Tag Archives: sketching

Black and White Sketching: New Orleans Architecture

There are two visual aspects in what I am posting this week. The first aspect being black and white presentations and the second aspect being architectural elements. Black and white, whether it be a photograph or a sketching changes the visual experience of a subject matter. Black and white allows more detail to surface as the visual experience isn’t bombarded with a multitude of colors, while keeping an overall subtle look.

I have always thought the architectural elements in New Orleans were appealing in their uniqueness and I think the black and white sketching technique highlights a lot of the detail that makes the area interesting (as a disclosure I created these drawings in 2010, so anything that has changed at any of these locations since then is not represented).

The first and second art prints are of the St Charles Line street car. The first print is a street scene of the street car line and the second print pulls in on a stop after a passenger gets off. The first one gives you a very detailed look of the tracks the street car runs on while the second one gives you more detail of the street car itself including remaining passengers.

Streetcar
St Charles Line

The third print is a balcony restaurant looking out over the French Quarters. You not only see the detail of the restaurant seating, but the buildings in the French Quarter.

French Quarter Balcony

The last one looks across the street in the French Quarters at another balcony restaurant. This print captures the detail of the customers and the street aspect.

Balcony Restaurant

Thoughts?

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Train Station Door

I have attached two different approaches to a singular subject matter. The singular subject matter is the train station door in Glendale, California. The train station was built in 1924 by the Southern Pacific Railroad using a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival style. The elaborate architectural details immediately become a visual focal point. The station now serves for both Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metro Link Rail system and was purchased by the city of Glendale in 1989.

Having been through this station numerous times over the last 20+ years, I was usually too busy coming or going to stop and really absorb the architectural detail. Finally in 2017 I did a photoshoot of the entire station and settled on this perspective of the door as a true representation of the beauty of the building.

I chose two different sketching techniques to highlight the beauty of the architectural details. Both techniques created totally different visual experiences of the same subject. There isn’t a right or wrong in either technique, just a visual preference by the viewer, which varies from viewer to viewer.

Sketched Train Station Door
Pastel Train Station Door

Thoughts?

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Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

One of my favorite lighthouses along the Oregon Coastline is the Heceda Head Lighthouse. From this perspective, you see the lighthouse out on the edge of a bluff and the caretakers house snuggled above a small beach. The caretakers house is closer to the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows this rugged coastline and presents this perfect view of the complex as you approach from the south.

In creating this print, I used a sketching technique with soft watercolors to present this as a casual look across a small harbor towards the complex.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Complex

This second print focuses on the lighthouse itself. Again, I used the same sketching technique creating this casual look.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

Thoughts?

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Simplistic Composition – Simple Subject Matter

Sometimes the simple approach to a print is the best way to go, whether that is the composition of the subject or the subject itself. If you look at still life art prints, the subject matter is usually very simplistic like a bowl of fruit or floral arrangement. In composing the piece, the artist or photographer keeps the print clear of unrelated objects to allow the visual focus on the main subject.

In taking this approach with other items, you can create art prints or photographs that have a very defined visual focus to tell a story. The manner in which the presentation is created can also help keep the focus on the subject or object you are presenting, by creating an overall mood or look.

I have attached two samples to highlight what I’m referring to. The first example is a bookcase located in a log cabin from the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. By it’s very nature there is a lot of objects in this print, but by keeping the composition of the presentation limited to the bookcase, you have simplified that aspect. To further tone down the variety of objects, I chose a sketching technique to soften the presentation. The overall result is a more simplistic presentation with a simple subject matter.

The second attachment has less subject matter to begin with and the composition keeps the eye focused on this part of the log cabin. By having a suggestion of a window with a small desk and chair between that and a door, it creates a small intimate space where you can imagine someone working at the desk. The sketching technique softens the overall look, creating a simplistic warm and inviting visual effect.

 

 

Thoughts?

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Sketched Scenes from Sailing the Islands in the Pacific Northwest

I have attached two sketched scenes I created from a trip we took a few years ago to Henry Island in the Pacific Northwest. We were staying with our daughter and her husband in Seattle and were headed to Henry Island where our son-in-law’s family had a couple of homes. To get to Henry Island, we took a ferry from Anacortes, Washington to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We then drove across the island to Roche Harbor where their was a family boat docked for the final leg of the journey over to Henry Island.

The first art print represents the scene I saw as we came into Friday Harbor, which is on San Juan Island. The second art print was a sailboat I saw as we headed back going by Lopez island. It was a beautiful day for sailing.

Thoughts?

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The Seattle Great Wheel – Angles and Architectural Elements

Always looking for an interesting aspect or angle to a subject matter, I have attached two prints I created of The Seattle Great Wheel. The official website to the Seattle Great Wheel is here (the website has a great overall picture of the ferris wheel at the end of pier 57 along the bay front of downtown Seattle). It really is an impressive ferris wheel and has fast become one of the main attractions in downtown Seattle.

I did a photo shoot a few years back and spent quite awhile trying to capture unique shots of this very large ferris wheel. I wanted something a little different to highlight the architectural detail of this beautiful wheel. As I went through the shots and started narrowing it down to unique angles, I thought that with the geometric simplicity of the structure, why not try some of these angles in a sketching or ink pen style…both simplistic in visual appearance and focusing specifically on the structure.

With the help of Adobe Photoshop I came up with these prints that portray two very different angles and perspectives of the gondolas as they went around the large wheel.

 

“Seattle Great Wheel”

Thoughts?

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The Caboose and Train Station Platform – Black and White Sketches

Anyone that has been following my work, knows I have an affinity to black and white photography. As I have stated before, I began serious photography with black and white film and had access to a dark room to develop my own prints. The mood, contrast and elements that become center stage in a photograph is different when seen in black and white versus the same shot in color. With these prints I have taken that look one step further with a pencil sketching technique. Using a sketched look versus the original photograph gives the final print a softer more rustic feel.

 

For this post I chose two sketches I created from the Issaquah Train Station (now a museum in Issaquah, Washington). I have featured numerous prints from this location as it lent itself to so many opportunities.

I love these old baggage carts sitting on the platform.

Thoughts?

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The Red Railroad Car – Featured Art Print

 

The Red Railroad Car – is a wall art print I created using a colored pencil sketching technique to create this look. This technique uses strong, but narrow diagonal lines with bright colors.

The setting is an old train car located along a path in Rockford, Michigan. The train looks like it might have been used as a diner at some point, but now sits abandoned. Thoughts?


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