|9/2/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook|
Today I was thinking about the Seattle Public Library’s Green Lake Branch, which, coincidentally, I sketched almost exactly a year ago. I remember I had sized up every line very carefully with a ruler and even drew some of the lines with the ruler. I also measured the angles and tried to get the perspective as accurate as possible. Given that architecture was my biggest sketching bugaboo at the time, I was mostly pleased with the results: The sketch of the library looked relatively accurate, and a Facebook friend who visits that branch commented that I had captured it well.
Yet something about the sketch nagged at me. Although it was probably my most “accurate” architectural sketch to date, it seemed lifeless. And what I remembered most about the experience was how much work it was to measure all those lines carefully.
I guess it’s been nagging at me ever since, because something compelled me to sketch it again today. I took the same point of view (easy to find because I used a bus shelter bench both times), but this time the ruler stayed in my bag. I took the Inma approach of viewing the building as a living, breathing creature. I made the colors more vivid than they really appeared, and I focused on only the shapes and details that really interested me.
Comparing today’s sketch (above) and last year’s (below), you can see that they aren’t exactly the same, and objectively, I’d say last year’s is more accurate. But which one looks more lively to you?