La Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel

San Miguel Arcángel was built in the late 17th century in the colonial Baroque style, but in the 19th century, a local builder Zeferino Gutiérrez Muñoz was asked to rebuild the towers and facade that had suffered substantial cracking over the years. He was a bricklayer by profession and so he relied on a postcard of Cologne Cathedral in Germany for inspiration. The result is a massive pseudo-Gothic structure that has become the iconic emblem of San Miguel de Allende, 50 miles west of Querétaro.

This sketch, done quickly as a demo, is an example of how it is possible not to complete every detail or part of a scene, especially when drawing symmetrical compositions. It is often enough to merely suggest one part and then let the imagination of the viewer complete the view.

Lahaina Jodo Mission

The Lahaina Jodo Mission is a Buddhist temple founded in 1912 by Gendo Saito with the support of the Japanese immigrants working in the island’s sugar and pineapple plantations. The three-tiered pagoda serves as a columbarium and contains the urns of deceased members.

The celestial buddha, 12 feet high and weighing 3 1/2 tons, was installed in June 1968. On a nearby plaque is inscribed the following: “This image of Amitabha-Buddha was erected here at the picturesque seashore of Lahaina, the capital of the ancient Hawaiian Dynasty, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Japanese immigration to the Hawaii (sic) Islands…”

Lahaina’s Front Street

Front Street is the main thoroughfare through Lahaina. Now lined with tourist shops, galleries, and restaurants, the street retains the wooden facades and balconies from the mid-19th century, when Lahaina was a thriving whaling port and a hub of Maui’s sugar and pineapple industries.

Old Court & Customs House

Just a block away from the Pioneer Inn is the Old Court & Customs House, which was built in the late 1850s on the site of the Old Fort in Lahaina. It opened in 1860 to serve as both a center for governmental and court affairs and a customs house for whaling and trading ships during the Monarchy period. Originally sporting a wood facade, the structure was renovated in 1925 in the Greek Revival style. Behind is the courthouse plaza, dominated by one of the largest banyan trees in the U.S.

Another Look Back…

In my very first post on this site in February 2012, I showed a composite of two sketches I had done of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Here I am posting the full views of each drawing.

The first is from the summer of 1965, when I was fortunate to have had, through an ACSA exchange program, an internship with Wilson & Womersley, an architectural and town planning firm with offices on Bedford Square in London. At the end of the summer, armed with a Eurail Pass, I traveled around Europe for a couple of weeks. I did a few sketches on site, but not as many as I would have liked. The only one I still have in my possession is this view of the Spanish Steps in Rome, drawn with a fountain pen with a stub nib.

This is another drawing of the same site from 2000, the first time I had the privilege of teaching in the University of Washington’s Architecture in Rome program. Similar viewpoints but drawn 35 years apart with different nibs and separated by a lifetime of experiences.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano was first founded on October 30, 1775, by the Franciscan Fermin Lasuen, but was soon abandoned because of attacks by the Kumeyaay, Native American people who had settled the area and occupied the land for thousands of years. The mission was reestablished a year later by Father Junipero Serra, the seventh of nine missions he founded. These two views of a courtyard beside the Great Stone Church at the mission show first the rough outline of the drawing composition and then another, more developed 15-minute sketch.

The Old Stone Church

This is a very quick 10-minute sketch I did during the Line to Color workshop Gail Wong and I conducted recently. I was trying to demonstrate how to begin a scene that does not have a clear geometric structure.. The view is of the ruins of the “Great Stone Church” at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Work on the limestone structure began in 1797 but was interrupted three years later by the 6.5-magnitude San Diego earthquake. And in 1812, six years after the church was completed, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake collapsed the nave and toppled the belltower. It was never rebuilt.