I was out for a long walk, with no intention to sketch, but as always, I had my sketching stuff with me. I was walking down Rue St. Claire from Rue St. Jean and saw this little scene containing my favorite thing – a fire hydrant. My stool comes out, I sat down, and the next thing you know, this little sketch was completed. Sometimes it’s the little things that count.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like to draw fire hydrants. I’ve sketched bunches of them. I think I’m drawn to them because they were one of the first things that I noticed when I became a sketcher that I had not noticed at all for 60 years of living around them.
But another reason I fell in love with fire hydrants is because Pete Scully loves fire hydrants and I really like Pete’s sketching style. I was ready to brand Pete as the best darn fire hydrant sketcher on the planet but then I wondered, is there someone better elsewhere in the universe? Hmmm…how to know…how to know.
I made phone calls, asking if anyone knew anyone who was better than Pete at fire hydrant sketching. I called Jean-Luc Picard. He said he’d never seen anyone better. I gave Spock a call, asking him if he knew of anyone on Vulcan who was better.
It was really hard to get his number but when I did, Yoda told me that “No one better in the universe than Pete there is.”
Malcolm Reynolds told me that he’d never seen anyone better, at least among the Browncoats. Zoe said there was a pretty good hydrant sketcher on Persephone but that while on a run to Athens, the Reavers got him.
I even gave Thor a call, figuring that they must have fire hydrant sketchers in Asgard. He was quite scary-sounding on the phone but said he didn’t know anyone better than Pete. I tried to contact Darth Vader but kept being redirected to Dick Cheney’s office. Not sure what that means.
In the end, the data are clear. Pete Scully is the best darn fire hydrant sketcher in the universe, so I thought I’d share my latest acquisition with you, a genuine Pete Scully fire hydrant mug from Society 6.
In celebration of this announcement, I’ll share a few of my own, Pete Scully-inspired hydrant sketches.
I thought about sketching the proverbial Santa Claus for this post but geez…that red suit and white beard are everywhere. The world doesn’t need another. But you can hardly imagine a case where there would be too many fire hydrant sketches in the world and this acts as a great stand-in for Mr. Claus, don’t you think?
Merry Christmas Everyone!
If you follow my posts you know that I’m a pen driver. I draw a bunch of lines, hope they look like something and then, if I want to add color, I generally just ‘fill in’ the various pieces, using watercolors like crayons.
But I thought it was time to do a “painting.” I’m not really sure when a sketch becomes a painting or whether you have to approach things very differently to create a painting. Seems to me like it’s more the later than former so that’s what I did….that different thing.
We’d just gotten some snow and I was out walking, saw a “winter scene” to my liking and took a quick snapshot of it. When I got home I took a 5×7 sheet of Fabriano Artistico “Extra White” cold press paper, and I made a few marks to indicate a horizon and the verticals for my fire hydrant. Ya gotta have fire hydrants in paintings don’t you? I do.
Then, with considerable intrepidation, I started applying paint roughing out the tree and hydrant in light color. Once I knew their ultimate shape I increased the color until it was mostly as you see it here. Then I added a bit of ink just to emphasize things a bit. I don’t know if this is an example of my demonstrating a willingness to learn new tricks or that I have no shame in posting my first painting. Either way, here it is.
We held our fall sketchcrawl last Saturday and I reported on it on Monday. The post was getting so packed with graphics that I decided not to post the sketches I did during the sketchcrawl.
I did do a couple, however. Being a fan of mundane urban accessories, I decided to draw one of a dying breed of accessory, the phone booth. It was convenient as it was situated at the meeting place for the sketchcrawl so I could sketch and still meet people as they arrived. I learned this trick from my buddy Yvan. I did it in a Stillman & Birn Zeta (6×9) using a Pilot Prera and Platinum Carbon Black ink. I found that I’d forgotten my watercolors so I did the color with Faber-Castell “Albrecht-Durer watercolor pencils. I like these as a substitute for watercolors because I can completely eliminate the lines made by the pencil.
In front of the Farmer’s Market was a large pile of pumpkins, stacked on hay bales. I drew a portion of those in my Singapore special toned-brown sketchbook that was sent to me by Patrick Ng. I’m still learning how to work with this paper but I’m really enjoying it. I used the Pilot Prera and watercolor pencils on this one as well.
I thought I’d throw in a couple other sketches I’ve done recently. The garage sits at the end of a little park I sit in while waiting for a study group I run to convene. I don’t think I ever posted it. It was done in a 3×5 Moleskine watercolor book.
When I was doing that sketch, they were tearing up the street in front of the park. By the next week they were ready to re-pave it and they’d just finished laying new curbing along its length. To do that, it seems, they had to remove the fire hydrant, which was hanging from a mechanized shovel. I’m a fire hydrant afficionado and this was akin to a bird-watcher seeing a rare bird. I had to sketch this and so I did, in my Stillman & Birn Zeta (6×9) with my Pilot Prera. This was the tenth fire hydrant sketch I’ve done and certainly the most unique.