i’m only a droid, and not very knowledgable about such things

hydrant at kearny & vallejo, san franciscohydrant at union st, north beach SF

Wow, you MUST think I’m obsessed with fire hydrants, right? Well I am alittle. I can spot differences and everything now though. But I’m no expert, I don’t even really know how they work (it’s basically a tap, right?), and I know the colours on the caps signify some sort of difference in water pressure or something, maybe, but I like to think they’re just fashion choices on the part of the hydrant itself, which is of course a little robot with thoughts of its own. The one on the top left, drawn on the sloping streets of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, is related to R2-D2, but probably more of a ‘Moopet’ version, with a graffiti tattoo and chains. Perhaps those pentagonal bolts are really restraining bolts, like the ones fitted by Jawas. These larger, fat hydrants are common in SF. The green-capped one on the left was on Union Street. I actually sat a little bit off the sidewalk to sketch it from the preferred angle, shielded by a parked car. At one point though a girl came up and asked if she could photograph me sketching. I forget how odd I look when I sketch, all hunched over and tangled up.

7 thoughts on “i’m only a droid, and not very knowledgable about such things

  1. Larry Marshall says:

    Love your fire hydrants, Pete. I’m new to sketching but you’ve gotten me addicted to them as well. I’ve been amazed at the variation in something I’ve walked by without noticing for so many years. On the odd chance that you’re not aware, http://www.firehydrant.org is a wonderful site with lots of info on hydrants. If you’re curious, from there you can actually find exploded isometric diagrams of them :-) You might want to see what you’ve spawned so here are a couple of my hydrant sketches.


    Cheers — Larry Marshall

    • pete scully says:

      Cheers Larry! Yes, I have seen that site, and it’s incredible. A whole world of hydrants waiting to be discovered and sketched. I like your hydrant sketches too, the one in the snow is great! I love that often the hydrant is the oldest thing in the block; buildings come and go, cars evolve, but that hydrant just sits there, observing…

      • Larry Marshall says:

        Glad you enjoyed them Pete. I’ve gotten some odd looks as I brushed snow off fire hydrants and took pictures of them but it’s just too cold to do outdoor sketching here right now. Hard enough to remove the gloves to pop a photo :-)

        Cheers — Larry Marshall

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