I took a ten-day trip out to see my awesome girlfriend Carrie in Jersey City, and did some sketching. Above is the piece I like best – and below are pieces in chronological order.
The piece above was a pretty overcast day, and that made for subdued colors which I think turned out well. It reminds me a tiny bit of the work of Wil Freeborn – whose work I think is great. I like the contrast between the different buildings, sort of representing different eras (I don’t know the names of any of these buildings or actually anything about them, but I think the one on the left is from the 1970s, the middle one early 20th century, and the ones on the right more recent.) Also – kinda subtle – I like the water tower reflection in the lower right window.
On the way from my home to arriving in Newark, I kept a kind of trip journal which ended up spanning three pages:
I’ve been thinking of keeping a sort-of Craig Thompson style Carnet du Voyage sketch journal for my upcoming trip to Europe. These pages are ok… definitely documenting traveling… but probably too focused on recording the time… which isn’t all that exciting.
My first day bicycling around Manhattan, I sketched the Brooklyn Bridge:
It’s wrapped for construction… which is ok (does tell a story)… but I think I would have liked to sketch it without the wrapping.
Here’s the Empire State Building:
Unfortunately I used the pencils on watercolor paper (rougher than drawing paper), so they don’t really cover well.
Here’s a drawing of a Joseph Cornell assemblage box, when Carrie and I went to the Museum of Modern Art:
Cornel’s boxes are really difficult to capture – great color, texture. The one next to this was even better, in my opinion, but visually more complicated, so more difficult to sketch intelligibly.
I was sketching at Washington Square Park and it started to rain, so I walked a bit and found a dry place under a construction awning (?) and did this sketch:
I kind of like that sketch (above) because it’s not such an iconic location… more vernacular: brick, water towers, taxis, and a bunch of construction netting (something I generally tried to avoid drawing, because it’s kinda unrecognizable – both the blue thing on the right and the black thing on the lower left are construction netting on buildings under construction/renovation.)
One day I stayed in Jersey City, where Carrie lives, and sketched this triangular historic building (not sure if it’s called a “flatiron” – but it’s a bit similar to that iconic building) on the main drag there:
For that drawing I used an excellent new smaller-refillable-Pentel brush pen Carrie gave me as a birthday present. There’re a few mistakes – lines that don’t quite line up – but overall I like how it turned out.
I arrived early once and drew this quick brush pen sketch of the front of the SVA (School of Visual Arts) building where Carrie works:
Then on the trip home I did a few sketches that I like. I started keeping a sort of sketch journal like above… but departing wasn’t quite as fun as arriving… so I just ended up sketching people. Here’s the guy across from me on the first leg of my flight:
Lastly a multi-page planescape on the final leg into Los Angeles:
It turned out to have a pretty steep perspective… which I think works. When I draw directly in pen I end up with some oddball perspectives, like fish-eye – and most of the time they’re appealing.
If you like these, you might want to check out more of my travel sketches: