A trip anywhere is an opportunity to sketch. And if one is fortunate enough to travel with people who understand this, well…
This trip in late February was my first to Washington, D.C., and it was only overnight; the hotel we booked was a highly convenient two blocks away from Independence Avenue and semi-attached to a Starbucks branch (which inconveniently, inexplicably, closes at 7p.m. on weekends…really, what the hmm?!). Arriving on Saturday afternoon meant a few hours of daylight to wander about the place, and I decided early on not to enter any of the museums and cultural centers, but rather stay outside and practice sketching buildings. (This would give me another reason for subsequent visits.) The brevity of the trip meant I could only sketch so much once I got there and hit Independence Avenue: turn left one day, turn right the next.
Sometimes decisions are based on very simple factors.
Other decisions are made by ambition, and often result in less than desirable results (never failures, just learning experiences). As is my wont, I brought with me a plethora of supplies that went unused during the trip: Posca paint markers, colored and watersoluble pencils, and an additional sketchbook. You’ll see in the gallery of images below, I really only used watercolors. These were mostly done with a Pentel Aquash waterbrush (large tip), though I used a real travel brush and water pot when the location accommodated space for them. Let it be said that while I don’t like using waterbrushes often — I find managing the steady trickle of water through the pen difficult and endlessly frustrating — they are highly convenient in certain circumstances, and wind. Wind, besides giving one’s nose the sniffles, is a great reason to use a waterbrush, and do without fiddling with board, pot, book, brush, and box. Amongst the sketches below, the ones made with waterbrush were the National Museum of the American Indian (very windy!), and the last sketch of the Washington Monument (suddenly cold, also windy!).
The trip was a great one for me, though the city deserves a longer, more leisurely visit, and a few wanderings through its less-lauded neighborhoods and streets. Faces were all friendly, and thankfully, nary a lack of food trucks for snacking and lunches (I do love food trucks). Well worth a visit, and a reminder that this great nation was founded on better democratic principles than is often practiced.
Click the images below to see larger versions.