City of Los Angeles Planning Commission 12 February 2009

Three Pages worth of the LA City Planning Commission

Three Pages worth of the LA City Planning Commission

This is my first post here from my sketchbooks. I am on sketchbook No. 55, which I began in April 2008. I don’t plan to post everything I do in my sketchbook. I figure I will just occasionally post drawings that I think are successful. And perhaps, when I finish a book (once or twice a year), maybe do a brief retrospective post with some highlights.

The drawing was done live at the Los Angeles City Planning Commission meeting on February 12th 2009 at Los Angeles City Hall. The individuals depicted above are: (left to right) Sean Burton, Diego Cardoso, Robin Hughes, William Roschen, Ricardo Lara, Cindy Montanez, Michael Woo, and a staff person whose name I don’t know.

One of the reasons I’ve posted this, is that it’s actually cross-posted at the river issues blog I share with Jessica Hall. That blog is called L.A. Creek Freak.  Click here to read the story of what was proceeding while I was drawing.

The image is a triptych – an artwork done in three pieces. It’s fairly common for me to do a drawing that spans across two sketchbook pages. I can only remember doing  three or more pages a few times. For this one I drew the first two pages, and still waiting for the RIO item to come up, I gently curled the right page over to the right to give me position guidelines to make the third page image line up. The full 3-piece version is above, with larger images of the three individual pages at the bottom of this post.

Declaration of Independence

John Trumbull painting of the Declaration of Independence (click for full-size image)

I like it that my sketch bears a slight resemblance to the historic majestic group portraits of important statesman that we’re probably all overly familiar with – like John Trumbull’s painting of the Declaration of Independence. I wasn’t thinking about this at the time, but it came to mind as I was thinking about what to tell you, dear reader. I like some of the clever contemporary works that pay homage to these (perhaps mockingly but perhaps acknowledging the power in these depictions,) including Mark Tansey’s Triumph of the New York School and Sandow Birk’s Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Presenting His Plan for the Invasion of Iraq.

In my sketchbook I mostly work directly in pen. I start drawing one item, then work outward from there – in this case, I started with the head of commissioner Robin Hughes (the African-American woman third from the left). This unplanned approach results in a sort of naive, sometimes a kind of fish-bowl perspective – which I like.

Left Page

Left Page

Middle Page

Middle Page

Right Page

Right Page


One response to “City of Los Angeles Planning Commission 12 February 2009

  1. what a great idea, Joe!! I always love watching the drawings evolve on the page when you’re at a meeting – and to see the final product as part of a blog is really cool! Like old-school newspapers that sketched courtroom testimonies….

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