|4/26/13 F-C Albrecht Durer water-soluble colored pencils, Zig markers, Stillman & Birn|
The 38th annual Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival in the Seattle Center’s Armory was supposed to be the purpose of this morning’s ad hoc Urban Sketchers gathering. But the day turned out warm and sunny enough that it seemed a shame to stay indoors, so I spent most of the morning sketching some of the Center’s many attractions.
The Pacific Science Center’s iconic arches have long been something I’ve wanted to sketch, but didn’t dare. I knew that if I attempted their beautifully symmetrical webbing and intriguing shape with a precise pen point, I would get the perspective, angles and curves all wrong, if I had the courage to begin at all. So I took a cue from Liz Steel, whose blog I study regularly, who has been experimenting with water-soluble colored pencils to make loose, expressive drawings. Paradoxically, I used brushmarkers – my usual medium of choice when I need a loose line – to sketch the finer-stroked tree in front of the arches.
|4/26/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook|
Performing outside the Armory was Quichua Mashis, a Seattle-based group that plays traditional music from the Andes Mountains. These Quichua Indians of northern Ecuador have become such a mainstay at outdoor events that I associate their lively music with scones, strawberry shortcake, flip-flops and everything else that is summer in Seattle. Today they played a few traditional tunes, but also “Hotel California,” “The Sound of Silence” and “Let it Be.” I don’t know if their repertoire contains contemporary numbers because they like that kind of music or because they think we do, but I’ll take their traditional music over the Eagles any day. (In fact, I did: After I finished my sketch, I bought a CD, specifically asking for one that contained traditional music.)
|4/26/13 Platinum Carbon, watercolor, S & B Alpha sketchbook|
On my way back out to the bus stop, I decided to confront one more Seattle Center icon I’ve avoided previously. When the Urban Sketchers met last June to sketch a Habitat for Humanity demo site under construction, a number of sketchers took on the shining, amorphous blob that is the Experience Music Project. I chickened out, saving it for a braver day. Apparently that day was today, although I took a baby step by sketching its back end, along with the monorail track.
One strategy to consider with something that is "scary" is to just start with a blind contour of it. It gives you a "safe" and relaxed way to explore the subject with no pressure of having to produce anything that "looks like" anything. :0)ReplyDelete