Archive for the ‘Watercolors’ Category

I am trying to start back doing my sketches, cartoons, etc. as best as I can. I did this painting in Spring of last year on the topic of favelas in Brazil, but never used it. I thought I would post it for you today.

colors_rainbows_favelas_700

My song for today is “Some Nights” by Fun.

Happy Friday!!!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Industrial Court, Trinidad, Kresge, MIT, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, kresge, mit, cambridge, architecture,mit architecture, architectural sketches, architectural sketching, architect sketches, architectural sketches of buildings, architectural sketching techniques,  architecture sketchbook, architectural perspective, architecture sketches of houses, sketching buildings,

The Industrial Court of Trinidad & Tobago

Above is my drawing of the Industrial Court of Trinidad & Tobago; on the corner of Queen and St. Vincent Streets in Port of Spain.

“During the period 1960 to 1964, Trinidad and Tobago was plagued by a number of strikes by workers and lockouts by employers which affected the economy. The Government’s answer to the problem was the Industrial Stabilization Act 1965. This Act was “to provide for the compulsory recognition by employers of Trade Unions and Organizations representative of a majority or workers, for the establishment of an expeditious system for the settlement of Trade Disputes, for the regulation of prices of commodities, for the constitution of a Court to regulate matters relating to the foregoing an incedental thereto.”

Reference: http://industrialcourt.org.tt/Home.aspx

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View of Kresge Auditorium at MIT, Cambridge, MA

This is my painting of the Kresge Auditorium on MIT‘s Campus in Cambridge, MA, designed by Eero Saarinen. I did this sketch in September and only recently painted it. Cambridge officially snowed for the first time last night… so here is a nice memory of green grasses, leafy trees, and beautiful colors.

Click image for larger view.

The auditorium is defined by an elegant thin-shell structure of reinforced concrete, one-eighth of a sphere rising to a height of 50 feet, and sliced away by sheer glass curtain walls so that it comes to earth on only three points. Thin-shelled concrete technology was innovative for the times. The dome weighs only 1200 tons and is currently clad with copper. It was originally covered with smooth, bright, orastone was then replaced with lead sheeting attached with stainless steel wires. In 1980, cracks were found in the supporting structure and the auditorium was closed immediately for repairs. Copper replaced the lead at that time.

Sitting on a circular red brick platform, the dome contains a concert hall (with seating for 1226 people), plus a lower level that houses a small theater (seating 204), two rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, offices, bathrooms, and lounges. The main stage is paneled with warm-colored vertical wood elements that echo the vertical glass panels of the building’s facade. The concert hall also contains a Holtkamp acoustic pipe organ, whose pipes visually resonate as a sequence of vertical elements of varying heights. The opening ceremony in 1955 featured that organ, including a piece of music that was commissioned for the event, Aaron Copland’s Canticle of Freedom.

Every seat in the concert hall has an unobstructed view, since there are no interior supports for the overarching dome. Working with renowned acoustical architects Bolt, Beranek and Newman, architect Saarinen employed free-hanging acoustic “clouds” that absorb and direct sound, instead of a traditional plaster ceiling. These clouds also contain lights, loudspeakers, and ventilation.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Kresge Auditorium sits on the Kresge Oval, opposite the MIT Chapel, also by Saarinen.

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

View across Charles River, Boston, MA

Above is my sketch of the Charles River, Boston, MA. from the Cambridge side looking over to Boston. I drew this in September, but only got the chance to paint it this weekend… I am glad about that.

DCR’s Charles River Reservation is a linear park stretching from Boston Harbor up the river for 20 miles. The lower half of the reservation, from downtown Boston to the Watertown Dam, is the Charles River Basin, which includes the Esplanade on the Boston side. The basin abuts the campuses of MIT, Boston University and Harvard. The Upper Charles River section of the Reservation begins at Watertown Square and meanders to Riverdale Park in West Roxbury. The Reservation has many recreational opportunities for urban dwellers. Whether your interest is walking or birdwatching, canoeing or in-line skating, the Charles River is a wonderful resource.

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/charlesRiver/

This is also my 300th Post today… Woohoo!!!!

