Sketchcrawl Downtown #3 – Olvera Street

Click picture to enlarge
Here’s the third and last of my drawings I did last week on the sketchcrawl in downtown LA, and another response to the “draw a local landmark” challenge. With limited time for drawing I opted to spend the time drawing rather than doing washes or painting on location. Today I took some time to figure out how I wanted to handle those washes. As an experiment, I printed out the line drawing on watercolor paper rather than use the flimsier paper in my sketchbook. That also gave me a backup in case my ideas didn’t work – I could just toss the printed version out and print another one. In fact, I might paint one using bright colors instead of this monochrome/sepia scheme which is primarily based on tonal values.

Unlike the Union Station fountain painting, in this experiment I decided I would draw it as it actually was, because I liked the angle and the bustling activity following the morning’s rain. Also, unlike the courtyard painting, I opted for Rapidoliner and wash because I wanted to draw the small details of the shops instead of suggesting dabs of color with the brush. I did take a picture before I left, so I might still try an impressionistic watercolor sketch for comparison. Below is the drawing before painting, if you’re curious. Click to enlarge.