|7/11/15 ink, watercolor|
During my 40-minute drive into Tacoma this morning, I was only half-listening to the NPR radio program. The other half was mentally gearing up to do the sketch I knew I had to do: Union Station. Not because anyone was telling me I “should” sketch it or expecting me to sketch it – after all, the beauty of urban sketching is never having to sketch anything unless I want to – but because I knew I had avoided it on previous Tacoma sketch outings. I am my own worst enemy that way: If I perceive that I’m avoiding it, it means I need to do it.
Granted, there was a lot to avoid: The ornate Beaux-Arts rotunda, all those elegant curves, figuring out perspective in rounded objects. Ick. On the other hand, Tacoma’s Union Station is iconic, and as I said about the Eiffel Tower, some part of me always feels compelled to sketch location icons wherever I go.
(Before my trip to Paris, I had practiced sketching the Eiffel from a photo, which was actually very helpful in prepping me for its proportions. A few months ago I had the opportunity to practice sketching Union Station, too. Unfortunately, my chosen support material that time was an Easter egg. Helpful? Not so much.)
|7/11/15 inks, colored pencils|
Today was the annual Pacific Northwest Regional Sketch Outing, which meant that a good turnout of sketchers from as far away as Vancouver B.C. got together in Tacoma’s museum district. After the initial meetup in the amphitheater behind the Washington State History Museum, I crossed the street, parked my sketch stool to face a corner of the station and yelled, “Bring it!” (OK, I didn’t really yell that, but I wanted to, since I face all architectural sketch challenges as personal battles.)
(Incidentally, when I was in France, I carried a pale blue-green colored pencil to put in small touches of that color that appears frequently in the ornate details of architecture there, and it came in very handy in Arles. I took the pencil out of my bag when I returned home, but I sure wish I’d had it today – mixing that color for the rotunda ornament isn’t easy with my usual watercolor palette.)
Having worked up a mental sweat on that sketch (even though the temperature was only in the low 60s, and it even sprinkled a bit), I decided I deserved a break. For my second sketch, I stood directly in front of the station’s main entry arch to sketch “New Beginnings,” a bronze sculpture by Larry Anderson. The sculpture, installed for Tacoma’s centennial in 1984, depicts a passenger waiting for a train at Union Station, which is now a U.S. Courthouse. (Behind the statue, I caught Leia, one of the sketchers from Vancouver, B.C.)
Many thanks to Urban Sketchers Tacoma for hosting today’s Pacific Northwest Regional Sketch Outing!
You beat the monster!!! Congrats! This came out well...nice arches and dome. I like the statue sketch too...I think he could use some wheels on his luggage. lol Nice work!ReplyDelete