Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunshine, Watercolors and Comics at U Village


4/19/24 University Village

The requested sunshine was delivered for USk Seattle at U Village last Friday, and we all agreed the temperature and conditions were nearly ideal: 66 degrees with a clear blue sky!

Arriving a little early, I found a sunny spot and started sketching immediately to stay warm. The rest of the morning continued apace – one small sketch after another until I filled a spread in my bright yellow Uglybook that seemed to reflect the day’s sunshine (top of post).

4/19/24 Why do I keep torturing myself?

I was having so much fun that I could have immediately started another spread, but I thought I “should” do a watercolor. Since I knew that comfy benches and tables were plentiful at U Village, I felt compelled to bring along my watercolor palette and A5-size Hahnemühle sketchbook. I found a suitable composition and even dutifully made a thumbnail first in my Field Notes, but I admit I didn’t enjoy using watercolors nor the result (at left) nearly as much as I do comic-style urban sketching with markers. I should stop torturing myself with watercolors and just embrace me doing me!

With that over with, I sighed with relief and happily pulled out my smaller A6 Hahnemühle for another comic-like spread (below). White paper enables me to use a little color – I’d be happy with that if I could just let watercolors go.

After the meetup, I stayed to have lunch with Natalie and Oralea. (U Village is great for that because everyone can choose what they want from the many food venues and meet later at the community tables.) The busy ramen shop I chose required a bit of a wait, so that got me started on another page (below). Then when I unwrapped my takeout, it turned out to be a “kit” that I wish had come with assembly instructions. The toppings, the noodles and the broth each came in its own plastic layer, and then all the layers snapped together into a covered bowl. Whew! I was already starving before I started, but I certainly worked up an even bigger appetite by the time I got all the parts together.

Sketchwaiting at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka and illustration of my takeout ramen "kit"

I realized too late that I should have taken photos of the elaborate packaging. To make up for it, I sketched an “exploded view” of the kit.


  1. Oh I love that first spread - dare I say a perfect balancing of elements for a pleasing whole. Very pleasing to my eye.

    1. Thanks so much! Thinking about page composition is new to me, and it's an exciting challenge!

  2. I like the top yellow spread best, although the ramen one made me smile...maybe I just want some ramen. You are getting so good at this style of sketching!

    1. Thank you, Joan! I feel like I'm learning fast but still have a ton to learn!


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