Around the courthouse

I guess I was overly optimistic when I thought I would be able to post and write while teaching back-to-back workshops with French Escapade in Santa Barbara. I KNOW I had high hopes because my last post was titled Santa Barbara Day One! Well, it’s almost two weeks later, I just got back home, and I’m finally getting around to posting my sketches. Instead of uploading them all at once, I thought I’d group them by location and spread them out over several posts.

During the workshop weeks, we spent a full day on the grounds of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. It was a familiar site because I’ve seen Brenda Swenson‘s beautiful sketches of it over the years — but it’s even more grand when you see it in person, especially from the sunken garden where we sketched. In the spring and summer months it seems to be a popular setting for weddings, so beware that if you set up to sketch you may be asked to move (like we were!) because a bridal party has reserved the garden. Of course that might be an added bonus for you if you like to sketch weddings.

We were really fortunate to have sunny weather every day, although the temperature varied from really cold to uncomfortably hot during my time there. But if I can draw shadows on a white wall, I’m happy, and the courthouse has some beautiful walls and handsome palm trees.

If you’re in the garden and you turn your back to the courthouse, you can also sketch a few of the small businesses on E. Anapamu Street. The little shingled building that houses Adornment was my favourite, especially in the morning when a tall palm casts a shadow across its facade.

28 Comments on “Around the courthouse”

  1. karim waked says:

    Nothing beats that Southern light.
    BravO Shari!

    514 9944433


  2. Chris Rusk says:

    Beautiful palm shadows – your storefronts are real gems – many thanks 🙂


  3. Mary says:

    So beautiful! I love shadows on the white walls…. It is so tropical that you can feel the warmth. I really like how you added texture by colour in the storefront windows. Delightful!


  4. Hi Shari, I loved your Santa Barbara Workshop and the fun group of people that took part. That cute little house was my favorite subject on the courthouse day, but I love the sketches you did of the building pictured in this post I hope to catch up with you again on another workshop, hopefully one you do with French Escapade.


  5. Your colors are so lovely and fresh! So glad you had a great few weeks of teaching.


  6. Bernadette says:

    Great sketches. The shadows add to much interest and life to the images. As always, your colors are so fresh, clean and lively. Beautifully done!


  7. Bernadette says:

    Beautifully done. Your colors are so clean and fresh, as always. The shadows add so much depth and realism. I especially like the shadow of the palm tree as it hugs the roof and house top.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gracie Afridi says:

    As usual I love your work but these pictures are especially nice. They seem extra fresh and crisp. However, make no mistake , I love your work and I also very much appreciate your willingness and kindness to share your work online and through your online classes.


  9. Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Beautiful sketches, Shari! You are a master of shadows indeed! I always tend to take the easy way out and make my shadows gray. I much prefer how you do it, using a darker version of color, and sometimes a totally different color! I definitely need to revisit that class of yours, “Light, Color,Shadow”, lol!


  10. Wayne Bissky says:

    Beautiful work as always. Do you ever have something go sideways?


    • Thanks so much Wayne. In answer to your question about going sideways, yes, of course!! In fact, I was in the middle of a demo when we got displaced by a wedding, so that sketch was not as nice as it could have been had I stayed in the same place instead of having to complete it from a photo. But that is urban sketching. You just turn the page and move on to the next sketch. How about you. Do you have things go sideways??


  11. Theresa says:

    I feel like I am standing there🥰. Shari, are the six colours shown alongside the courthouse the only colours you used for all of the pictures that day?
    All beautiful.👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻


  12. Sandra L Lewin says:

    Beautiful and inspirational! Thank you!!


  13. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    So beautiful!


  14. Interesting “California Scenes” with Spanish Architecture, and Palm Trees towering overhead. These drawings are very accurate perspectively while still done loosely. I also like the drawing of the Alleyway between the 2 Buildings, one that looks more “Colonial” or “Victorian”, and the other which is an “Adobe Building”


  15. Northern Traveller says:

    Fantastic paintings Shari – especially The Adornment! I bet you’re loving being out and about again – am envious of those students :).


    • Mary, we had so much fun drawing Adornment. And teaching in person again (something I have not done since Gananoque) was really wonderful. I’ve missed it, and didn’t realize how much until I started up again.


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