Honolulu Fire Museum

Our visit to the Honolulu Fire Museum on Saturday combined education and sketching, thanks to the support of the Honolulu Fire Department. Fire Inspector Kendall Ching set the scene with a brief overview of the grounds and an insightful and touching account of the history of firefighting in Honolulu, with emphasis on its origins under the Hawaiian monarchy and the determined response to the Pearl Harbor attack. In the 1 1/2 hours that followed, we found ourselves almost overwhelmed by the choice and richness of detail of firefighting paraphernalia from a bygone era.

In our traditional show-and-tell session we shared notes and thoughts on materials and techniques, and contemplated why it is so much harder to sketch scenes on location rather than from photos. Tentative conclusion: It is our brains that get in the way – in particular when it comes to proper perspective in close-up views like the ones we encountered frequently here!

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We hope to be back at the Honolulu Fire Museum to hear more about historical events and developments – and to again tackle sketching all the chrome and brass, bells and nozzles, ladders and pumps.

Until then, we hope that you will check out our sketches on Flickr and join us at our next event!


Woolsey Place Fire

The sounds of sirens and horns filled the valley as first responders attended to a two-alarm fire in Manoa last week Wednesday. Thanks to a swift response, nobody was hurt and the fire was quickly contained. The damage to the home’s top floor was still considerable though. Last evening, I tried to sketch the residence and Manoa Fire Station. I used a standard black ballpoint pen and a pack of crayons on 9x6in, heavyweight, dry-media paper.