Friday, August 11, 2023

The Little Beautiful Bridge


8/8/23 The Little Beautiful Bridge, Montlake neighborhood

Running an errand in the Montlake neighborhood, I drove under an old bridge flanked by globe lights. Seattle has a number of bridges in this style, including one that goes over the Washington Park Arboretum and the one I’ve sketched several times in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Although I couldn’t find any historical information on this one, I think they were all built around the turn of the 20th century.

After the errand, I turned around to find a vantage spot to sketch the bridge. I was surprised to see cars occasionally driving on it . . . it looks like it should be too fragile to support cars anymore (the one over the Arboretum is for pedestrians only). I learned that it is called The Little Beautiful Bridge, and indeed, it is.

By the way, my moment of pride was preserving that tiny bit of white on the globe lamp and post surrounded by dark foliage, which I spritzed to activate. (The pride is not so much in the result as in remembering this trick!) Here’s how I did it: First I used a waterbrush to carefully activate the dark green immediately surrounding the lamp. After that dried completely, I could spritz the rest of the foliage liberally. Since the pigment around the lamp had already been activated, it didn’t re-activate, and the globe and post stayed relatively white.

This is a trick I started using with Derwent Inktense to take advantage of its “permanent” quality; however, this pencil was a Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle, and it worked just as well here.


  1. I love the bridge! The dramatic darks really set it off. Great trick to save the white on the globe lamp. I would never have thought of doing that.

    1. Thanks, Joan! I guess this old dog still has a few tricks. ;-)

    2. I'm just seeing this after Eleanor referred to it in her substack. What a lovely sketch. The color combo is wonderful.

    3. Thank you, Jane! I didn't even know that Eleanor had mentioned it! :-)


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