My “Business” Sketchbook: Senate Gallery Details

W14 10 21 WA CA SENATE GALLERY 4More drawing challenges in the W14 10 21 WA CA SENATE GALLERY 19
Washington State Legislative Building.
Before I went running around, I asked where I could go with the pass we used to get into the Senate office area.  It was nice to sit in the Senate Gallery (the balcony for visitors that overlooks the Senate Floor) and draw without being rushed by a guide.  It is also one of the places where you can get close to inspect the details of the various dogwood, egg-and-dart, and oak leaf motifs (and the chandeliers,
which I also drew for another day).


 The building was finished during the Depression; money to paint the decorative elements was not available.The building was used unpainted until the late 1980’s.

I can’t have watercolors in the building (carpets, marble floors).
I took pictures for color.  I am not fond of the colors used in the Legislative Building (salmon, pink, mauve, and wine colors), and yet they work, and when you see them next to the lovely marble the architects chose, it is inspiring, elegant, and beautiful.

Drawing the details up-close I struggled to have the motifs match.  I began to realize that the motifs are NOT symmetrical in proportion.  They are hand-made.  Sitting in the gallery looking at all that detail work, knowing it was all carved/crafted by hand, is awesome.  No two dogwood/oak flower motifs are exactly the same, and the egg-and-dart motifs vary!

W14 10 21 WA CA SENATE GALLERY 20Orna100-Blatt-EierstabI sketched background guidelines in pencil before inking the details; I had a layout and basic proportions to ink within. Silver was used on so many motifs, yet it had a gold-tone overlay to some of the paint (above), and also in the crevices.  That is why I used Polar Brown Noodlers ink. The word is not out for me on using silver paint; note the detail images above.  Yes, the motifs were silver, but the silver is not the same as the watercolor paint, and it lays oddly.  I may stick to grey in future.

I thought I knew everything (okay, maybe not everything, but a lot) about the egg-and-dart pattern, but in a what-the-hell inspiration I looked it up on Wikipedia.  Totally learned something!  The oak leaf pattern is a variation of the egg-and-dart!

W14 10 21 WA CA SENATE GALLERY 17Watercolors were added in the studio.
Drawn in an Stillman & Birn Delta journal with a Noodlers giveaway pen, Polar Brown ink, and Daniel Smith (silver, quin gold, tigereye), and Sennelier (quin red, white) watercolors.


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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, color, drawing, furniture, journal, memory, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, urban sketchers, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My “Business” Sketchbook: Senate Gallery Details

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

    Details in the Senate Gallery of the Washington State Legislative Building drawn by Kate (while Mitchell slaved away rubbing out the shellac walls).


  2. Sammy D. says:

    I’m so envious that you and Mitchell had this opportunity for ‘an inside’ look at something most of us see in a steady walk-through without lingering long enough to really absorb most of it; certainly we miss the detail and the patina of the hands & minds that created these beauties.


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

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