Minneapolis To Madison

Recently I found myself at two “M’s”- Minneapolis and Madison. I went to Minneapolis to visit with family and we went on a beautiful walk on the Stone Arch Bridge and the surrounding area. We climbed up to the top of Gold Medal Park and I had quite a view! I chose to do a quick sketch of the steam plant across the Mississippi river, which can be recognized from afar by its four charcoal gray smokestacks.

The finished sketch was completed at home, and I dug a bit for a little history. It was originally the Twin City Rapid Transit Company Steam Power Plant.

While my family had fun with Flightradar24 while watching jets in the bright blue sky, I tackled a quick sketch of the Eleven on the River, a swanky high-rise of luxury condos. I just drew the upper half of it, due to time, but it was fun nevertheless!

One may notice I don’t use straight lines for buildings. And I don’t usually fully sketch them. It’s a style I’ve developed over the years, I want the sketch to look fun and loose, not be an architectural drawing. And that suits me well when I don’t have a lot of time to sketch. Later, after adding watercolors, my sketch was finished!

Next, a trip to Madison a couple weeks ago for the Badger football game allowed me time to sketch. We arrived on a Friday night and enjoyed a beautiful evening on the shore of campus on Lake Mendota, at the Terrace. This beautiful outdoor area with tons of tables and live music is where everyone seemed to hang out. By 4:55pm, the tables were full, the beer was flowing, and my hubby and I found ourselves on a bench overlooking the lake. I used a very tiny 2.5″ x 3.75″ Stonehenge pad of paper. I normally don’t sketch this small, but after reading up on the restrictions for what can come into the stadium, I opted for a pen and this tiny pad. I began to sketch pictures of people around us. I also did a couple sketches on Game day while sitting at a table waiting for a lunch order.

Unfortunately, I did not sketch at the game. There was too much going on! That’s for another time! But when I came home, I added in gray values with Tombow markers and red color blocks to remember my time in Badgerland.

I like to have very portable materials that I can tuck into a purse when I go places. Small sketch books and pens are easy to carry. I have these memories to carry and look back upon, that is one of the joys of urban sketching!

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