Twice this past month I’ve joined Urban Sketcher outings in my area. “My area” is a loose term. I chose these two because they were closer than most, even though each took over an hour to get to. Drawing is worth two and a half hours of travel.
The first event was at Seattle’s Union Station. The station itself is impressive, but when I walked outside and saw the China Gate announcing the entrance to Chinatown, I had to attempt it. Finding a lovely sunny spot out of the way of pedestrians, I quickly realized this would take some planning. I started with a simple pencil sketch to locate the basic proportions, then began inking in the details with an 005 pigma micron pen. Because I was drawing quickly to capture the scene, I had to make choices about what to include and what to leave out. I was going for the overall structure with a glimpse of the street going up hill behind it. I tried to stick to basic shapes and values. Because I like the overall drawing as it is, I decided not to add color.
The next outing was at a boatyard in Gig Harbor, a charming fishing village on Puget Sound. I knew there would be subjects in all directions and I was optimistic that I could quickly do two sketches. I started in on a fairly detailed drawing of nearby net sheds. I did this one on an 8″ x 10″ sheet of hot press watercolor paper, my favorite surface for ink and watercolor.
All those pilings took a longer than I thought they would and I barely had time for another drawing. With only 20 minutes left, I sketched the back of the boatyard building in my Stillman and Birn Epsilon Sketchbook. Although it’s quickly done, I like the spontaneity of it. I quickly sloshed some color on each drawing and dashed – late – to share my work with the others.
It is fun and inspiring to join others who love to draw. I’m looking forward to the next outing.