My “Business” Sketchbook: Tiffany Chandeliers South Entrance

W14 10 5 WA Capitol Chandelier 30 DTLThe chandeliers are a crowning point in the Washington State Capitol Legislative Building.  The architects felt the most important fixtures were those in the north portico, in the rotunda, and in the entry in the south porte cochere, as well as the large gathering rooms.  They went all the way to New York City to have Louis Comfort Tiffany create the fixtures (no one here in this wild wild west was competent), which, along with the six bronze doors, cost the state $158,000.  They were designed by Carl Moser.

DSC00171I love the chandeliers in the entry in the South Porte Cochere.
The warm glow of the glass hits the delicately detailed bronze and
colors it nearly copper in places, so the lamps look like they are on fire.

W14 10 5 WA Capitol Chandelier 12I started with sketches to understand the construction.
I didn’t lie on my back to sketch the underside because my architectural training allows me to see in plan anything I look at — building plans, drawings of the cars I sit in, etc.
I am glad, because I really would have looked ridiculous sprawled on the stairs.
This is so helpful, to look and do some sketches that allow you to see, in this case,
the twelve knobby “arms” that attach to the bowl with a decorative shell motif,
and look much like hand-held candle torchéres.  Or the hanging mechanism,
which consists of chains hanging from a pendulum to four medallions before opening
and attaching inside the fixture, so they do not mar the exterior decorative bowl.
I was able to draw it from the side because the second floor balcony looks
straight into the light, and you are also closer to the fixtures.

 I cheated when it came to the details.  I took a close-up and sketched at home.
I wanted to be able to see the sweet floral designs that I only hinted at
(because it is so far away) in the two side views.  The bottom band, just above the large glass lamp at the base, has the teeny tiny egg-and-dart motif found everywhere.

W14 10 5 WA Capitol Chandelier 31 copyAll drawn in an Stillman & Birn Delta journal (rich ivory paper)
with my new Lamy Safari pen, a Noodler’s giveaway pen, Polar Brown Noodlers ink.

When I returned to the studio (running around inside the building on carpet with watercolors is not appreciated) I added color with raw umber from Sennelier, quinophthalone yellow from Daniel Smith and nickel azo yellow QoR watercolors.


I agree to Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or,
visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art, drawing, history, journal, making a living, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, urban sketchers, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to My “Business” Sketchbook: Tiffany Chandeliers South Entrance

  1. susanissima says:

    Love these pages, the use of space, the color, everything!


  2. neesie23 says:

    Gorgeous chandeliers and your sketches and detail totally do them justice
    Wouldn’t you love one of those in the hallway… I know I would ;D


  3. Really interesting to see your sketchbook and how you look at the subject from different angles. Thanks for sharing


  4. Erika N says:

    Great chandelier sketch. I love how you sketched it in different perspectives.


  5. Annette G says:

    wonderful sketches Katie. Happy PPF, Annette x


  6. Linda K says:

    really marvelous sketches!! I love your attention to the little details and the various angles.


  7. teresa says:

    Yes, I totally agree with them.. these are lovely sketches. I love the details and the color, and I’d like to have one. :>


  8. Wow these sketches are amazing. Well done.


  9. Beth says:

    What an extraordinary set of drawings. I’m just in awe. They fill my eyes to the brim. I’ve been to this building in Olympia and somehow I missed seeing these. What an extraordinary artist you are!


    • Thank you Beth! Working there on the Senate Offices allows me time during breaks to really look around. . . there is so much to see. Almost of all the lighting is by Tiffany, and if you go to the upper floors you can see straight into some of the lamps and catch some detail. I love the detailed bronze much more than the crystal chandeliers.


  10. paulineleger says:

    Oh I just love your sketches and that chandelier… so gorgeous! What a thrill for you to see it materialize. That bronze is absolutely stunning. How i’d love to see this close up. I may just have to go back to NY now. At least I got to see your incredible sketches. I’m still in awe… xx


  11. Reblogged this on Mpfconservation's Blog and commented:

    Enjoy these gorgeous Tiffany Chandeliers!


  12. Pingback: My “Business” Sketchbook: Sketching the Senate from the Floor | D.Katie Powell Art

I love hearing from visitors!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.