you know that i gotta say time’s slipping away

3rd & A panorama
Haven’t drawn a two-page panorama since the end of January, and now trees have leaves, which means drawing a lot more foliage. Now here is a difficult building to sketch – “Third and A”, on the corner of 3rd  and, surprisingly, A. Two imaginatively titled streets equal an imaginatively titled building, yes, but an imaginatively designed building it is. I have never in all my time in Davis been able to attempt it. You can’t really see it properly; the trees block its shape, it goes in and out bringing unusual shading, and you can’t really fit it comprehensively onto a page. What’s that Pete, a challenge did you say? So I did my first two-page spread in the Stillman & Birn Alpha landscape book, sat outside on a Sunday afternoon while the rest of the family went to a kids birthday party miles away. I had all afternoon to sketch, so I took all afternoon to sketch. Over three and a half hours! Actually it may have been more than that, all said. Sure it was a LOT of observation. There was a LOT of detail. I also added the colour on site. I was hurting afterwards. Still, I am very pleased with the result, and while it’s a lot of detail, it was what I was after. And now I have finally checked this building off of my Davis must-sketch list, and keeps the brown wooden buildings theme going in my current sketchbook. Here are some close-up views for those of you who don’t have a zoom feature in your non-mechanoid eyes:
3rd & A 032314 sm R
3rd & A 032314 sm L

I am always busy at this time of year, from January to early April, and yet every year I find I have a burst of sketching activity, which then tails off as the trees lose their leaflessness, and we move into the Spring Sneezing Season. I have a little time left, but those leaves are a-growing, that pollen is a-coming.

6 thoughts on “you know that i gotta say time’s slipping away

  1. Adeline says:

    I follow your work with pleasure but I think it is the first time I leave a comment… This sketch is amazing, so living and vibrating! I love it! I wondered: how do you “approach” the trees and their foliage? Are they the first things you sketch? Do you start sketching with your black pencil? How is built your sketch? Thanks a lot for this blog!
    Adeline (France-Switzerland)

    • pete scully says:

      Merci Adeline!
      Trees… yes, I tend to sketch those first. Foliage annoys me somewhat – I prefer the bare trees, but with this I just scribbled outlines and added a few leafy scribbles inside. I sometimes do a few rough pencil lines for where the tree should go, plus little ‘marker’ lines in pencil to figure out how high/wide each section of the building should go, and then I do everything straight in ink, but I almost never completely stick to any pencil outline I do, it’s more useful for an idea before drawing. Sometimes I find once I start the penwork I have figured out the perspective a bit better. I used brown pen in this which I am finding I prefer to the black nowadays. Cheers!

  2. David Hafter says:

    For some reason, seeing these common sites forever documented in art gives me a lift about our town, And yes, I see Davis as a town, not a city; I just do. Anyway, these drawings add to my enjoyment of where I live. So, thanks for doing them.


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