Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sketched in the Act!

7/1/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencils, Zig marker
After all those trees I’ve sketched that have been unattractively pruned to accommodate power lines, a fantastic opportunity appeared conveniently in my neighborhood: A utility truck showed up, and I caught sketched them in the act!

Only a couple of blocks from our house, I spotted a cherry picker high up in a tree on Roosevelt Way Northeast. Standing across the street to sketch this scene, I could barely see the guy cutting the tree (except for his bright yellow hardhat). Leaves, limbs and dust were flying everywhere, and the wood chipper was making quite a racket. To top it off, a gardener with a power mower started mowing right next to me, raising more clouds of dust from the dry parking strip grass. You’d think they were all conspiring to make my sketching as unpleasant as possible, and they succeeded! But it would take a lot more than noise and dust to keep me from getting this sketch!

Based on the cones in the street and all the temporary “no parking” signs, it looks like all the trees on that side of the block are destined for bad haircuts. I’ll go back there when they’re all done and sketch the result.

(By the way, the crane looks like it’s twisted at a weird angle because by the time I finished drawing the bottom of it, it had swiveled around, so the top was in a different position. Isn’t that what urban sketching is all about – as soon as you start sketching, the scene changes!)


  1. The cranes don't even stay still. LOL I can almost feel you jumping up and down at this view. Great capture and great job!!

  2. That sounds like a sketching session from hell, Tina. I hate loud noises when I'm sketching. From what I've seen from your sketches, these crews could benefit from some lessons from a good horticultural barber :-)


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