|3/30/16 brush pen, inks, colored pencils|
If this building looks vaguely familiar to you, it’s because it’s probably the only building I’ve sketched more than once or twice, let alone five. Somehow it became a personal tradition to sketch the Seattle Public Library’s Green Lake branch every year. First of all, it’s one of few buildings in my neighborhood with a traditional architectural style that I appreciate (it’s one of several Carnegie libraries we are lucky enough to have in Seattle). It’s also convenient: I park my car in the library’s lot, return some books, then cross the street to sketch it. There’s even a handy bus shelter and bench where I can set my palette down and ensure that I get the same angle each year.
I don’t usually give myself a specific challenge when I sketch it (other than the fact that it’s architecture, which is always a specific challenge for me!). But from my past attempts, I knew that I often get too bogged down in details or the exact hues of the roof tiles and trim. Today I decided to see if I could capture only the essence of the building with as few lines as possible. To make sure I didn’t go back down the usual boggy road, I made the initial line work with my fude fountain pen, which can’t make the extra-thin lines I usually prefer for architecture. Then I grabbed a brush pen to put in the shadows. The spots of color came from inks applied with waterbrushes. Done.
Below are the previous four years’ sketches of the library.