Urban Sketcher Outings

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.


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