Monday, January 21, 2013

Urban Sketchers Chicago Cultural Center

When one thinks of the Chicago Cultural Center at the corner of Washington and Michigan Avenue in Chicago, they might think of intricate, ornate details to the highest degree. And as a sketcher, nothing is more attractive than intricate detail...unless you only have a couple of hours to sketch. There is a lot of pressure to decide where to set down your things and invest a few hours of your day to produce a sketch or two. Then I came across this view looking out the East window, overlooking Millenium Park and the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavillion designed by Frank Gehry. To me it was a nice juxtaposition of the ultra modern architecture set against the frame from the Chicago Cultural Center (formerly the Chicago Public Library). 

This sketch was originally done as a simple window frame with the Pritzker Pavillion off in the distance. But this sketch lacked something until people would walk into my view and look out the window to see Millenium Park. Finally I had the missing element to my composition.

I generally pencil lightly first to block out the scene, then I come back in with a Uni-ball gel pen, and finish it off with various colors of Prismacolor markers. With markers there is a nice graduation effect that happens when the markers are slightly dry and I use a whipping hand motion towards the light source.


  1. Welcome, Wes! So good to have you! And awesome drawing - very striking!

  2. Welcome, Wes! I love the graphic quality in this sketch. The lighting is outstanding.