    Drinks and snacks for yourself, picnic blanket, sunscreen, etc.
  • set of watercolors, or color medium of your choice
    If you’re just starting out and want to keep costs low – I totally recommend the 12 color Koi Sakura portable palette. It’s what I started with a few years ago, before I really committed to this watercolor thing and started plowing the contents of my bank account into artist quality paints
  • a waterbrush
    I really like this Pentel Arts Aquash brush. The Koi Sakura set comes with a tiny one – that totally works.
  • something to clean your brush with
    I use paper napkins, but a small sponge works great for this.


leave at home:

  • your inner critic
    (All y’all confident types can totally ignore this)
    Yeah yeah, I know it’s easier said that done. But if you have that voice inside your head that’s constantly reminding you that you suck at drawing… well, try to shut that up as much as possible on Sunday. I’ll be glad to help with that.


See you guys on Sunday!

Can’t wait to get sketchy with all of you.







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