The Beer and Soda Building

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I may have mentioned that I really enjoy making the miniature pen, ink and watercolor sketches that I have been creating lately (Party House, Sea Food Building). I like several things about them: 1) they are small; 2) it is easy to correct mistakes; 3) they can be finished relatively quickly.

I have a trove of pictures that just came to light as part of my film to file digitization project. In the late 198os and early 90s I took my camera on my frequent walks around Manhattan and Brooklyn. Walks around Queens were significantly less frequent, and around the Bronx and Staten Island were nil (although I took many shots of Staten Island (i.e., the Verrazano Bridge) from the shores of Brooklyn).

My reference photograph was taken in November of 1991 in East Side Park, not far from where I lived. It was a good day for shooting, as I recall.

Photograph: Graffiti on Beer & Soda Building

Beer & Soda Bldg. – Ref. Photo

I sketched today’s study with pen and ink, and colored pencil as well as watercolors.

Watercolor: Graffiti on the Beer and Soda Building

Beer & Soda Building
4″x6″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


The watercolor component of this experiment was minimal. The majority of the work was the pen and ink sketch of the building and of course, the graffiti. Graffiti is normally done on a large scale, with sweeping movements of the arms. I did my graffiti with minimal movements of my fingers, trying to imitate as much of the original as I could. It is just not the same as graffiti in the wild either in technique or in effect (not that I ever graffitied anything before).

I like the design of this composition. There is something about perpendicular lines that pleases me. I suppose that is why I like buildings, especially those which play with lines, perpendicular or otherwise.

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