Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sketch Process on the Clevelander Drawings

I love sharing process. I was reminded of one of my favorite Urban Sketches of late by a phone call. I had always intended to add the process shots that I always take.

I was in town to get a permit and had the evening free to walk around and sketch.  I passed The Clevelander and these awesome shapes just had to be sketched.

I positioned myself for the view I wanted, then ordered a beer, and then set up my minimal travel kit.  How often do you get shapes and colors like this to draw? Never....

There was a lot to see here so I skipped a few pages ahead in my book until I found two pages that could be removed as one.

First the layout with pencil to get the big pieces in. Then I started to commit with the pen. If you look closely you will see sometimes I follow the lead and sometimes I don't. I very deliberately move things to be proportional on the page.  I think the lines are washed out,  but I lay down a proportional grid first.  Usually I incorporate the golden mean on the page and try to put the intention giving shapes based on the grid. After that everything falls into place. There is as much choice on what not to draw as what to draw.

This is the nearly finished piece and my travel kit. 80% of what I draw is with this limited pallete.  A Pentel water brush, a kids kit filled with gouache (in this case, often watercolor) a pencil, a pen, and a sketch book.  This is pure happiness for me.  The staff got interested and had me surrounded at one point. That was rare experience and a lot of fun.

The final image!  I believe this image took about 45 minutes to an hour.

On the second round of permit comments I was able to visit and came to the same place, but much later in the evening. I blogged these earlier, but his is my favorite from that trip.  These were drawn in the dark so it is always a surprise to see exactly what the colors will be like. The building was white, but dark with a DJ in front of a bright screen.  I was trying to catch the contrast.  It was a fun evening.  There is no place to people watch like Miami.

I hope you enjoyed a peak into the process. 

James Nutt aia


  1. Thanks for sharing your process. Nice work!

  2. Thank you. I love taking photos every few minutes. I hoped other people would enjoy it!