Thursday, March 31, 2011

Saint Louis Courthouse

Here’s a pencil drawing I did of the old courthouse in Saint Louis, from my hotel window.  It was a cold day, and across the street there were billows of steam pumping out of some ducts.


I was excited by the atmospherics, because the steam added life and mystery to what otherwise would have been a fairly ordinary architectural study. But I had to make sure to draw the whole structure and measure everything out before I covered it up. Some parts of the drawing are erased with a kneaded eraser.

9 comments:

Zacharie LeBar said...

That's one of my favorite studies you've done. Amazing how selectively removing details can add such atmosphere to a piece. Gives me something to reach for. Thank you.

bryanbeus said...

I love the character in this. It's like you said, the atmospherics give it a story without which it'd just be a regular old perspective drawing. Thanks for posting!

Kessie said...

I think the whole thing winds up with a bit of steampunk feel to it. All it needs is a few gratuitous gears sticking out of the courthouse roof. :-)

Raydancer said...

That's great! I've seen that building many times from the top of the arch. Did you do any other studies while in St. Louis?

Natalia M. said...

What an amazing vantage point! I was pretty confused for a moment until I read that little written note at the top. Not a sort of drawing you usually see of a building.

JZino said...

I hope I can draw that good when I grow up! lol

lumographia said...

This is incredibly complex. How do you work out the perspective on something like this?

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody.

Lumo--It's three point perspective, so I had to measure the slopes and lightly draw a grid of perspective lines.

RayDancer--I sketched my cab driver, "Piano Slim" on the same trip. I did a post about him recently. Saint Louis is a great city for sketching!

Harrison said...

Great sketch:)