Sunday, February 28, 2010

Virtual Paintout: San Francisco Bay Area

view of San Francisco from Treasure Island

 crayon and color pencil drawing by Rosa Phoenix

These sketches were for the Virtual Paintout, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area this month.  

Treasure Island is halfway between San Francisco and Oakland, right beside the Bay Bridge.

This is my first quick sketch, in pen.


pen and ink with felt tip pen shading

I wanted to focus on the horizon. The Bay Bridge on the left and a range of hills on the right lead the eye to the center, the city of San Francisco. 

This is my second sketch, in crayon and color pencil.

crayon and color pencil drawing 

I curved the lines to lead the eye to San Francisco. 

Looking west from Treasure Island, the city is backlit by the setting sun.  

San Francisco seems to glow like a star.

My latest sketch is below, using my new watercolor pencils and Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

You can click on it to see a larger view.


View of San Francisco from Treasure Island

by Rosa Phoenix

watercolor pencil in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

(color enhanced in PhotoShop)

I did this sketch from my memory. 

In this sketch I eliminated the figures in the foreground. 

I emphasized the horizon and the sweeping strokes leading from the city into the sky, hills and Bay Bridge.

I like this sketch. I'd like to make a painting based on this.

As you can see, I sometimes make many sketches and drawings of the same subject.  I like to experiment with different media, colors and compositions.

In each new version, I try to simplify, and create more balance and focus.

The Virtual Paintout is a monthly artists' challenge that uses Google Maps Street View as an inspiration. Every month, artists explore one chosen location with Street View, and they share the art they create on the Virtual Paintout.


  1. each piece is wonderful.
    The top and 3rd one really catch my eye, it is the movement, colors and energy that makes me lean in, really great!

  2. enjoyed reading your blog presentation, thanks for sharing the creative process...