Next Sketch Outing

Oct. 13: Seattle Center

Monday, March 21, 2016

University of Washington: Suzzallo and the Quad

Another rainy March day in Seattle, not easy to sketch outside even though the temperatures have been warmer, almost pleasant for plein air sketching.  We have had our share this year of rain and so a trip to the UW campus found us inside the graduate library this Sunday.  I had never attempted sketching all the Gothic-revival reading-room before.  Earlier drawings had been limited to pieces of the room, but this time I wanted to get a sense of the full volume.  The changing light kept messing with how I should represent the colors of the walls and ceiling as I painted the drawing.

After coming out after our sketch meet-up, I discovered that the clouds had parted and it was dry, but I was to discover it wouldn't last long.  I headed to the Quad to sketch the cherry trees which were just beyond their peak of brilliance, but still magnificent!
I sat in a doorway that offered little protection if it was going to rain again.  I managed to get the line work down and some colors on before the clouds began to condense and drop their moisture again.  I had to run to the parking garage with my pad upside-down to protect it from the rain-fall because it was still had wet paint that would get spotted.  I finished the colors at home later.

I am re-posting some of my sketches from our outing in 2013 when I captured the exterior of the reading room (large Gothic windows) and Red Square in the foreground.  This was one of my favorite places to sit on a warm sunny afternoon when I was a student in the early 80's.

We had many that painted the grand staircase this time  and so here is my version from the ground floor foyer from  January 2013.


  1. Thanks for posting all these David. I really enjoy the colors used to show the lighting, both inside and outside.

  2. All beautiful sketches, the older ones, too. And I, too, have fond memories of sitting in Red Square during the same era. I like the mix of old and new architecture there.


  3. Love all of these, David. The blossoms were lovely weren't they? I especially liked all the people and umbrellas beneath them that day.