Lunch time sketch of office buildings


I have a nice view from my office building in Tysons Corner: more office buildings. I’ve sketched the view out the window a few times, but here’s another try from today during my lunch break. The light was kid of interesting, and I embellished it a little. I was also interested in the tall trees obstructing the view. I made them a little more pronounced.

I was also excited to try out my new Isabey red sable pocket round. I plan to do a lot more sketching around work–Tysons is undergoing a big transformation, so once I can go outside again, there should be some good sketching opportunities–and I want to get my compact set up in order (shown above). It was a nice experiment today. Much better using a real brush then the waterbrushes I had been using for this sort of work.

Thanks for reading.

NADA, Tysons Corner, and Old San Juan

Yesterday I attended a fascinating talk about the future of Tysons Corner that gave me a new appreciation of the town I work in.

I had always thought of Tysons as pretty soulless–the land of office buildings and car dealerships, and of course the mall. Only 17,000 people live there, while about 100,000 people, including me, work there. Other than shopping, there are not cultural draws. One can eat outside at restaurants, and view a strip mall parking lot or a traffic jam. All that will change. It is supposed to become Fairfax County’s downtown. It’s pretty exciting. It has also made me more interested in what’s there now. Today, I ate outside at Panera, probably because my Pandora station thinks I am always hungry, and won’t stop telling me to go to Panera or Firehouse Subs. Something about my choice in music says sandwiches. This was my view, the NADA building and the Best Western across the new Silver Line tracks.

I was not too thrilled at first over what I had available to sketch, but once I started that changed. It’s fun to realize how a quick little sketch can help me appreciate a place so much more. I am starting to get a new understanding of the area, and hope to showcase it more through these micro sketches, and probably some bigger ones as well.

On another note, I got some more work done on the Old San Juan painting tonight. Slow going but it’s really coming together. Here it is:


Rapid Micro Sketching Tysons Corner

Occasionally I will get a chance to fit in a quick sketch around work, either while getting gas, going to the post office, or waiting for the shuttle to take me from the car dealer to the office. Here are a few, all drawn in 2 minutes or less in my Moleskine Volant micro sketchbook, with color added later. I need to do these more often. They’re a lot of fun. The purplish spoiled medicine color shown in three of these buildings is more common than it should be in Northern Virginia.






The Silver Line

There’s a lot of construction started in and redevelopment planned for Tysons Corner, VA including the new Metro Silver Line. The tracks and stations run over the middle of Leesburg Pike, and create a break in the view that, at least for the shade it provides in summer, is not unwelcome. As I waited and waited and waited for an 8 second light to let me through on my way home, I snapped this photo. I liked the lines and curves framed by my car window. I was also interested in the utility pole on the ground waiting to be put up. Not that it would do anything about the bad timing on the light. I waited 45 minutes with no way to turn around.