Sketching at Gibbs Farm and Como Zoo

Last weekend, our Urban Sketchers Twin Cities group sketched at Gibbs Farm in St. Paul. Located across from the Bell Museum, this historic farm shows what pioneer days looked like, with a sod house, main house, school house, orchard, teepee, and more.

The weather was beautiful and we got through our sketch-out before the rain showers started. I decided to sketch the school house with a couple other people. Seated under a shady tree, I started with a pencil and pen sketch, then added watercolor.

I like the simplicity of the lines and colors in this sketch!

It was Apple Festival at Gibbs Farm that weekend, so there were many families and children listening to live jazz music, looking at the goats/geese/pigs/chickens, trying the free caramel apples and apple crisp, and looking at orchard apple varieties. I went over to the animal pens because the geese were honking, and saw a large pig. It had crawled full-body into its feed trough and was happily chowing down on meal in the trough. It had splashed meal out along the ground and a couple chipmunks were eating meal too. I couldn’t resist doing a sketch of the pig!

Finally, I was looking for one more thing to sketch, and I settled on an old outhouse behind the house. I liked its rustic boards and moon-shaped carving. Using grays, browns, and other watercolors, I tried to get the board look, with some helpful highlights from a white Posca marker.

Another fun sketch-out we had as a group was at the Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul in mid-September. I decided to do a collage of animals I saw. I started with the orangutan, who sat on a high platform lazily chewing a branch. I saw giraffes and loved their rust-colored spots! I also saw a tiger napping in the corner of an outdoor enclosure. It was laying on its back against the concrete wall, with its paws up, just like a dog would do. It tickled me to see it laying like that, so I added it. The page was beginning to fill up, so I added an ostrich and a quote I heard a parent say, then finally some flamingos.

Two great sketch outings, one at the zoo, and one at Gibbs Farm! It was super-fun to do these sketches and share them with you!

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