NYC/NJ sketches – August-September 2012

New York City – view from 22nd and Broadway, ink and watercolor on paper, 4 September 2012, about 5.5″x8.5″

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:

On my way to see Carrie Lincourt – page 1 – pen drawing in Sketchbook No. 63, 27 August 2012

On my way to see Carrie Lincourt – page 2 – pen drawing in Sketchbook No. 63, 27-28 August 2012

On my way to see Carrie Lincourt – page 3 – pen drawing in Sketchbook No. 63, 28 August 2012

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:

Brooklyn Bridge, ink on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 29 August 2012, about 11″x17″

Here’s a photo of what it really looks like

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:

Empire State Building, New York City, ink and colored pencil on paper, 29 August 2012, about 5.5″x8.5″

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:

sketch of inside of Joseph Cornell box at MOMA, pencil on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 30 August 2012, about 8.5″x11″

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:

New York City – View on Lafayette near 4th, ink and colored pencil in Sketchbook No. 63, 4 September 2012, about 8.5″x11″

Photo of same location showing actual construction stuff

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:

Jersey City – Newark Avenue at Erie Street, ink on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 5 September 2012, about 11″x17″

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:

New York City – entrance to Carrie’s work at SVA, pen on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 5 September 2012, about 8.5″x11″

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:

Man on Airplane, ink on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 6 September 2012, about 6″x6″

Lastly a multi-page planescape on the final leg into Los Angeles:

On Delta Airlines Flight DL1833 Cincinnati to Los Angeles, pen on paper in Sketchbook No. 63, 6 September 2012, about 11″x11″

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:


One response to “NYC/NJ sketches – August-September 2012

  1. Your work looks amazing. You really capture new york and it’s grittiness, the tranquility of the plane, the excitement of the SVA flag.

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