Friday, March 19, 2010

Sketchbook: San Francisco

watercolor pencil sketch by Rosa Phoenix

Could a house be any more decorated than this 100+ year old house in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood? The San Franciscans who built these houses loved to pile on the decorations. That is why these colorful Victorian houses are also known as Painted Ladies.

I have been taking advantage of the sunny warm weather to sketch outdoors. I am experimenting with my new watercolor pencils. I like the fact that I can use the pencils to capture precise lines, and I can turn my drawing into a painting with a little bit of water and a paintbrush.

If you have been wondering why I post so many sketches, there are a couple of reasons. First, I spent the last year building my website,, and I didn't have time to make finished paintings. Second, I discovered this awesome website called Urban Sketchers which is artists all over the world who sketch their urban surroundings. I want to get on this website, so I've been posting sketches. When I have a good selection of sketches I will submit them to Urban Sketchers.

I like sketches. Sketches are unfinished, imperfect, fresh, spontaneous. It's hard to get this quality in a finished drawing or painting. I often prefer sketches for this reason.

If you would like to see all the location sketches I have posted so far, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the label "location sketch."


Urban Sketchers


  1. Oh i wanna paint with watercolors like u doo, beautiful i love the shiny colors :)

  2. I just adore the Painted Ladies. You've captured their spirit :0)

  3. I enjoy how you share about sketches. I like children's art for the same reasons. There is an innocence, a spirit that is revealed that I love. Your drawings take me to S.F. Wonderful!

  4. i miss sf, keep up the good work.

  5. Thanks for visiting me, JRonson, Alina, Tammie Lee and BlueJayEye. Your encouragement really helps to keep me on this creative journey. Creating art is fun, and even it is even more rewarding, knowing that I can share my artwork with you here.