Here’s a building that I was sketching in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. I was sketching this the way I’d been doing all of my lunchtime sketches up to this point; straight from pen to paper; no pencils and no erasers, just skill and visual analyzation. Of course, Georgetown has some pretty complex structures, and this one got the better of me. After rendering the window on the left much larger than the one on the right, I had just gotten it too wrong to continue. Not a big loss; it’s only a four dollar sketchbook, and I wasn’t too excited about the building to begin with. Yet, it was a sign that I needed to up my “urban sketching” game, and start bringing in some quick pre-pencil sketching prior to laying down ink.
Lot’s of client and project work coming up in the next two weeks; see you all in February, and don’t forget to start following the 2015 pro cycling season, which begins at the end of January at the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia and the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.
Earlier this week, I posted a somewhat refined “urban sketch” of a Vespa scooter. As I had been taking increasing note of all of the scooters on the sidewalks of Washington, DC, I decided to grab my “Ugly Sketchbook”, and spend some time during a lunchtime stroll letting my pen run loose and free as I studied what the details of a scooter really are, and what it would take to sketch one.
Happy 2015 everybody; hope we all have a great creative year ahead of us (yes; if there can be a business year, a fiscal year, and a budget year, there can also be a creative year!)
To kick it off, here’s a scooter I sketched during a lunchtime stroll. Not only can you spot some interesting bicycles parked on the sidewalks of Washington, DC, but some interesting scooters as well. This lovely blue Vespa is a regular is always chained up to a parking meter just around the block from my office, and one day I finally decided to sketch it.
Some quick line work from two different days on the Washington, DC Metro. I think one day I’m going to go back over all of my Metro Sketches, and see how many people are holding smart phones.
Here’s another bike I drew during a lunchtime stroll here in Washington, DC. It was an unnamed fixie, though the owner nicely matched the matte black frame to blue bar tape and chain. However, the Weinmann wheelset probably made for a stout, yet heavy ride. Oh well; bike like this aren’t about speed; they’re about utility with a side of vanity.
Last summer, food trucks became all of the rage in Washington, DC, especially in neighborhoods where lunch options were fewer in numbers. Though mobbed by long lines during the height of lunchtime, if you planned your lunch just after the peak hours, you had a clear view of the trucks, making them easier to sketch (though you never knew when they would drive away).
After extensively sketching the urban architecture of Washington, DC, I figured I would take a shot at rural architecture while visiting a farm in suburban Maryland. I thought that this would be pretty easy, but I was rather mistaken; while I had developed a visual and aesthetic fluency in the architecture of historic urban neighborhood buildings, rural farming structures were something totally different, and were more challenging than I thought (I also had limited time to do these sketches.) Hopefully, I’ll get back to attempt these again some day.
Here is the final scan of a drawing I just completed in a 5″ x 8″ sketchbook. After spending a year sketching buildings in the West End neighborhood of Washington, DC, I found myself increasingly doodling small buildings while on the phone or waiting for large files to save. These little doodles led to small compositions of little buildings, and soon I was increasingly drawing little imaginary cityscapes. Eventually, I decided to produce a larger, polished version of one of these cityscapes. The initial layout was penciled at home, then refined and inked at various Meetup drawing groups in the city, as well as during occasional coffee breaks at cafés all over the DC area.
There’s a Trader Joe’s supermarket near our office, and I often see this Gitane fixie locked to the bike rack outside. Far from Gitane’s heyday as one of the premier French brands, which included providing the bikes to French cycling legends Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon (the 1988 Systeme U team bikes are one of my all time favorites!), this old, battered, and very characteristic Gitane still always caught my eye. One day, out to pick up my supply of frozen lunches, ground coffee, and craft beer, I spotted the Gitane, and finally decided to sketch it.
My wife and I were coming home on the Metro one evening after our date night, and I decided to show her what this “urban sketching” thing was all about. This nearby gentleman, being quite a good sleeper, unknowingly obliged my intent, and made for an excellent demonstration model.