There is something that just feels right about drawing or simply making marks.  If you ask most people about drawing they almost immediately say something like, “I can’t even draw a stick figure.” It can be very hard to suspend judgement of the drawings that we make, but it can feel amazingly good to let go and let the images come out freely.  So this week,  I’ve taken time to explore with just a pencil and paper.  This is a drawing of my wife from an afternoon that we spent near Napa, CA.

Brian Bailey, Drawing

Brian Bailey © 2015



When reading, I can appreciate an author taking some liberties and playing around with language to enhance the readers understanding or enjoyment of a story. I can also appreciate when language is succinct.  There is a rhythmic and poetic quality to the writing of a great author whether they are verbose or concise.  My latest efforts drawing and painting have been focused on squeezing as much poetry as I can out of just a few lines.

Drawing by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey © 2015

I spent some time at the beach this week drawing the Golden Gate Bridge and some gestures.  When drawing from a real-life situation, it’s impossible to reproduce every detail.  I think the best anyone can do is to capture a sense of feeling.  The more I work at drawing and painting and the more I study the work of others, I’m convinced that I should focus my efforts on simplifying and letting go.  With these drawings and all of my recent work, I’m hoping to capture a sense of life with as few lines as possible.

Drawing by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey © 2015

Water and Ink

Watercolor Painting, On the Corner

Brian Bailey, On the Corner, 6″ x 6″, © 2015

Drawing in ink and combining it with watercolor has become my favorite way to paint lately.  The freedom of letting colors and edges run together is interesting and each painting feels experimental.  I’m always trying to land the work on a point of balance between controlling the painting with learned technique and discovering passages that emerge naturally.


Watercolor Sketch-1

Brian Bailey © 2015

Watercolor Sketch-2

Brian Bailey © 2015

I’ve been working on some watercolor sketches lately.  I’m starting with a pen and ink drawing and adding a limited amount of watercolor.  It’s an interesting exercise to go through each drawing and decide which areas to paint and what to leave alone.  Pretty happy with the results and hope to incorporate some of the sketch qualities into more finished paintings.  Thanks for looking!

The Search For More To Draw

Creativity is a challenge. An idea, even a tiny piece of a idea, can be very elusive. Sometimes sketches feel like having the right words on the tip of your tongue and being unable to grasp them.  So far, I’d say it’s best to keep moving forward, doing what I can to right the ship. It’s important to seek new information and be aware that at any moment, a piece can fall into place and your vision is back to making sense and feeling whole.  This morning I spent time looking through other artist’s websites and feel more focused. If anyone has ideas for creative or art based websites to check out, please share in the comments.

I spent quite a bit of time in my sketchbook this week with drawings of buildings in San Francisco’s Mission District, Cole Valley, and from around the house. Here are some of the results. I hope you enjoy them.


Weekly Sketchbook

I’ve decided that I am going to continue posting the drawings from my sketchbook..  I’m planning to make a new post at least once a week and include any new sketches.  I will also be putting up new paintings from time to time, so check back each week and feel free to leave comments.

Here is my sketchbook from last week.

Weekly Sketchbook3-24-15 3-25-15 3-28-15

Day 7: The Finish Line…For Now

I only had time for a quick sketch today, but I found an awesome Volkswagen Beetle to draw and am pretty happy with the result.  The car looked like it just came off of the showroom floor so I had to take a moment to admire.

I made it to day 7 of sharing my sketches and am very happy with how it feels.  I want to continue using this blog to share my San Francisco sketching adventures and am thinking of some tweaks the future. The idea of a sketchbook, itself, as a work of art is very compelling to me and something I want to continue to explore.  Until then, here’s my sketch of the Beetle.


Day 6: Around the Corner

Today I spent most of the day painting indoors but managed to do a quick sketch of a house just around the corner from where we live.  I really enjoy posting these drawings every day and I think it may extend beyond just this week.  Even if each one is done quickly, it’s satisfying to put it out there and I really appreciate the views, likes, and comments people have sent. Again, thank you to everyone for checking out my drawings.