Monday, January 20, 2014

Miami Beach - The Rest Of The On Site Sketches

This blog is Part 2 of the sketches done on site for our wonderful Miami Beach trip at the Clevelander and the Essex House. I have blogs about the process of each coming very soon. 

All of  images are on "hand book, water color wire bound books. All but the three studies are about 3 times bigger than what I typically carry and work on when doing plien air and urban sketching.  This is much larger than I usually work and now my regular size just seems so small!

The remaining images and a little backstory....

I really enjoyed this little moment. 


Every time we left our suite or looked out of the window we were greeted by this view.  One day it rained and I swear you could see it growing.  I did a very quick study in my normal sketchbook below a day before tackling this head on. The larger sketch was really fun because both Leo and Marcy were sketching next to me the whole time. The stretched fabric in the top of the picture is the party sun deck called SP 4.  I loved that you could see the party area from such tranquility.  While sketching from this stoop (not ours) I met and had to move for two of the most beautiful people I saw all week.  At this point in the week I had moved away from the fatter lumacolor pen. I love the "B" tip  pen but I was really enjoying drawing the foliage and the flex nib Noodlers Ahab (Polar Black Noodlers ink) was perfect.  I ran that pen out of ink twice on this trip. I took a lot of progress shots of this image that will be fun to blog. This is probably my favorite sketch of the trip. 


In the Lobby of the Essex there is this great sculpture by a gentlemen I hope to get the name of.  I was sitting at the lobby bar looking over my sketches and photos to plan out my sketch strategy the next day.  It was late for me but early for Miami and I was the only person in the the small but beautiful Zen Sai hotel bar .  To make a long but interesting story short three very drunk people came and literally leaned on me (the entire room was empty) while they tried to hook up. ( favorite conversation - lady - Lady #2 "I like your watch" guy #1 "Yea! It's Big! And it's Gold!" While looking Lady #1 who says "where are your friends? (For the third time) I think you would be a better match for my daughter instead of me, she is beautiful, I have pictures, do you want to see them?" ).  Lady #2 reaches around and incredibly picks up my phone.  At that point I politely gather my stuff and set back up in the lobby in front of this sculpture.  The proportions were so perfect and it had to be sketched. Quick pencil, pen, erase the pencil and then ink wash.  I don't know what happened to the 3 people, they were gone when I settled out, but I sure they had fun because this place doesn't stop. The bar tender was a great guy and I enjoyed talking to him.  He enjoyed the sketches and took a picture of my Hipster watercolor for his girlfriend.  Tuesday night I had dinner at the same seat with a hilarious couple giving Julio and the rest of the staff a good natured hard time. I saw them again this morning before I left.


This is an image they wanted of the Clevelander sign as seen from the beach road.  This image took a long time.  I will definitely  blog the process for this one.  I started during dinner with this view and sketched on this until about midnight.  Once I got the line work done and all of the colors down except the yellows and greens ( you just can't see yellow at night so I saved that for the next day) I moved into the patio area and worked on it until about midnight. The staff were interested in it and kept coming by to check on progress.  Some remembered me from the night before. I finished the yellow and greens on site at lunch the next day and worked on ramping up the line work. I really enjoyed this sketch.  These are just camera pictures and I can't wait to do the real scans and color balance. 

Noodlers Lexington Grey ink wash study with a second water pen.


Door study (these handles are much longer and more delicate but my sketchbook was short :). ). Noodlers Ahab flex nib fountain pen and Noodlers Polar Black ink.


The Essex House has an AMAZING area to sit at the entry doors.  I spent a few hours in this space on different occasions thinking how nice it is here and how cold it is in Minneapolis. I have a few more sketches in my head that will need to come out of details in this area.  The two smaller images are warm ups and studies. The larger image was done on site and originally as Noodlers Lexington Grey ink wash and my Pentel brush pen with Lexington Grey.  The sketch flowed just fine but Marcy and I were both underwhelmed by it.  It was just ok but everything was too mid toned.  While wandering with Marcy and Leo I went back over this with the fountain pen and black in while we ate lunch.  The line work on top of/ with the lex grey gave the life I was trying to convey.  Be another painting of this space oh the EH above the door that won't leave my head until it is painted.


I would love to do a series on the drinks in this style. This is water color pencil and a flood of water.  Every time I would see a table with one of the really colorful drinks I would approach and while trying not to seem strange ask if I could photo graph it.  I want to do more of these and will blog the process.  I hope to tackle more from the photo graphs later.  


Ian took very good care of us.  Once we arrived we dropped off our stuff in the room. When we returned we were greeted with a bottle of wine and these chocolate covered Oreos. These also had to be sketched.  I took a picture of the tray and will most likely do another sketch.

This is the last sketch before I was picked up.  This is the entrance spire to the Essex House. A very stylized perspective to give honor to this great Art Deco corner and spire.  I can't wait to ink this.  I will use a black Pentel brush pen so the line weight is hopefully interesting.  I will then scan the line work because I would like to try water soluble graphite and get a night image and accentuate the lights.


These two images are how I think big picture on the sketches I want to do and basic formatting. This is also where I decide what to do on site and what to take home.  I used these to walk through my ideas with the owners as well. 

I hope you enjoy the sketches at least half as much as enjoyed creating them. Many need final touch up, labeling and scanning but I was impatient to share!

What a trip....more entries to come. 

Keep Drawing

James Nutt AIA

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