Sunday, August 11, 2013

Virtual Paint-Out: Packard Factory Detroit Michigan

I haven't submitted a sketch painting to Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout for a full three years,...let alone done any drawings to write about in that time. Nonetheless, I have remained a fan of VPO (and other sketch sites), and have continually mused about doing some more drawing/painting again. (I don't know about you, but these drawing/paintings take a lot of time.  They don't come easily to me.)

Having grown up in the Rust Belt (northeastern Ohio), this month's choice of Detroit coincided nicely with my renewed interest in sketching/painting.  So...once again, I logged in and began to wander the streets.
I had remembered reading about the Packard factory on David Byrne's personal online journal (He has an excellent section with his impressions and thoughts about Detroit) and was surprised to discover that I could get up close enough to it on StreetView to get the kind of composition I was looking for.
It's a huge automotive plant-built in 1903-that was abandoned in the 1950's after the once fabled Packard luxury automobile lost its appeal through mis-guided mergers, economic conditions, and regrettable design and business decisions.  To me, it is the quintessential poster child for the decline of the northern industrial cities of America.

So...greetings to all of my fellow participants.  It's good to be back.
Google Maps reference location here

Sunday, March 20, 2011

EDM #15: Draw a Tree

This was an experiment...drawn on tissue paper: a tree study using Chartpak markers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another pencil sketch: coffee table

A sketched view of our living room coffee table on a typical Sunday afternoon. Trying to keep my hand in drawing but being pulled in work/business directions that are taking my creative energy elsewhere. Looking forward to getting back into it soon. (I still dream of colors.)
These last two drawing show me the importance of using both hard and soft leaded pencils. I attribute the lack of depth and contrast to the fact that they were drawn with a 6H pencil only: my pencil of choice on the job-site and the implement closest at hand-in my pocket always. (Yes, I see that I am as guilty as the next person in blaming my tools.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wetlands Sketch

Dense sketch of the edge of the wetlands as they enter a small lake behind my house (drawn while floating in my kayak). It is a lazy Thanksgiving Day here in the southeastern United States.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Prince Edward Island

A quick pencil sketch-washed with color-of a sylvan scene of Canada.

(Scanner let me down on this one.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Hong Kong

I am utterly fascinated by the plethora of A/C units, drain lines, electrical wires, plumbing supply pipes, support cables, cantilevering signage, steel bracing, clothing, and the rest of it that is so clearly visible all over the facades of almost all of the older downtown buildings and so much a part of the exterior urban street scene of this exotic location.
I chose a view that had a high concentration of these visual shapes. This is my impression of Hong Kong.
To me-as a person in the building business-this speaks volumes about the decades-long introduction of "modern-day conveniences" into the lives and homes of more and more people and reveals the inherent dilemma of where to put the layers of new infrastructure needed to accommodate the increasing demands for comfort.
I thought this kind of vision was only found in movies like Brazil and Blade Runner; but now I see it is more common than I realized. And not only is the visual plane a cacophony, I can only imagine the ambient din on the street itself.

Reference photo from Google Street View here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Czech Republic

Here is yet another submission to the monthly challenge for The Virtual Paintout: a street scene in Prague. I picked this shot as an exercise to try and capture a sense of glass and reflection; but I am also drawn to the electric tram buses which typify the vibrancy of the European cityscape.
Reference here

Sunday, May 2, 2010

EDM #100-Draw a Landscape (Canary Islands-VPO)

Well...missed the end of the month deadline for the VPO again. It isn't like I had started this and didn't finish, I just needed the weekend to work on it and the monthly cut-off fell on Friday. Anyway, since I spent a lot of time during the month wandering for a location, then thinking/planning about it, I wanted to 'do something' after all that; so I didn't let the momentum die but rather come to fruition irrespective of an arbitrary deadline...not to say I won't be trying to bring it in under the wire in the future!
Luckily, I can very easily catalog this piece as EDM Challenge #100: Draw a Landscape. (EDM is the first online challenge group that drew me out of a lifetime of not drawing/painting: thanks to everyone in EDM).

Google Map Street View reference here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Stavanger, Norway

This is a Stavanger, Norway sketch painting that didn't make the time cut-off for the Virtual Paintout. I still wanted to do it since the shapes and colors were so interesting, not to mention the towering perspective from the street. Reference here.
This is the first painting I've done using only watercolor tube paints instead of watercolor markers and pencils. I see the wisdom of mixing paint on a palette. The next evolution will be to use different brushes beyond the Niji waterbrush.

Monday, April 12, 2010

EDM Challenge #15: Draw a Tree

A quick pencil sketch view of a nice shady spot under a beautiful tree from a porch/deck I was working on at a friend/client's home. Stopping for a break, I drew this...which is unusual for me because I don't tend to sketch during working hours.
Maybe this fine spring day heralds a refreshing change of habit.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Virtual Paintout: San Francisco

Yet another quick, (not totally realized) last minute sketch for the Virtual Paintout. This is a drawing of a now closed, art deco ice palace in the heart of Berkeley, CA., recently designated an historical landmark-much to the chagrin of the owners who would rather keep their options open to the possibility of tearing it down. Efforts to save the structure are still in process. I was drawn to the elegant signage and rounded corners so beautifully typical of that era.
Reference here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Corsica, France

Like alot of other participants in the Virtual Paintout this month-I am also very impressed with the diversity of landscape on Corsica. Tooling around via Google Street View, one can go from mountainous snowscapes to quaint seaside enclaves, from blazing autumnal forests to rural, barren farmsteads...all beautiful, all beckoning to be visually captured.
Reference view here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

VP Challenge: Mexico City

Finally...a Virtual Paintout entry finished before the last day of the month. Having more time because of the Christmas holiday, I was able to work on this longer than usual; and I also was able to 'borrow' my wife's set of pastel, water-soluble pencils-which I really like-to compliment my watercolor pencils. They allow for a certain opacity that is hard to get from pencils alone.
Finding this hillside neighborhood makes me want to visit it in person.
Reference link here.
Happy Holidays and thanks to Bill Guffey for the interesting and challenging idea of The Virtual Paintout.

Monday, November 30, 2009

VP Location: Nova Scotia

Another quick last-minute sketch for the Virtual Paintout: Nova Scotia, Canada. A street view of the smoke stacks of a power plant outside a trio of coral snakes standing unnaturally in stiff vigilance. Reference link here.