Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Bastion Street Parking Structure.

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Today’s sketch shows a concrete  parking structure, in the centre of the city. When I was still working in engineering my employer was commissioned by the proactive owners of this building  to investigate and subsequently repair specific sections of the post-tensioned concrete slabs and beams of the lowest suspended floor level of this structure. Back in the seventies and early eighties, I was involved in many projects that involved the use of post-tensioned concrete in Alberta. In retrospect, it appears that the system is based on sound engineering principles, but the technology was flawed in that the steel strands were prone to corrosion. It became an embarrassment to the construction industry, somewhat similar to the leaky condo crisis in B.C.

So this is one of several buildings in downtown Nanaimo that are reminiscent of my time in Nanaimo working in building engineering.

Today I made a photograph of the pedestrian entrance to this facility to produce a sketch. The weather was nice compared to last week but still not suitable for outside sketching to my liking, so I worked it from the photo in the comfort of the studio.

I made the pen sketch of the photograph with some alterations, and then used three basic colours to paint this view in watercolor.



Author: John Hofman

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