I took a long time to finish this drawing. It’s a view of Manhattan from the rooftop of School of Visual Arts (SVA) where my fiance Carrie works. It’s roughly looking southeast from 21st Street and 7th Avenue. I did an earlier quicker brush pen drawing from the same SVA rooftop, looking southwest. It’s a pen drawing across two pages of my Sketchbook No. 65.
I spent five different days drawing this one… though probably about ten hours total, because a few times I was up there and it was so cold that I could only draw for a couple hours. Today the weather was warmish, and I am starting a new job tomorrow, so I drew for about 5 hours total, and finished it off.
I am really proud of it!!! I think it turned out well… but if you look closely, you might find some mistakes (mostly places where perspective doesn’t quite line up correctly.) But I even kind of like the mistakes. The mistakes are part of working directly in pen, with no pencil beneath.
I typically only work on a drawing in a single sitting… but coming back over and over makes for a richer, more detailed image. In some ways this drawing reminds me of this earlier oak trees drawing – only because I had the chance to return to the site over and over and develop a highly detailed drawing.
Here are a few photos of the work in progress:
When I first sketched, it was late on a cold sunny day (above), so you can see a lot of form shadows in the upper left of the drawing. (Subsequent days were more overcast, so the overall light source is a lot less clear.)
I started with the tallest building in the middle left, then did the full skyline, then worked my way to the nearest buildings.