Girl In Herald Square, NYC. 2012
latest updates: nyc
Bryant Park in Manhattan. I pass this park on the way to my dentist. Like to draw there alone. Used Noodler’s ink and Kuretake.
Statue of Liberty – Ink
Another attempt to get to grips with different pen techniques. This one used stippling for the tree foliage and more open hatching for the plinth of the statue. In the latter case I almost had to force myself to use this on the “lighter” areas. It seems to have worked but much more practice is required. My first attempt also had rather bland shadow surfaces but I added some more. Perhaps even more might bring it to life. Critique please.
A Bravery Test – Pencil
The late Bob Ross used the term, Bravery Test” whenever he added really strong tones to the canvas. He was insinuating that it took some courage to place “darks” on a painting/drawing which was almost complete.
This is me doing a bravery test as I continue to experiment with pencil exercises. This exercise was about adding value and form to objects by placing contrasting tones next to each other. I already had a reasonable drawing of the Robert F Kennedy Bridge (Aka the Triborough Bridge) but it needed something else. I got my darkest pencil, a 9B Graphite stick and went to town. Only you folks can judge if I was brave, or foolish, enough.
Fire Escape – Watercolour and Inktense
During our trip to NYC I took hundreds of photos of different parts of building, types of vehicles, street furniture, whatever the idea being to have a reference library for future paintings. This was one structure that caught my eye. I have seen this type of fire escape before, but only in films. I find it fascinating to see how an escape route passes all the windows of the building but access, from ground level, can only be had if the sliding “ladder” can be lowered. I wonder if its mandatory to have such a structure on all high buildings? This place looks relatively new and maybe older places are exempt. The other thing which caught my eye was the use of brick to face the wall which, paradoxically, suggests this place is not as “young” as I imagine. The pattern of bricks, as described in my previous post, is called an “American Bond” which is a few courses of bricks with their faces running, intersected by a single course with the ends running. Because the bricks shown are too small for detail its impossible to get these illustrated and I hope that, with the previous post, you will get some idea of the scene.
George Washington Bridge, NYC – Watercolour and Inktense
I came across a copy of Arthur Guptill’s “Drawing and Sketching in Pencil” first printed in 1922. On the front cover is a sketch of the Williamsburgh Bridge. This was eye-catching so I decided to look through my photos to see if I could get something similar to attempt as I didn’t have a view of this bridge.
This is the result. My view of the GWB is from the opposite side but has the same “Underneath Vista”. We sailed under the George Washington Bridge during last year’s trip to the city. Lovely memories.
One World Trade Centre – Pitt Markers with pencil and Watercolour
This is 1WTC formerly known as “Freedom Tower”. It forms the centre of the complex which is being built on the site where, ten years ago, the twin Towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed. As can be seen, this place is still a construction site so the perimeter is sealed off from the general public. When we visited the area we were disappointed to learn that passes were required to view the recently opened memorial which stands upon the original footprint of the twin towers. No matter! Just good to stand and pay our respects and hope that the new buildings will stand as beacons for the years to come.
Chrysler Building – Ink and Watercolour
Impressions of New York City
I first learned about this building when reading about Art Deco designs many years ago. I also became intrigued when I read about the competition, in the 1920′s, to create the world’s tallest skyscraper which features this structure. I had to view this when we visited and was not disappointed when the opportunity arose.
Again this is from one of my photos, drawn in ink then washed with colour later
Manhattan Skyline – Watercolour
Impressions of New York City
A quick sketch with some colour added later. Did this to try to capture the Freedom Tower which can be seen under construction right of centre.
First rule of drawing buildings, especially tall ones. Get your vertical lines vertical
Brooklyn Bridge – Ink drawing (I may add colour at a later date)
Impressions of New York City
My previous post describes how we sailed round Manhattan past The Statue of Liberty. After this we passed under The Brooklyn Bridge where this scene is from. I have long been fascinated by this structure and have read much of its construction and, hence, its history. Designed by John Roebling and, after his death construction was carried out by his son, Washington. Washington was severely incapacitated by compression sickness – the “bends” – feared by divers, when he was supervising work on the river bed under the Manhattan abutment. It was left to his wife, Emily, to oversea the final stages of the bridge as Washington was too ill to even leave his sick bed.
This episode is where my interest began. Some of you will know that I stay near one of the world’s other iconic bridges – The Forth Bridge, which spans the Firth of Forth just west of Edinburgh. Some of the building techniques on this bridge were copied from the Roebling’s methods, one being the way the massive foundations were constructed. This involved sinking a sort of upside down box onto the river bed and driving the air out under pressure. Men would then dig the soil and rock away allowing the “box” to sink downwards until solid rock was reached. The whole thing was then filled with concrete so the upper works could be added later. It was this working under pressure in these “caissons” that caused much suffering as the dangers of sudden decompression were unknown, in fact the paralysing symptoms, which often were fatal, were known as “caissons disease”. In all 27 deaths were recorded during the bridge’s construction, some perhaps due to caissons disease. The Forth Bridge recorded more fatalities 98 – in all. Some of the men, working on the sea bed, were reluctant to come to the surface and worked very long hours before enduring the agony caused by changes in pressure.
During my teaching days I used to tell of the way such structures were built and the “Great East River Bridge” was always part of my narrative. Incidentally, the tower on the Brooklyn side sits on solid rock but the one on the Manhattan side does not. Because of the ever-increasing depth solid bedrock was never reached and the caisson sits on sandy soil, albeit under the huge weight of a larger tower. It is estimated, unfortunately, that a massive earthquake would cause liquefaction of the foundations and cause the structure to fail. Maybe some retro-fitting, such as that taking place on the Golden Gate Bridge is required – I’ve seen the Discovery Channel programme!