Monday, September 21, 2009

Today I sat under a sweet gum tree by the Highbridge Water Tower, just above the Harlem River.

As I drew this page in my sketchbook, an exercise class was working out on the plaza by the tower. It might have been a prison program instead of an exercise class. I couldn't really tell.

The female instructon (warden?) shouted to the group of men working out, "I don't want to hear any of your bitch-assiness!" When one class member (inmate?) didn't count his pushups, she kicked him.

I moved to a bench a bit further down the plaza and I tried to get interested in drawing the tower, but the sweet gum tree blocking my view of the tower captured my attention more.

I drew my view, plus a leaf and a crazy sweet gum seed pod I picked up from the sidewalk, but I was frustrated with the tower. I don't like how the building looks on my page, but I'm not going to get all bitch-assy about it.

If you're keeping track, the purple team won the soccer game today.

Colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook.


  1. Wow, what an experience! I mean, hearing all those things while doing your drawing :) I must say, I usually am not too good with distractions. But I do listen to musics everytime I draw(that's how I lose track of time and tiredness)
    I still think that the result that you have is very interesting, the floral stuff are amazing and very solid 3D look, and the tower is like a 2D, and that creates an interesting contrasts that brings out the leaves and branches even more. ^^

  2. I really like the drawing, and your story is pretty funny to me. I hope those people didn't pay for that class ... I might want to ask for my money back, but then again, maybe not. I might get kicked. lol nancy

  3. This is a wonderful journal spread, that sweet gum is fantastic! The exercise class, well, not so much.

  4. I think it turned out beautifully! One question, on the tower...were you above it when you sketched? You asked about books on perspective, and I think they are mostly all good. I have a book by Fancis Ching, Design Drawing. It is very good.

  5. Alex: I draw outside all the time and have come to enjoy most, but not all, distractions. One day a group of ball players were a bit too near and a softball whizzed by me and my sketchbook too often and too close to be pleasant. Thank you for your kind words. You have such an encouraging way about you.

    Nancy: Just sitting near the class intimidated me. I admire the guys who got through it, even the one who loudly heaved over the fence intot the bushes after a particularly grueling set.

    Ann: Thanks. I'm trying to lay out pages as I go along that don't look disjointed, if that makes any sense at all.

    Raena: You comment made me laugh out loud because I was sitting far below the tower and tree. My neck hurt looking almost straight up. :) So your point is well taken....and I'm off to check out a book and study prespective! Thank you!!

  6. Ah! This is why they tower bothers you so much! Pick up a glass and hold it above your head. Now look at it...which way do the curves go? I think circles are the hardest part of perspective for us to understand! A curve above your head will go up in the middle; a curve below your head will go down! Hope that helps! I love your work!

  7. I love the fallish colors of this one. And sweet gums are such nice trees. I finally got a Moleskine sketchbook, but I am using it more as a journal than anything else, with a few "doodlings" thrown in for good measure.

    (loved reading raena's comments about how the curves go--I should make note of that in my journal!)