Sketches from Japan

Around ten years ago, I posted a few drawings from a journal I kept during a month’s stay in Japan in 1990. Wiley subsequently published a facsimile in 2000, Sketches from Japan, which is now out-of-print. Here are a few more pages from that journal, all drawn with a Mont Blanc fountain pen and using a contour line approach to the subject matter. The page above contains details that caught my eye as I walked the streets of O-Okayama. Below are a couple more street scenes of O-Okayama, a suburb of Tokyo where the Tokyo Institute of Technology is located.

Building Codes Illustrated, 7th Edition

Even with the nice, sunny weather we’ve been having, there hasn’t been enough time to go out and capture scenes in and around Seattle. I’ve been busily working with Steve Winkel and editors from Wiley and the International Code Council on revising Building Codes Illustrated to incorporate the changes effected by the 2021 edition of the International Building Code. For example, the title page above reflects how the development of mass timber construction has led to the creation of new categories of Type IV construction.

This page illustrates the necessary provisions for accessible electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS).

This series of illustrations is an example of how the book attempts to explain in graphical terms the intent of code requirements. In this case, these graphics illuminate the theory underlying horizontal exits.

Note: All of the illustrations in BCI were created in Adobe Illustrator.

Urban Sketchers is Live Again

After 14 months of individuals drawing and painting in isolation during the pandemic, the Seattle Urban Sketchers group was able to meet—finally—for a Sunday sketching session at Gas Works Park. The site on the north shore of Lake Union is a reclaimed gasification plant that operated from 1906 to 1956. Landscape architect Richard Haag designed the park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The first sketch, from within the play barn structure, looks out toward Lake Union and downtown Seattle beyond. Drawing from a dark space toward the light creates silhouettes that conceals details, which can be challenging. The second sketch was a quick study of remnants of the old plant. The geometric, primarily cylindrical forms, were drawn transparently to emphasize their volume, even though the sketch consists only of lines.

25 Years Ago

The practice of keeping a journal gives us the ability to go back in time to revisit places and experiences. Here, from 25 years ago, is a map I drew of Hong Kong and its environs, showing the ferry route I took from Central to Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island. From there I walked an hour and a half to Yung Shue Wan, where I sketched the scene below.

Fishermen’s Terminal

With the warming weather of early spring and a pleasant sunny day, it was a treat to venture outside to do some on-location drawing at Fishermen’s Terminal, located off Salmon Bay in north Seattle. It was here almost 12 years ago—in July 2009—that Gabi Campanario organized the very first meeting of the Seattle Urban Sketchers group.

Tempietto

The Tempietto is a small, elegant temple situated in an outer cloister of San Pietro in Montorio, reportedly the site of St. Peter’s crucifixion, on the eastern slope of Gianicolo Hill in Rome. King Ferdinand commissioned Donato Bramante to design the martyrium in the early 16th century. It is basically a cylindrical form ringed by a series of Tuscan columns and topped by a hemispherical concrete dome. This and other examples of western classical and renaissance architecture are difficult to draw well due to the genre’s precise attention to proportion and scale. It is relatively easy to distort their forms, as in this case, where the vertical axis tilts slightly and the cylindrical from droops downward and to the left.