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December 10, 2012

Higgins Armory Museum

Every once in a while I wake up in the morning with a strong urge in wanting to sketch something particular. I’ve had dinosaurs, large mammal skeletons (whales), classic cars and this time around it was Armory. Online searching lead me to a place an hour west from Boston called the Higgins Armory museum - listed as the “only museum in the Western Hemisphere that is solely devoted to arms and armor.” I was excited and quickly headed out.

The free-standing glass and steel frame structure could be spotted from miles away and it was considered to be the first of its type to be built in the United States. The 4 story building was packed with armory from all over the world with a wide selection that was medieval and Renaissance Europe.

The day was a Sunday and their hours were very short so I needed to get all of my armory sketching cravings out of the way in 3 hours.

The 1st two were the two knights that were staged fighting each other. Forced perspective is something I’ve been enjoying recently so I tried a little bit of that here too. 121125_knight1
121125_knight2

Since I had no idea what I was sketching, finding a disassemble figure with descriptions called out really helped me out.
121125_knight3


A large center display on the 3rd floor consisted of two figures on horses jousting each other. This one was a fun sketch looking up and sketching the knight and the horse.
121125_knight_onhorse


Here’s a very decorative figure with colorful fabric clothing.
121125_knight4


3 figures shown here from the left are from the Netherlands, England and Switzerland in the 1600’s. I like how each country had different approaches to aesthetics and functionally.
121125_3Knights


By this time I was starting to get exhausted and started head to the 1st floor and found this huge armor with really scary looking pointy attachments on the feet.
 121125_last_knight

And next to the figure was a cute little dog with chain/ plate armor was sketched to wrap up the day. 121125_dog

3 hours exact – I was physically and mentally wiped out but felt really good since all of my armory sketching cravings were accomplished!

14 comments :

Judith Dollar said...

Super. Your drawings have made me add the Armory to my "Places to visit/sketch" list

Murray Dewhurst said...

Superb! I'll be showing our 6 year old this, he's a fan of knights and their armor, but there is no where in here we can visit for him to see the real thing.

Carolyn A. Pappas said...

Yay! You visited Wormtown, one of my favorite places. I would love to see more sketches in Worcester or even metrowest locations.

MK Buike said...

These are fantastic!

miked said...

Judith>
Thanks! They're actually quite fun to sketch - kind of a mixture of drawing people and machinery all in one. Hope you get a chance to give it a try.

miked said...

>Murray
It's exciting that you'll be sharing with your 6 year old! Armors are quite impressive seeing in real life and hope you and your child get a chance to see one day.

miked said...

>Carolyn
Thanks!
This was my first time in Worcester and also the first time I heard of the term "Wormtown". Doing some searching, I was pleasantly surprised to find out so much more about the region. Do you have any recommendations on a good sketching spot? Would love to get your thoughts :)

miked said...

>MK Buike
Thank you!

Maike Bohlen said...

Great post! The dog is simply adorable and what great fun you must have had! Looking forward to your next excursion!

kumi matsukawa said...

Great post, Mike! I can feel the joy and excitement through your drawings! I always wonder how those people in the old times could fight in those heavy armor...

Urusai said...


Really well done, I really like the armor's colour.

miked said...

>Maike
Thanks for your comments.
With your profile picture and sketches on your blog, you must really like dogs! This one was really cute though, especially since it was the only one in a mix of large masculine armory.

miked said...

>Kumi
Thanks!
I thought the same thing about how they could move around in these large metal blocks but noticed it was quite cleverly build with the hinge points being made of soft fabric materials.
More to come on armory soon- since I still had a little more I wanted to sketch :)

miked said...

>Urusai
Thanks!
At first glance they were all dark and gray metal color - but once my eyes got used to the low lit room, I noticed a bunch of colorful treatment on the armors. It was a fun day.