Thursday, May 16, 2013

Orange Komatsu

5/16/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook
The afternoon turned out unexpectedly sunny, so I dashed out to the U-District, thinking I’d sketch the Seattle Public Library’s University Branch. But after I parked near the fire station on 11th Avenue Northeast and started to turn the corner at Northeast 50th, I saw it: Yet another bunch of big machines digging up earth. This time they were on the lot next to the old Tubs (which has lately turned into an ever-changing gallery of street art).
5/16/13 Platinum Carbon ink
Heavy equipment seems to be calling to me lately. Unlike the earth movers I sketched at the light rail station, these were moving constantly and fast. I made a few quick studies to get the main shapes and proportions before starting a larger composition. Then I had to pick a position for the Komatsu and wait for it to return to that position several times before I could finish. (This is similar to what I do at the zoo when I’m sketching large mammals like bears, which walk around a lot but also return continually to the same positions.)
Piercing the sky in the background behind some trees is the Blessed Sacrament Church’s steeple, which I sketched last September.

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