A Touch of Seville

Country Club Plaza Urban Sketching

This doodlewash is a closeup of one of the towers of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, which was the first shopping center in the world designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile. Established in 1922 by J. C. Nichols and designed architecturally after Seville, Spain, the Plaza comprises high-end open air retail establishments, restaurants, and entertainment venues, as well as offices.

I’m trying to sketch much faster and applying colors more lightly without as much detail. There’s still a surprising amount of detail, however, as I see the detail and can’t help but sketch it. So this may be about as loose as I’m likely to get, but I like the effect and it was very quick.

This was doodlewashed on the opposite page from yesterday’s sketch in my little 3.5 x 5.5″ Art Plus Moleskine Watercolor Album. I just bought a larger 8.25 x 5″ one this weekend, but I’ve yet to break it in. The thing about sketching is that the more paper you have to fill the more time it takes, and I haven’t had much time to sketch this weekend so far.

The Plaza is a great place to be on a sunny day, and there’s pretty much every major retail shop you could hope for there. Unless you include Target, in which case you still need to travel a little ways outside the city. Hoping to head to the park tomorrow with the Doodlewash Crew to plein air sketch together, but looks like there may be a storm, so not sure what will happen! Stay tuned!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Nicely done Charlie, beautiful color and ink drawing.

  2. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Another beautiful painting with great perspective! I actually love to work big. I’m doing some work on the iPad (using Art Studio) and I find the regular iPad size screen small and confining. An 8×10″ sketchbook is really about as small as I like to work. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Teresa! I’d think I’d like bigger if I could get away from the detail…otherwise it takes me too long to fill a page! Lol 😊 I’m going to try some digital work soon as well!

      • Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

        It is harder to do big landscapes involving buildings than it is to do a big portrait. 🙂 Looking forward to your digital art!

  3. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    Wow! Impressed with your “quick” sketch Charlie! Love all your details in your sketch, your colors and your description in writing. You always make your posts so fascinating! 😊

    • Author

      Thank you so much Jill! What a sweet thing to say! 😊😃 I’m trying to see if I can sketch faster for travel sketching. Still not super quick like I’d like to be yet!

      • Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

        When I was doing creating a bird every day, it took me about 5 months for it to finally click on drawing one. So I’m sure you will get there – faster than me. 😊

        • Author

          And your birds are awesome!! ❤️Yeah…I know it’s just practice and time, but I get impatient like a little child! 😊lol

  4. beverlydyer 7 years ago

    I want to go plein air sketch with the Doodlewash crew!

  5. Jodi 7 years ago

    Loose and quick and yet so much detail and character. Such a talented gent you are Charlie O!

  6. Looks great Charlie! Do I see quin gold in the bldg and perhaps a bit of cobalt teal in the sky? Your sketches are always great. 💛

    • Author

      Thanks Laura! And yes…Quin Gold came out to play! Hehe…but it was technically Cobalt Turquoise as I switched back to my earlier tin of paints. I’m trying to use them all up so I can get more M Graham! 😊😉hehe…. was going to get Cobalt Teal in M Graham but the store was out. Probably a sign to stop spending money. Lol

      • I bet they’re pretty close. Beautiful sky, Charlie! Yeah, good thing the store was out. I really enjoyed this painting. Your posts are informative too. 🙂 Have a great day today.

        • Author

          Thanks!! (But that’s not really stopping me…there’s a 10 color set on Amazon in my wish list! And I have credit card points…sooo…hmmmm…. 😊😊😊)

  7. amaryllislog 7 years ago

    What a stunning tower Charlie, and such interesting history.

    Okay maybe its subject matter, I like a bigger sketch pad, but I can see your point on sketching landscapes and capturing the essence quickly. You know how to make your landscapes pop beautifully!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! For me… I can’t seem to stop sketching details, so the bigger the pad, the longer it takes me! Hehe… Once I can start getting a little faster and looser with less detail I’ll start migrating to larger pages I’m sure! 😉

  8. memadtwo 7 years ago

    I really admire your architectural renderings…I’ve got a long way to go with those. (k.)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe! 😃 I’m not sure why I like architecture so much to draw, but I’m improving since I draw it so much. Now if I could just apply that same level of practice to people drawings…. 😊😊

  9. Carol King 7 years ago

    Are you a secret architect? (Or maybe not so secret?) I love your architectural sketches. And I love learning about Kansas City from you. You are clearly proud of your home town.

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Carol! I have some secrets, but that’s not one of them. 😉 I just really enjoy architecture and honestly find it a bit easier for me to sketch!

      • Carol King 7 years ago

        Oooooh! Secrets! Can’t wait to find out what they are! I enjoy architecture too. Maybe it’s because I’m squished into a big city with waaaaaaay too many people that I’m not that interested in portraiture. Keep up the good work Mr. O’Shields. You have a big fan in me.

  10. Kari 7 years ago

    I like the loose sketch, though I think you still managed to add a lot of details. I’m having a difficult time getting loose. I love the colors in this. I agree about the paper. I made a large watercolor journal some months ago and it’s way too big for a quick sketch. I really need to get a smaller journal or just make my own.. 😊

    • Author

      I love my little watercolor moleskine, Kari! It comes in small and super small! Hehe…handles washes really well too if you get the one that specifically designated “watercolor.” I think I’ll go larger as I progress but having a smaller page to fill makes me always feel like it’s possible to do a quick sketch no matter how much time I have. 😉

  11. […] of all of the city’s fountains. It is located at the east entrance to the popular Country Club Plaza district which you can see the start of via the building in the […]

  12. Thomas Blanchard 5 years ago

    I love the RELATED ARTICLES area! It lets me find gems I may have missed in the past. This one is awesome. I love the detail (your loose LOL) and the colors. It just sings!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww thanks so much!! 😃💕 Oh wow, yeah, that’s when I first started! So happy you liked it!

  13. […] of all of the city’s fountains. It is located at the east entrance to the popular Country Club Plaza district which you can see the start of via the building in the […]

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