My “Business” Sketchbook: Sketching the Senate from the Floor

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 1 copyLike my earlier post on drawing the
Senate gallery details, I came around to draw the Senate from a different angle.  I sat on the floor of the first entry arch looking up into one of the corners, in order to catch the overall arch and the large bronze Tiffany chandelier.  The corner of the room intrigued me; the architects cut the edges of the square room
in an odd detail, making more angles to
draw on top of the arches and gallery.

The chandelier reminds me of a candelabra, and that may be what Tiffany intended to inspire.  The state keeps the Senate incredibly dark.  I hear stories of ghost wandering the Senate and can believe it!  Perhaps when the Senate is in session the lights are not set low?

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 20 copy W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 22I blocked the basic design out in a Pentalic HB Woodless pencil (Grumbacher).
I was inking details and the design of the chandelier was making me a bit crazy.
Finally I went beyond the roped area, laid on my back and studied the design
from the bottom so I understood the light structure; this had helped me draw the
bronze chandelier in the entry off the South Porte Cochere.  The cacophony of loopy
lines leading to tiny bulbs made a bit more sense; the bottom (twelve lamps) and
top eight lamps) tiers aligned; the middle (ten lamps) were off-center.

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 18Back to my seat on the entry floor to add detail to the graphite ghost blob I sketched in the corner.  I was sorry I left my camera behind; I wanted to take an interim picture of the pencil sketch before I started inking.

I’m not in love with this chandelier, andI discovered that I have to be in love with the object in order to give it your all.  Wonky lines no longer bothered me; I wanted to finish as Mitchell was wrapping up for the night.  I wanted to head out to Aya Sushi for dinner.  The best sushi in the Pacific NW!

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 262014 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 15Mitchell came by and took the picture above standing up; not quite the angle I saw from the floor but you can
see the darkness and the ornament.  He also took pictures of me, and those mysteriously disappeared.  Oops!

Having drawn the details from the luxury of the
Senate Gallery, I knew intimately what the egg-and-dart motifs looked like close up, but was getting sloppy.  Frankly, I was getting tired of inking details,
but loved the Heart of Darkness ink!  At one point spirals appeared to indicate the shape of the egg-and-darts!

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 13Back in our studio two days later I
added color.  Unfortunately, at the first swipe of watery glaze, the ink began to move!  AAACK!  I cried.  I went online and commiserated with friends.
Then I figured I had nothing to lose,
the drawing was loosey-goosey and wonky, so went back to adding color.  The ink still bled in places and I had license to make messes.  I did!

My takeaway from this created the new rule:

I’m not happy with the mauve color.  It’s so easy to make mauve —
early in my painting career I made jars of it trying to mix a soft brown acrylic color.
I am happy with the wash of creamy Holbein quinacridone gold I threw on
for candlelight ambiance.  Finally, I think my days of using silver are over!

W14 10 21 WA CAP SENATE CHAMBER 4 copyAlmost the same colors as the Senate gallery details.  Drawn in an Stillman & Birn
Delta journal with a Noodlers giveaway pen, Heart-of-Darkness ink (NOT waterproof), and Daniel Smith (silver, tiger-eye, quinacridone violet, Indian yellow),
Holbien (quinacridone gold) and Sennelier (quinacridone 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, journal, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, urban sketchers, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My “Business” Sketchbook: Sketching the Senate from the Floor

  1. I enjoyed seeing the progress of your drawing and reading how you figured stuff out was very interesting


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

    I forgot to share Monday’s post, where I cried over my running ink! Sketching from the Senate floor!


  3. susanissima says:

    The addition of watercolor washes amplifies your sketches and gives them life!


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