Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sake Bottles, a Horse and Botched SAAM

11/21/13 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink, Zig markers, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
An errand on Capitol Hill gave me an opportunity for lunch at Aoki, a small, traditional Japanese restaurant that I don’t get to as often as I’d like. I know some sketchers have a penchant for sketching their food before they eat it (Matthew Midgeley and Liz Steel are among my favorites), so I actually had it in mind to try that – I really did. Japanese food is always so beautifully presented that I knew my meal would make a nice still life without having to do anything to it. But by the time my grilled mackerel, soup and rice came, I was so hungry that I cancelled my sketching plans and scarfed it all down. (Matthew and Liz obviously have more willpower than I do.) As penance, I sketched the colorful sake bottles lined up on the counter instead.

11/21/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Canson XL
Stuffed and happy, I finished my errand and then swung by the Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park. It was another sunny but very chilly day, and I managed to score an ideal parking spot facing the museum. (If I were to turn the car around 180 degrees, I would see a view of theSpace Needle that I had sketched earlier this year.) Although I’ve sketched at Volunteer Park several times, I’ve never been brave enough to take on the museum’s lovely art deco building. With that parking spot, I had no excuse. I started with a drawing that wasn’t half bad, but then I took out my paints and overdid the growing shadows.

Frustrated with that sketch, I went inside to use the restroom, but to be polite, I sketched a Tang Dynasty horse sculpture on my way out. (I don’t want them to think I buy an annual museum membership only to use their toilet.)

11/21/13 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Sailor pen, water-soluble pencil, Canson XL
I was so annoyed with my sketch of the museum that I drove home vowing to return sometime soon to try again.


  1. What a variety of subject you found to sketch in one outing. I also have a hard time sketching my food before I eat it. I'm usually just too hungry. lol Too bad the shadows took over your sketch of the museum…but you will go back I'm sure…but will you have that good of a parking spot again? I like the horse and the shading on it. I had to laugh that you didn't want them to think your membership is only being used to use the bathroom. I'm always stopping in McD's when I'm out sketching. I don't eat or drink anything usually…just use the facilities. I figure with all the meals I've had at their franchises over the years they still come out ahead.

  2. Great sketches and story, Tina. You mention using a water-soluble pencil with your Diamine Chocolate Brown ink. What pencil is this as it integrates very well with the washed ink.

    1. Hi Larry,

      I use Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer water-soluble pencils for exactly the reason you mention! Nice variety of colors, too.

      - Tina


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