Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Museum of Flight

6/17/14 Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, Pitt Artist Pen, watercolor, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
It’s been more than a year since the Friday sketchers took a trip to the Museum of Flight, and I had been wanting to get back there ever since. With a guest in town, it was an ideal opportunity to see this amazing showcase of aviation history, including “150 historic air and spacecraft and related artifacts” (according to the museum’s website).

(By the way, forget what I said earlier today about more lightning sketches. . . we all agreed to wander at our own pace at this huge facility, so I took my time with these!)

I spent the most sketching time in the Great Gallery, which is a “six-story tall glass and steel structure [that] gracefully suspends more than 20 full-size aircraft from its ultra-modern frame.” The last time I visited, I picked out and sketched a few specific aircraft that caught my eye. This time I decided to take a wider view by walking up to the second floor and looking down onto a small portion of the gallery. It was a bit mind-boggling to keep all those propellers and wings straight on the overlapping aircraft, and I’m not sure I got them all at the appropriate scale, but I thoroughly enjoyed the meditative state of trying to keep up with the challenge.

6/17/14 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi and Diamine Grey inks, Zig marker,
water-soluble colored pencil
Our next stop was the Space Gallery, starring NASA’s Full Fuselage Trainer, a full-scale mockup of the space shuttle orbiter. I climbed up to peek inside and made a quick round of the other exhibits, such as the space toilet (with accompanying video on how it is used!). Then I stood near the gallery entrance to sketch as much of the FFT as I could fit onto a sketchbook spread.

Before leaving the museum, we walked through Airforce One and the Concorde on display in the Airpark as well as saw a number of other notable aircraft – just a few more things to sketch next time!


  1. I love the sketch of all the suspended aircraft! Great job on these. That sounds like a great place to go sketching. We have an aviation museum here on Long Island but I've never visited it. I will have to remember it as an indoor location for the winter.

  2. My favorite things in the universe are airplanes and yet I've not sketched a single one. I sure enjoyed looking at your sketches of them, however. Thanks.

    Cheers --- Larry


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