While I usually enjoy drawing with a fountain pen, there are times for a pencil to do its work. Here is an example of a drawing of an eagle, showing the range of values and nuanced strokes for which a graphite pencil is uniquely suited.
St. James Cathedral, situated in the First Hill neighborhood above downtown Seattle, is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Designed by the New York-based architectural firm of Heins & LaFarge and completed in 1907, it was designated a city landmark in 1984. Here are two views. The first is similar to one drawn back in 2013, looking from the side courtyard toward one of the twin spires; the other is of the interior. Also included are two video clips of the process.
What in plan appears to be a logical mid-block pathway is often not so evident when seen at street level, especially when the pathway involves changes in direction and elevation amid a lot of vegetation. Here is a view of a pedestrian pathway that connects North 34th and North 35th Streets, drawn while sitting at The Masonry, sipping a beer, and looking north up toward A.B. Ernst Park.
The second view (and video) is from where an addition to A.B. Ernst Park is to be developed, looking down toward 34th Street, from where the first view was drawn.
Here is another aspect of Wallingford Center, from the side opposite the view in my last post, showing the main entrance to the former Interlake Public School. Once I had completed the drawing, I noticed that the column-supported porch does not appear to be quite centered on the gabled projection. So if I were to draw this view again, I would make sure as I blocked the structure out to describe this alignment correctly—before filling in the details.
A fine example of the adaptive re-use of a landmark building is Wallingford Center, developed in 1985 by Lorig Associates and designed by the architecture firm of Tonkin Hoyne Lokan. The original 3-story, wood-frame structure, built in 1904 to house the Interlake Public School, now houses a mix of shops, restaurants, and apartments. It is a historic Seattle landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Finding things while rummaging around looking for other items from long ago always triggers memories. One example are these ballpoint-pen sketches from 1963, when an ND classmate invited me to spend Christmas break with his family on Long Island. During a day trip into the City, I was drawn to these individuals—creating “characters”—dining at a Horn & Hardart, an early version of a fast-food restaurant at the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. I still remember perusing the stacks of glass-doored dispensers containing a variety of hot and cold foods, putting nickels into the selected slot, and removing the plate of food.
When I entered the architecture program at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1961, my first freehand drawing course began with charcoal studies of plaster casts. Being young and naive, I didn’t fully appreciate the pedagogy behind these tasks, but in hindsight, I can see now that these studies helped promote looking closely at geometric forms, noticing how light illuminated and reflected off of their surfaces, and appreciating the resulting subtle gradations of value. And then the challenge was trying to capture these visual qualities with a charcoal stick, a paper stump for smoothing and blending, and a kneaded eraser for lightening and creating highlights.
Much appreciation to all those who signed up for my Seattle 10×10 workshop and braved the cool temperatures and showers this past Saturday to draw outdoors at the Fremont Troll. Above is a drawing of the troll that I had done 6 years ago, and below is a quick demo of how I would begin to block out a view from across the street.
The Coliseum was the first theater in Seattle built specifically to show motion pictures. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca, it opened on January 8, 1916, at the start of the silent-film era, with a showing of The Cheat, starring Fannie Ward and Sessue Hayakawa. An advertisement at the time called the theater “the world’s largest and finest photoplay palace.” It is just one of a series of vaudeville and motion picture theaters Priteca designed for the Alexander Pantages chain.
The Colesium continued operating as a movie theater until 1990. It sat idle until 1995, when Banana Republic transformed it into a clothing store. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a City of Seattle Landmark.
Below is a short video clip of my drawing the view using the Procreate app on my iPad.
Following up on my previous post, here is another pairing of a sketch and video, this time of the iconic view of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. A key difference between drawing with a fountain pen on real paper and sketching with the Apple Pencil on an iPad is the loss of “feel” experienced when drawing on a glass surface. Even though the Apple Pencil is the best stylus that I have used, there is a tiny but still perceptible distance between the tip of the stylus and the screen that results in a loss of tactility.