Tag Archives: space shuttle discovery

Sketch Field Trip: Udvar-Hazy Center

My husband loves photography, so we decided to try an outing where we don’t actually spend much time together: I go sketch, and he wanders off to take pictures. Ordinarily, we would experience things together, but we decided to revisit somewhere close to home: the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. We’d both been there before multiple times, but it had been a while.

I started in a seat next to the Enola Gay, facing away from it. I did a fairly quick sketch in ink of some of the people.

Next, I wandered over to the early aircraft exhibit to sketch a Caudron G.4. I am still working on slowing down and paying attention to the relative positions of each part of the scene. With pen it’s even more noticeable because you can’t erase: once it’s there, it’s there, congratulations it’s weird-looking. But all drawing is drawing practice, and drawing in public is its own unique challenge. I can’t be sure, but it felt like a lot of people were stopping to look at the plane behind me.  They didn’t really need to be standing directly beside me to see it, either.

My final stop was the space room, at the back end of the space shuttle Discovery. I’d wanted to draw the engines but it turned out I’d have needed to draw the people half of even a quarter of the size in order to fit the engines – the shuttle is just so massive! But it was a fun experiment all the same. Sketching people in real life is difficult, as they tend not to stand still for very long.

In all, this was a fun little trip. I didn’t produce the best drawings or the ones I’m most proud of, but it’s all part of the process. The more you draw, the better you get, so I keep right on drawing.

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