|11/15/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Fabriano hot-press 140 lb. paper|
Two years ago I began what would become something of a personal tradition: Riding up to the Columbia Center’s 73rd floor Sky View Observatory on my birthday to sketch. This year I invited a few sketcher friends to join me up there for a (day-before) birthday party, urban sketching style: No booze, music or tiara – just our sketchbooks, pens, paints and a nearly-360-degree view of Seattle. On a wet and windy Friday morning, we practically had the place to ourselves.
The Smith Tower, the only building I sketched the previous two years, was my first target. It’s become my annual measuring stick of my architectural sketching chops. The last two times, I was staggered by the vast, overwhelming view for quite a while before I could put pen to paper. This time I simply walked up to the south side windows and began. Mind you – the view was no less vast and overwhelming; I just spent less time with my jaw on the floor before beginning. (See last year’s blog post to see sketches from 2012 and 2011.)
|11/15/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Fabriano hot press|
Then I moved over to the north side of the building to sketch the Space Needle surrounded by Belltown buildings and Queen Anne Hill. Most first-time visitors to Seattle stand in line and pay 19 bucks to see the view from the Needle, but we all agreed that the view from the Sky View Observatory is way better – and less than half the price (if you’re at least 55, as I will be tomorrow, but the ticket seller didn’t card me ;-)).
After lunching in the lobby, we all went back upstairs for more sketching. This time I looked west toward the waterfront punctuated by the Seattle Great Wheel to the north, a ferry coming into the terminal and one of the Port of Seattle red cranes to the south. (The top of the Smith Tower is also visible in the lower-left corner.) I tried to pick out whatever tiny bits of color I could find on this otherwise very gray day.
|11/15/13 Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, watercolor, Zig markers, Fabriano hot press|