Saturday, April 15, 2017

Double Redux at MOHAI

4/14/17 ink, colored pencils
Although we knew it would be iffy, we had planned this week’s Urban Sketchers Seattle outing for Lake Union Park. That way, if the weather wasn’t on our side, we could duck into the Museum of History and Industry. True to predictions, it stayed dry all day, but that stiff, cold lake wind was more than I could bear.

Since I still had my pink colored pencil in my bag from sketching cherry blossoms, I decided to put it to good use once more – on the Lincoln Toe Truck. Pink + nostalgia: Who could resist? It’s one of my favorite old-time Seattle icons at MOHAI. Four years ago when the newly refurbished museum reopened, the Toe Truck was the first thing I had sketched there. Then a year or so later I sketched it again with USk Seattle.

The bitter wind was no warmer by the time I finished, but that bright blue sky was so inviting. . . I wanted to sketch outdoors. I wandered around the museum until I reached the cafĂ©, where most of the other sketchers had already found cups of coffee to sketch by. I pulled a chair up to a window facing the Swiftsure, the bright red Coast Guard lightship moored on Lake Union. Once again, it was an icon I’d sketched at least a couple of times before – with the Regional Sketchcrawl three years ago and then again when Chandler O’Leary taught an urban sketching workshop in 2015.

4/14/17 ink, colored pencils
(Technical note: When sketching the Swiftsure, I tried something I very rarely do. First, for the ship’s body, I drew the contour in ink as I usually do – that part wasn’t different. But instead of drawing the masts, rigging and other details with ink as I normally would, I went in with a yellow colored pencil first, then used black ink afterwards only for shading and emphasis. In my own colored pencil way, this is similar to the method some watercolor sketchers use of making large shapes with paint first, then delineating some parts afterwards. I can’t “paint” large shapes with colored pencils, but this technique did keep me from getting too fussy with details as I’m tempted to do when I have a fountain pen in my hand.)


Although neither icon was new to me, I tried to look at each with fresh eyes. It’s fun and interesting to look back at my old sketches to see how my eyes have changed each time.

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