More drawing challenges in the
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!
I 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!
Watercolors 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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