One of the many things I like to sketch during my lunchtime strolls are food trucks, which are increasingly popular here in DC. Not only are their food offerings diverse, some are rather visually and graphically bold in order to attract attention. However, with limited time to sketch during my lunch breaks, I choose visually simple trucks, such as this red one, which offers up meatball-based dishes.
Many buildings in Washington, DC are modular and patterned, which makes for great multi-day/multi-session sketching. Such was the case with this building, located in the West End neighborhood, which had both great composition and coloring. For this sketch, I stood across the street, sketching while leaning up against the entrance to the German Embassy, where I overheard diplomatic conversations in multiple languages on a daily basis, making this sketch all the more Washingtonian.
Here’s a building in the West End neighborhood in Washington, DC. Like other buildings that I have been featuring lately, this was sketched and colored little by little over the course of several days during my lunch breaks. To do these kind of sketches, I would find a very specific spot to stand in (against the ledge, third cross bar on the handrail in, left foot on the sidewalk crack), and then I would sketch a little bit each day, usually no more than ten or twenty minutes at a time.
Here’s a bike I’ve sketched once before, and since it was one of the first bikes I’d sketched, I knew I had a lot of practicing still to do (even though I’m a hardcore cyclist!). Luckily, I see this bike locked-up all of the time outside of my office, so I took another crack at this bike – a late-80s bonded aluminum Raleigh Technium with first-generation Shimano 105 components – after having practiced a few other bikes first.
This is the first page of my newest sketchbook, and to start it off, I decided to try something different; instead of quickly sketching a whole building in the span of 20 or 30 minutes during my lunchtime strolls, I would instead slowly sketch a building over the span of days. For this building, I found a good spot to stand in, and sketched for ten or 20 minutes at a time, and for one day, a good 45-minute stretch after work. Thankfully, buildings here in Washington, DC are very modular, so it’s easy to work whole sections at a time, and still know where to stop and pick up the next day.
Here’s a bike I sketched during a lunchtime stroll. This older department store single speed townie is a far cry from some of the higher-end bikes found locked-up on the sidewalks of Washington, DC, but if you love bicycles, then there is something to appreciate in the simple green form if this particular ride.
Quick; look at an interesting building, and then sketch it. No pre-sketching allowed, and only a minimal amount of pre-visualization employed to ensure that everything fits onto the page, and then just draw and color everything in your path. Such was the case with this building, which is the Tanzanian embassy here in Washington, DC. I did this sketch in about 30 minutes. Not only was it good practice for drawing buildings, it also helped keep my incessant perfectionism at bay.
Washington, DC is an interesting city, where residential neighborhoods mix in with commercial and retail neighborhoods. Built largely in a monochromatic and monumental style, the relative blandness of the commercial and retail areas are livened up by the colorful row homes abounding throughout the city, such as this one I quickly sketched during a midday stroll around the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.