A special thanks to all of you who continue to subscribe, comment, and follow Thinking Insomniac! I look forward to many, many more from you…

Abstract Architecture of the day:

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, abstract architecture, igor stravinsky

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Sketch of my laptop on my desk

This weekend I bought some watercolor pencils (I have never used them before) and another sketchbook. I continue to come up with ways to be able to slip in daily sketches… and coloring. I am hoping that by trying this I can do a quick sketch, quick color when I want and even get water coloring done. The theme for Urban Sketchers this week as suggested by someone is PC’s and Laptops, hence my sketch of my laptop. Above is my sketch using the water color pencils, and below, after I applied wet brushes to the sketch. I like the effect and look forward to doing more.

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, watercolor, design, art, sketch, urban sketchers

Sketch after applying water to watercolor pencils

Have a great week ahead!

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Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Football in Brooklyn (post-Irene)

I did this sketch on the Sunday of Irene. Everyone was inside because of Irene and my brothers could not take it anymore. They all made calls and rallied their fellow footballers and got “a good sweat” going. After which they enjoyed this >>>. Thanks for a great weekend guys!

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, spiro kostof

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MIT Chapel by Eero Saarinen

I finally got the chance to go purchase a few paint brushes at the art store… and painted some sketches that were just waiting to be “dressed.” Above is a drawing and painting of the MIT Chapel in Cambridge by Eero Saarinen. I did this sketch a couple days after arriving in Cambridge. The scale and exterior of the chapel is lovely… but enter its doors, and you are transported to a place you would never imagine! The effect reminds me of the Donau City Church in Vienna. Classics like this reminds me that architecture is not all about decoration, “weird,” difficult to build forms, and angles. It is the study, marriage, and manipulation of “simple” geometries with light, shade, addition, subtraction, tectonics, and more. This building is made of simple forms, art, texture, context, connection, rigor, and story.

“Completed in 1955, the MIT Chapel is a simple cylindrical volume that has a complex and mystical quality within.  Saarinen’s simple design is overshadowed by the interior form and light that were meant to awaken spirituality in the visitor. The non-denominational chapel is … a place of solitude and escape that induces a process of reflections. The windowless chapel is surrounded by a shallow concrete moat that seeps into the interior around a series of low arches that provide the structure for the chapel.  Once inside, the visitor is transported to a completely unexpected interior space that is unknown from the exterior façade.  The interior is inundated with a high level of detail and atmospheric qualities that are enhanced by filtered natural light.Due to the windowless façade, the interior of the chapel is completely masked by the exterior of the volume.  Unlike the smooth uninterrupted façade, the interior brick walls undulate around the circumference of the chapel, which creates a new spatial dynamic that is illuminated by the moat that slips into the interior from outside.

MIT Chapel Interior

MIT Chapel by Eero Saarinen (Interior)

Above the white marble altar, is a metal sculpture by Harry Bertoia that hangs from the skylight that shimmers in the sunlight reflecting and distributing light into the interior of the chapel.  The sculpture appears as a cascading waterfall of light that is constantly adjusting, moving, and redefining the interior of the chapel.”

Reference: ArchDaily >>>

Abstract Architecture of the day:

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, abstract architecture

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Whitehall - Port of Spain, Trinidad

Moleskine sketchbook, ink pens, & watercolors

This is a sketch of Whitehall in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the fifth sketch I have done thus far of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ (a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah). The Henderson family acquired this building known as Whitehall in 1910 from William Gordon Gordon after foreclosure on Joseph Leon Agostini and lived there until 1941. They vacated it that year to give way to the U. S. Armed Forces who commandeered Whitehall for Army Headquarters.

It was used by the Americans until V.E. Day in 1944 and handed back to the Hendersons; they never returned to the building. Instead it was leased in that same year to the British Council. Whitehall also housed the Central Library, Eastern Caribbean Regional Library, The Trinidad Art Society and the Cellar Club. In 1954 the building was sold to the Trinidad Government for $123,000. In 1957 the Trinidad Government agreed to lend the building rent-free too the then Federal Government of the West Indies as temporary headquarters. Today Whitehall accommodates the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

J. Newel Lewis, one of the nation’s renowned architects, described the building as a white wedding cake because of the most unusual feature – a parapet to hide the roof. It presents a regular but undulating facade, tactile, inviting and seductive, surrounded by a white wall of appropriate design set off by a huge, dark parasol-like samaan tree. Whitehall was designed by its first owner in Corsican style with Venetian influence, and built by James Moore a builder from Barbados. Moore employed natural white sandstone imported from that island, in the construction. Besides the roof which was completed in 1910, the rest of the building took from 1902 to 1904 to construct, at a cost of around $80,000. It was the largest of the four private residences along the stretch of Maraval Road, opposite the savannah.

