Sketching at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

Drawing Magazine, Summer 2017 cover I read an e-magazine available through RBdigital called Drawing Magazine: The Ballpoint Issue. I was so inspired to use a ballpoint pen as a fine art drawing medium that I bought a new set of Pentel R.S.V.P fine point pens from my favorite office supply store.

The e-magazine articles recommended several books that the San Jose Public Library has or has access to through Link +.  The books have techniques to learn by doing the drawing exercises.  As well as, plenty of photos to admire the work of contemporary artists that use a ballpoint pen as their medium.

The Art of Ball PointBallpoint Art PackBallpoint Art

On a Saturday morning in January, the Drawing for Fun Meetup group went to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo to sketch the animals.  This would be a perfect chance to sketch with a ballpoint pen.

Now, I haven’t been to Happy Hollow since my niece and nephews were little - back in the 1990's.  I remember their favorites were feeding the goats in petting zoo, running around the old woman lived in a shoe house, and ridding the Mini Putt Putt ride over and over again.

Yarn Bombing: the Art of Crochet and Knit GraffitiI remember my favorites as a child were the maze which has been updated with safer material than cement.  Hopscotch painted onto the pavement.  There’s still one over by the anteater enclosure.  I was the self-appointed hopscotch champ at school.  And of course, the classic Danny the Dragon Ride from the 1960's.  As a crochet-er, I was surprised to see some of trees and characters were yarn bombed.

The thing is that Saturday morning was so crowded and cold and damp that it was impossible for me to sketch.  So, I figured that I would come back another day when it would be less crowded maybe during the week and when the weather is a lot warmer like in spring.

I felt better prepared for my next sketching trip after I read these books. The books had helpful hints on drawing animals at the zoo.

Lifelike AnimalsThe Complete Beginner's Guide to Drawing AnimalsFast Sketching Techniques

I stayed in the Zoo in the Hollow area.  I kept my sketch time short because there was no place to sit down and view the enclosures.  If the area got crowded like at the meerkats enclosure or the animal was in hiding like the ring-tailed lemurs, I would leave and come back later.

Books on Drawing Animals for Adults

How to Sketch AnimalsDraw Real Animals!Secrets of Drawing Start to FinishThe Artist's Guide to Drawing Realistic Animals

Drawing Animal Books and DVDs for Children

You Can Draw Zoo AnimalsHow to Draw Amazing AnimalsDrawing AnimalsArt Lessons for Children with Donna Hugh

The jaguar was easy to sketch because it stayed still while it was napping in the afternoon sun.

Afternoon Nap

Books and DVDs on Jaguars

JaguarsJaguarsIn the Wild: JaguarsNature: Big Cats

The meerkats enclosure was a very popular.  So, I had to leave and come back several times to complete the sketch.

The Sentinel

Books and DVDs on Meerkats

MeerkatsAnimal Safari: MeerkatsMeerkats for KidsDisney's Animal World: Meerkats and Warthogs

The tortoise hardly stayed still.  It stopped for a few minutes to eat a patch of grass.  Do you know what's the difference between turtles and tortoises? Tortoises don’t have webbed feet and live on land.

Tortoise Training for a Marathon

Books and DVDs on Tortoises

TortoisesTurtles and TortoisesTurtles & Tortoises of the WorldDisney's Animal World: Kangaroos and Tortoises, Turtles & Terrapins

Want more information on animals check out the PowerKnowledge Life Sciences Database.  Available through the San Jose Public Library website under Learn: eLearning and Articles tab.

Books on Zoos

Why Do We Go to the Zoo?Life-Size ZooZoo: The Modern Ark

The fun doesn't have to end at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

100 Things to do in San Jose Before You DieWithin walking distance, according to 100 Things to Do in San Jose before You Die by Susannah Greenwood, you can visit Kelly Park and play 18-holes of disc golf which is a cross between Frisbee and golf.  Feed the koi fish at the Japanese Friendship Garden.  There's also the San Jose History Park where you can see homes, buildings, and vehicles from the past.  Each one is an excellent place to sketch and they're free.

Happy sketching!


The sketches are awesome.

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