Friday, September 4, 2015

San Francisco, Part 1: Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio

8/31/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencil

With wedding festivities and related family events behind us, Greg and I went into the city for a few days. Although we’ve been to San Francisco several times, it had been many years since the last time, so everything seemed fresh and new – especially now that I was visiting with a sketchbook.

8/31/15 ink, colored pencils
As I had felt when I sketched the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge was intimidating, to say the least. Not only is it a huge structural wonder; it’s also visually magnificent – a world-famous icon perhaps nearly as recognizable as the Eiffel. How do I approach it, and which angle do I take? One of the best views is from the Presidio, where I made the sketch above. I had my self-inflating cushion with me, so I considered sitting on the ground, but as soon as I did, the chain guard rail obstructed my view. I decided to sketch the bridge standing up. Afterwards we walked out to one of the piers, where a sea lion and fishermen competed for the daily catch.

8/31/15 inks, colored pencil
With that icon checked off my list, I could then relax and move on to the rest of the Presidio. A beautiful national park, the Presidio is, surprisingly, home to a number of businesses, including Lucasfilm Ltd headquarters. While researching the area before our trip, Greg had spotted a photo of the Yoda fountain outside Lucasfilm’s front door – impossible to resist! As you might guess, it was a popular location for selfies by Star Wars fans of all ages.

A short distance away was a statue of Eadweard Muybridge, known as the father of cinema. Just behind him in the distance, I spotted the elegant Palace of Fine Arts Theatre – an ideal background for my sketch.

Next stop: downtown and the waterfront.

8/31/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencils


  1. I've been enjoying your travels, here and on IG.. You are fearless! I think you've made a quantum leap in your sketching skills, especially with these subjects today--the bridge and statuary. Great work!

  2. Great job sketching the SF Bridge. It didn't seem to stop you!!! I agree with Michele that you are fearless. Yay! Enjoy!!!

  3. Thank you, Michele and Joan! With each of these intimidating structures I try, the braver I become for the next one! Well, most of the time, anyway! ;-)

  4. Traveling, for a sketcher, is special. Thanks for sharing the trip with us.


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