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Sketching the Loop

On Sunday morning, I took the Red Line into the Loop, which is the name of downtown Chicago.

I had a few things on my sketch list: Cloud Gate (locally known as “The Bean”), the Art Institute of Chicago lions, the Marina City towers, the Chicago Theatre sign and some public art. And I managed to sketch all of my sketching targets.

My first target was the sculpture in Millennium Park, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, which locals call “The Bean”. This recent sculpture has become a huge tourist attraction so I wanted to get here before the masses. I found a seat on a wet bench and started my sketch. At this early hours, there where still plenty of tourists, photographing the 110 ton silver sculpture. I added a few tourists for scale (featured sketch).

I then headed a few blocks south on Michigan Avenue to the Art Institute of Chicago. Here I sketched the lions that frame the entrance. I chose to go with a loose, unbroken line approach. It was loser and wild but I was pleased with the results.

I headed west to State Street to put the iconic Chicago Theatre sign in my sketchbook. This sign is a symbol of Chicago and I felt I couldn’t leave Chicago without sketching it.

Alexander Calder’s sculpture “Flamingo” was next on my list. I first laid out the form in paint and then hemmed it in with ink. I then added a human figure for scale.