Monday, November 30, 2015

Exploring the New and the Familiar at the Burke

11/30/15 colored pencils (rear end of 12,000-year-old giant ground sloth)
The Burke Museum is one of my favorite winter sketching locations. Our thermometer read 30 F degrees this morning, and that’s plenty wintry for me. The Burke was an ideal place to meet up with Laurie from the Bay Area, who is visiting Seattle this week. (I met Laurie when I sketched with Urban Sketchers SF Bay Area a few months ago.)

Although I’ve sketched most of the Burke’s large skeletons by now, the one I’ve been missing is the 12,000-year-old giant ground sloth, which was discovered in 1961 during construction of Sea-Tac Airport. I’ve considered it several times, but it’s difficult to get a good angle on the whole skeleton in the relatively narrow space where the sloth is exhibited. Today I decided I would get behind the sloth, one way or another.
11/30/15 colored pencils (Iatmul mask)

Next I went downstairs to the human history area. Because I’m usually so completely engrossed in animal skeletons, I rarely even make it downstairs at the Burke, but there are lots of fascinating human artifacts to sketch. Today I focused on an Iatmul dance/clan mask of Papua New Guinea, which has interesting fibrous textures that were fun to capture with colored pencils.

With only five minutes left before the sharing time, I went straight to my all-time Burke favorite: the “Terror Bird” of Brazil! I seem to sketch that scary guy nearly every time I visit. (Once again, my Zebra double tip brush pen served me well in getting the big bird done in a couple of minutes flat.)

Most of us went to lunch later at the University Book Store (with art supply shopping there afterwards, of course), and Michele was the only one who had the patience to sketch her food before eating. (If you’re sketching, you’re at risk of being sketched yourself. J)

Thanks for joining us, Laurie!

11/30/15 Zebra brush pen, colored pencils
(Terror Bird of Brazil)
11/30/15 Zebra brush pen (Michele sketching)

Thanks for joining us, Laurie! (back row, second from right)


  1. Thank you Tina for inviting me. Great people, great location. Hope I can do it with you all again, in San Francisco as well as Seattle.

    1. We'll look forward to sketching with you again, Laurie!

      -- Tina

  2. Good job on the giant sloth! Giant anythings are hard to fit in a sketchbook. I like the terror bird too...wonder how he got his name?

    1. Oh, I know how he got his name. . . someone looked at the size of his jaws! ;-)

  3. What a grand day! Thanks, Tina, for setting it all up and your great sketches of the day.
    AND did you see that Liz Steel listed you today in the first of her blog series on sketching with pens?!! All that exhaustive research that you did on pens is definitely appreciated. Kudos!

    1. Thanks, Michele! I am so honored that Liz mentioned my pen research, and I can't wait to read her series! We pen geeks have to stick together! ;-)


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