(Click to enlarge drawing)
This challenge was a bit more of a challenge just because my city is full of landmarks — sure, I could have drawn the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty or the Chrysler building or Times Square or Rockefeller Center or Chinatown … but instead I decided to look at a new part of the skyline that’s being defined every day.
I came upon this particular view while riding my bicycle down the west side of Manhattan near Tribeca. I was thinking about the fact that the once-called Freedom Tower is finally becoming a part of our skyline. The World Trade Center towers were at the bottom of my street and now they’re being replaced by this new shape. It’s a slightly more interesting looking building that the Twin Towers were— they had a lot of symbolic value but not much in the way of aesthetics. However, this new building is so black and imposing. I hope that it ends up blending in with the rest of the city around it.
I parked my bike and sat down on the pavement next to the railing along the Hudson river. I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch and the sun was high in the sky and the buildings were bluish gray in the distance. I pulled my Moleskine out of my back pocket and uncapped my Safari pen. Perhaps it was the angle, or the heat, or the hard stone beneath my buttocks, but my line came out light and sketchy and delivered a drawing that looks more like an architectural proposal than my usual style. Later, back at my desk, I added a little bit of watercolor using whatever was already in my palette, and noted all of the things in the landscape that were worthy of labeling with my dip pen.
I never forget how lucky I am to live in New York City. On every corner there’s something fantastic to draw.