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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

June 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Seattle Sketcher draws professor Francis D. K. Ching’s attention

frankching061809m.jpgJune 18, 11:05 a.m. [View larger] [Map]
Frank (Francis D. K.) Ching is a rock star in the world of architectural drawing and design. He just retired from teaching full-time at the University of Washington’s Department of Architecture. The list of books he has published and recognition he has received is just too long for a blog post.
Ching recently invited me to chat about our shared passion for sketching after seeing my drawings in the newspaper and coming across Urban Sketchers, a site I launched last year that features on-location drawings from around the world. I was thrilled to meet such a renowned figure in a similar field.
We talked nonstop for more than an hour at Fremont Coffee, where the baristas know him by name. Pens, sketchbooks, observation techniques… time flied considering all I wanted to learn from the professor, who is a strong advocate of freehand drawing from direct observation. With so much drawing being done in computers these days, he said he was delighted to discover there are so many people that still do this.
I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass without asking him about his favorite Seattle buildings. The professor was diplomatic. “The Seattle Public Library, Steven Holl’s Chapel at Seattle University and the EMP are well known buildings by current architects,” he said.
“A few buildings deserve to be the exclamation point,” he added. “I prefer the quiet buildings that fit into neighborhoods.”

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