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Cutting Room Floor : Sighting the Maya

February 5, 2015


Welcome to another episode of Cutting Room Floor. Drawings from The Urban Sketcher that didn’t make it into the final edit, or were perhaps shown on the smallish size.

I had to do the previous post on the technique of sight measuring because this one is about the payoff of that method.

These are older drawings. From 2012 I do believe. At the time I had traveled to Toronto, and then Ottawa (Museum of Civilization), to sketch an exhibition of ancient Mayan stone stele, and terracotta funerary urns. I know – too cool right!? That’s my kind of drawing party right there.

There’s a funny story about the first attempt.


This weekend was a breakthrough drawing event for me. I’d been studying at Montreal’s Atelier de Brésoles, (outstanding instruction, I highly recommend them), and all the theories of sight measuring had come together.

Sketching these fantastically detailed things was pure fun. Like playing a technically demanding piece of music, and finally enjoying hearing it from yourself.


It’s mesmerizing doing detailed studies. The world fades away, and there is nothing but the drawing and the objects. I think it’s therapeutic. A kind of meditation.

Brings to mind a recent NYT piece “The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum“.





12June25_Maya011 12June25_Maya014

All these sketches are 0.7mm HB mechanical pencil on plate finish Strathmore Bristol – darkened for presentation during the scanning process. This last one is a watercolor copy of the original location drawing, done at home in the studio with the assistance of a reference photo for better proportions.

Maya_Studio Copy_01

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2015 8:14 PM

    Fantastic sketches.

  2. February 7, 2015 11:19 PM

    I love these

  3. October 7, 2015 11:37 AM

    In the final watercolor painting, what paper did you do it on?

    • October 7, 2015 11:48 AM

      It’s been a while – but I’m 90% sure it would have been Canson Montval. I was using pads of that at the time for quick sketches. These days (2015) I’m still using that for sketches, and doing ‘more important’ works on Fabriano Artistico 140lb cotton rag.

      • lmnavroth permalink
        October 7, 2015 12:17 PM

        Thank you. I usually use Arches 140, but have been wanting to try both of those. I like the way the paint lay on the paper. Really enjoying your blog, too.


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