Next Sketch Outing

Wednesday, July 17: Fishermen's Terminal

Friday, August 24, 2018

Amgen Helix Bridge

8/24/18 Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge facing west 

Although USk Seattle has sketched the Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge at least a couple of times prior to today’s meetup, I’d never sketched it myself (or even seen it up close). If you’re driving by on Elliott Avenue West, it’s easy to miss behind the clutter of industrial buildings. Yet once you approach it, its unique and striking shape becomes clear: It’s inspired by the double-helix strand of DNA.

I crossed the bridge over the Burlington Northern railway tracks a couple of times before I settled on this view (above) at the top of the stairway facing west (you can see me sketching in Kate's sketch from the ground level). In tones of black and gray, it was a prime opportunity for more practice in value study using Eduardo Bajzek’s graphite technique. What I cared most about, though, was not the lights and darks but those tiny spots of blue sky showing through the white – not brownish-yellow – clouds. Hallelujah for being able to breathe clean air again!

8/24/18 Facing west from the middle of the bridge
That took a while, and after crossing and recrossing a couple more times to take photos and see what the others were sketching, I found myself with only about 15 minutes before the throwdown. I used them to sketch the westward view again, this time from the center of the bridge, where I spotted two maples blazing in the distance. With my recent travel and being distracted by all the smoky air, I had failed to notice that fall was suddenly on its way.

See the DNA?



  1. I really enjoy seeing your use of graphite, and the added color for the trees!

    1. Thank you, Cathy! I love graphite, but I can't stay away from color! ;-)

      - Tina