Over the years, Whitehall has undergone considerable renovation because of its conversion to a Government building, and the rooms have been partitioned into offices. This has undoubtedly detracted from its original beauty. However, a reasonable degree of the preservation of the original architecture still remains. Whitehall was built on an elaborate scale – three storeys high, a garden on the roof, six bedrooms four reception halls, a center room, dining room, library, large front and other galleries, porches, sweeping marble steps, patio, and a host of minor rooms like kitchen, pantry, etc., in keeping with a style of living which has disappeared from Trinidad. In the interior were long corridors. On the first floor, a dining room, said to have been done by Agostini’s daughters, Stella and Blanche, was paneled with local cyp and mahogany, carved to represent nutmeg and cocoa. The French style drawing room was decorated in wedgewood blue. Each of the large bedroom suites was meant for one of the Agostini daughters.

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Whitehall, Port of Spain, Trinidad (Photo taken in 2006)

When the Hendersons took over Whitehall, the dining room was decorated in the German style of the period, and in it hung four large canvasses of rural scenes. Its walls were covered with an imported wallpaper with a raised pomegranate design meant to represent leather. This paper has now been painted over, but the raised design is still visible. On the upper floor were the bedroom suites with dressing rooms attached. The plumbing was advanced for the time; there were marble-surrounded wash basins and baths, and an unusual ‘needle point’ shower of a design not seen today. Above the bedroom was a vast attic and storeroom, and still further up, was the room on the roof known as the Blue Room. From the Blue Room, one could walk onto the balustraded roof and obtain a panoramic view of Port of Spain. It used to be possible to climb onto the roof of the Blue Room until 1954, at which time it was condemned. It was replaced by a galvanized roof, and the steps were removed.

In the basement were the wine cellars; wine was imported by the cask in those days, and bottled on the premises. The kitchen, pantry, serving rooms and the tiled breakfast room decorated in German style were also part of the basement. A small service lift connected this floor and the upper floors. The stables, coach-house and servants’ quarters were located outside. The hitching post and remains of the horse trough are still to be seen. In the grounds stood a large bronze bell which the Hendersons’ had brought from Venezuela. At one time, there was some discussion about retaining Whitehall as a Cultural Center. Some thought that it would have been ideal as a venue for cultural clubs, and a place to hold small concerts and exhibitions. This has not materialized, and although it now houses the Office of the Head of Government of the nation, it is part of Trinidad’s past that is worthy of preservation.

Source: http://www.nalis.gov.tt

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, roland heiler

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Old Police Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad

This is a sketch and painting of the Old Police Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad, with its beautiful iron fence. I continue to work on my water coloring, and I thank all of you for your encouragement. I need to get more paints and brushes for details and fine lines… Sometimes I get excited as I mix colors to get that which I desire… I think of what to color.. Do I color everything? Somethings? Just the landscape? Or the sky? It is quite exciting! I will do all drawings I desire to watercolor in my Moleskine. My other sketchbooks do not handle water colors as well. It is really a great book! I will be out and about today; I hope to get some sketching done.

Previous post on Old Police Headquarters here >>>.

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, drawing, art, design

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The Industrial Court of Trinidad & Tobago, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, drawing, sketch, moleskine, watercolor, art, design

The Industrial Court of Trinidad & Tobago

Above is a sketch and watercolor of the Industrial Court on Trinidad & Tobago; on the corner of Queen and St. Vincent Streets in Port of Spain. I continue to work on my watercoloring techniques, and feel good about this one. I like this building. The awnings, the main entry, the articulation at the corner and treatment of the base of the building, well done. The Industrial Court looks very dramatic in and solid… like a court should be.

Abstract Architecture of the day:

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