Monday, July 27, 2015

Green Lake Public Library, Fourth Edition

7/27/15 ink, watercolor

Although it wasn’t my plan when I started, sketching my neighborhood branch of the Seattle Public Library has become an annual tradition. I always pick a day like today – sunny enough for shadows, not too hot or too cold – and I stand at the same bus shelter across the street so that I have the same angle each time.

Now that I’ve done it four times, it’s interesting to look at them together (see below). I don’t necessarily think each later year’s sketch is better than the previous one, because I like certain things about each, even that first one which seems so pale and tentative. I remember how scary it was then to tackle such a formal, classic style of architecture (I’d only been sketching for a year). It’s not scary anymore, but I have to say, it’s no less challenging. I still struggle with perspective and getting the windows lined up evenly.

It’s rather humorous that the building hasn’t changed at all, yet some details in my sketches seem to morph over time. Some years, I spent a lot of time on tiny details that I skipped altogether in others. I suppose one thing is inescapable: My “style,” whatever it is, follows me around from year to year and somehow remains consistent, even as my skills or materials change.

How about you – do you ever sketch the same subject regularly just to see how your sketching style changes over time – or doesn’t?

Here are the blog posts for the sketches below:

May 6, 2014
Sept. 2, 2013
Sept. 12, 2012


  1. I love seeing this one with more drama in the shadows. This came out great!

  2. I love these! Hope you will do more series like this one.

    1. Thank you, Allan! I am thinking about that, too -- another subject that I could sketch annually. Stay tuned! ;-)

  3. You know my favorite subjects are buildings so it shouldn't surprise that I see much awesomeness here. I've never done the repeated sketch thing, though it seems that I should. Thanks for the idea.


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