Having read only the first book and having seen only a couple of the films, I can hardly call myself a Harry Potter fan. (I can’t tell Gandalf from Dumbledore to save my life.) But I am a fan of sketching at Gingerbread Village, the annual holiday fundraising event hosted by the Seattle Sheraton. Local architectural firms team up with the Sheraton’s chef to create truly marvelous edible confections. The term “gingerbread house” hardly describes the colorfully lighted, kinetic, three-dimensional depictions of the Harry Potter books.
Last year the theme was Star Wars, and since I’m definitely a fan of that franchise, I spent a lot of detailed time sketching the candy-and-cookie depictions of my two favorite films. Since I didn’t have much personal connection with the theme this year, I decided to focus more on the visitors. My favorite was the young child (gender uncertain to me) wearing a teddy bear hoodie and pulling a bright green wagon. His mom, obviously a huge Potter fan, was snapping as many photos as she could while also explaining to her kid, who apparently hadn’t seen the films yet, what was going on in the scenes. Mom was running back and forth too much for me to capture, but the kid was all I needed in the sketch.
Early enough in the season, I didn’t get mobbed this morning, so it was relatively easy to make gestural sketches of people of all ages (including the chef himself, who came out to greet visitors).
This was my fifth consecutive year sketching Gingerbread Village, a tradition that began in 2012 as the first outing of Urban Sketchers Seattle’s Friday group. It started getting too crowded for us to sketch comfortably, so after a couple more years, we stopped, but I miss that festive gathering. I think we just have to go earlier in the season as I did today (and Kate did last week).