Art Journal 4/19/2014: First Sketchcrawl!

Last week’s homework involved doing a sketchcrawl. Last week I had a deadline to beat and then promptly got very sick, so I couldn’t exactly do it. Today, I was still not feeling 100% but decided to get on with it anyway.

I started at about 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning with a cup of cappuccino at Coffee Works. Cafes are always a nice place to start drawing right? But I felt so uncomfortable with the idea of sketching that my drawings were cramped and inaccurate. I felt that someone was looking over my shoulder the whole time!


After a while, I stopped caring. Kind-of. And then did a mini watercolor of the scene outside. The photo below doesn’t really capture the colors of the miniature because I had to use flash. Might get another photo of it in the morning.

When I finished the miniature and my cappuccino, I headed out to the avenue park to sketch a tree. (see above)

In between sketching the tree, some of the dispatchers and the people who help with car parking kept looking over my shoulder. They weren’t saying anything at first so I just pretended I didn’t see them. They did talk to me after some time and they were very nice. Eventually some kids playing in the park came over to watch and asked for portraits. I did a small watercolor of four kids while talking to them. I didn’t bring a camera so I wasn’t able to record those portraits.

Below is a drawing of one of the shops (to the left) and an out-of-proportion sketch of three of the kids (to the right). By the time they asked me to sketch them full-body they were already restless from sitting still and ran around. (The diamonds on top of one of the kids’ hands are “ice powers like Elsa from Frozen.”) The kids eventually left but not before having a little cousinly fight.


I then proceeded to the St. Augustine Cathedral. The desire to capture it was triggered by Prashant Miranda‘s sketches of churches in his hometown. I never really had a chance to appreciate the gothic architecture of the Cathedral (partly because the Church and the Mosques in my own hometown seemed nicer and grander).

By this time, two weird things had happened: First, some random guy at the avenue park tried to sell me a love charm. He was obviously not a native (probably European) and spoke English with an accent that made it hard to understand him. The charm was a piece of paper with several lines and something like a taijitu at the center where I was supposed to “write your name here, and the name of your lover here” and something something something. I politely declined. Because, well, what on earth would I do with a love charm?

Second, an old lady with a satchel and a cane near the Cathedral offered to read my palm. I also declined, saying that predicting the future sounded scary. But the truth was that I simply didn’t really want any spoilers of my life, thank you very much.


I then hit the mall to cool down. Had a cup of vanilla latte at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf but forgot to tell the folks behind the counter that I didn’t want any sugar or sweetener. (I’m used to the homegrown coffeeshops that give you coffee without sugar, so you can just add as much or as little as you want. I never have sugar with espresso-based coffees.) Just finished the entire cup because it was pretty expensive and would be a waste to throw out. Also, I sketched my coffee mug and the shelves in the shop. By the time I finished the sketch, a muscle between my knuckles was already swollen and super sore. Last sketch of the day, I guess?


Afterwards, I headed over to the office to watch a few movies and have dinner with Jonard. (No more drawing, though, because if I pushed it, my friends at the ER would have their first case of drawing-related injury.)

In a nutshell: I managed to loosen up about drawing, made a few friends, rediscovered a chunk of my city’s history, was offered a love charm and a palm reading (and decided I didn’t need either), had two cups of coffee, got a sore hand and rested it over three movies and a nice dinner.

Not a bad first sketchcrawl. I definitely want to do this more often! (Now if only I had a sketchbuddy or two…)


10 thoughts on “Art Journal 4/19/2014: First Sketchcrawl!

  1. Very nice drawings! I always feel the same way when I draw in public – like someone is always looking over my shoulder. It’s great you were able to just ignore it and stay focused. I find I get insecure when I feel like I’m being watched or just knowing the subject of a portrait will see the drawing at the end.
    You have a beautiful collection of drawings in that sketchbook!

    • Thank you so much! It was my very first time to do it deliberately so I’m glad it became such a positive experience. And that’s also why I prefer making portraits of kids, because they usually think it’s amazing even if it doesn’t look exactly like them. Thanks again! 🙂

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