Lunch Lines: Get a Pencil!

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.

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Ugly Sketchbook

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.

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Lunch Lines

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.

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Lunch Lines

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.

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When Hipster Zombies Attack

Here’s a drawing done recently at our DC Drink ‘n Draw Meetup group. The evening’s theme was “When Hipster Zombies Attack”, which was relatively easy to do since Washington, DC has its fair share of hipsters, and as both a hardcore cyclist and punk rock aficionado myself – though not a hipster! – I had to work both of those into the theme (hence the mention of DC hardcore legends Minor Threat). While I may be a slow methodical perfectionist, this drawing was done in about two hours. I was planning on inking it in, but I found myself simply having too much fun with the pencil. DC Drink ‘n Draw is a great group of artists, and a great group of people; we meet at various bars around the city and enjoy good beer and banter while working away into our sketchbooks – a creative oasis in the middle of a city saturated in politics, business, and general legalese.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody; see you all next week, and if you get too fat from eating turkey, go ride a bike to burn off the weight.

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Jack Rose Saloon Sketch for Maga Design

In 2013, Maga Design Group contracted me to sketch the bar at the Jack Rose Saloon for their annual holiday party’s invitations and collateral. To sketch this illustrious Washington, DC pub, which houses perhaps the largest whisky collection in the world, I sought advice from the master of sketching bars and pubs, Pete Scully. Following Pete’s advice, I spent two nights sitting at the bar sketching everything in sight (and enjoying some excellent craft beers!). For the full story and process shots of the sketch, check out this gallery on my Behance.

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Ugly Sketchbook: Two Washingtonians

Two more pages from my “Ugly Sketchbook”, a cheap 3″x5″ cheap scratchpad used to quickly capture or doodle just about anything. These two pages were inspired by some of the interesting people I see while making the long walk from the Metro station to my office here in Washington, DC. The top image was a hipster I saw longboarding along the street, while the second image was inspired by some guy I spotted sitting outside at a cafe, seemingly relying on his coffee for more than just an alertly-awake state.

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Lunch Lines

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).

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Metro Sketch

If you’ve ever ridden the Washington, DC, Metro, then you’re accustom to the unique interior colors of the train; a palette of burgundy, orange, yellow, and blue straight out of the 1970s. Though decades old nowadays, they still sometimes visually complement the colors of the clothing worn by some of the commuters. I sketched this individual on the Metro, noted down the colors, and then completed the sketch with my markers at a cafe immediately after debarking from the train.

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Farm Sketch

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.

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