Saturday, November 7, 2015

SF Zoo: Fall Favorites

It's been ages since I've posted a roundup of San Francisco Zoo sketches, and it looks like I've accumulated quite a backlog. So with no further ado, here are some highlights from the last couple of months...

Big cats ahoy! Here are an Amur tiger shredding a tasty cardboard box, and a snoozing snow leopard.


A couple of my favorite critters: The elderly Uulu and her colorful past, and puppyish young Boone being introduced to his prototype snack-ball.

I'm also gradually adding to my graphic record of the zoo's recently installed sculpture garden. Above, a rough scale lineup of the (mostly) life-size sculptures.

And finally, a record of the Halloween-themed "Spooky Specimens" guided tour, part of the annual "Boo at the Zoo" festivities. Collect all seven lemurs!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

March for Elephants and Rhinos 10/03/2015

My second time sketching along with the Global March comes at an interesting time for the fight against ivory and rhino-horn trafficking. In quick succession, we've had a National Geographic expose, a vague agreement between the US and China (the top two markets), and today California governor Jerry Brown just signed a horn and ivory sales ban into law. Feel the momentum! And see for more info.

This year's march kicked off at Jefferson Square Park...

...then up to Geary Boulevard... a mini-rally in front of the shuttered Chinese Consulate.

Simultaneously sketching and marching remains a challenge!

Of course, drumming and chant-leading aren't trivial multitasking challenges either.

The closing rally at UN Plaza. This is usually where the crowd starts to thin out.

Dogs dressed as elephants was definitely a thing this year!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cartoon Odyssey, Part Three

With the start of my fall teaching schedule, it's been slower going on my recap of Homer's Odyssey, but I've reached the three-quarter mark at last. Behold the setup for a heavily foreshadowed day of reckoning with Penelope's obnoxious suitors!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cartoon Odyssey, Part Two

As I continue with my notes on Homer's Odyssey, I think the sketchnote premise is falling by the wayside and it's turning into more of a pure comic. Well, I have to go where the story takes me, and as Odysseus takes the stage to recount his adventures it's taking us to some really weird places.

Academic Animals

So yeah, I got a membership to the California Academy of Sciences, which is about half a mile from my home. That's definitely going to be the subject of a lot of future sketching!

 First off, we have Claude, the Academy's beloved albino alligator. It seems the two most common questions about him are "Is he real?" and "Does he eat the fish in his exhibit?" The answer to the second one is essentially "no," but when it comes to the alligator snapping turtles who share his space, I can now testify that the answer is "sometimes they do."


I really wanted to get back to the Academy while their whale exhibit was still in progress. So many cool skeletons!

The Steinhardt Aquarium in the basement is pretty awesome, even though the low light conditions make color work challenging. Their giant pacific octopus is rather shy, but the day octopus in the new "Color of Life" exhibit is considerably more extroverted.

SF Zoo: August Animals

In addition to the San Francisco Zoo, I just broke down and got a membership to the California Academy of Sciences. So going forward, you can expect lots of aquarium, skeleton, and taxidermy sketching in addition to the usual zoo menagerie! But let's clear out the zoo backlog first.

From the end of July, a close encounter with the ostriches, and a primate update for my lovely wife.

I seem to be on a bit of a reptiles, lizards, and amphibians kick. Here are a few from the new tropical aviary and the summer Nature Trail, plus the zoo's slowly growing Komodo dragon.

A few African critters - the shy kudu, impassive marabou stork, and young Boone the black rhino. I should mention that, if you feel strongly about the threatened status of Africa's elephants and rhinos, you should look into the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos; here's the Facebook page where they're organizing the San Francisco march, which will take place on Saturday, October 3.

And back at the zoo, I'm still working my way through the models in the recently installed Sculpture Learning Plaza. I need to go back soon - I hear they just added a coelacanth sculpture!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Constructive Thinking

I'm a bit behind in posting my recent sketchbook drawings. First off, here's a view of San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers, from a location drawing trip with the amazing Gary Amaro.

Now a few from a recent excursion to Mission Creek with Laurie Wigham's SF Sketchers meetup group. While we were there, we checked out the Sketchbook Project's cool mobile library.


You can tell I have construction machines on my mind. Here's a pretty tractor I spotted on the street near Japantown.

And finally, here's the WWII submarine Pampanito, moored near Fisherman's Wharf. Speaking of big machines...