San Jose State University

Last week I had a kid attending music camp at San Jose State University. So what did I do when I dropped her off? You guessed right :). Four sketches. Three of them of the same subject. I really enjoy drawing something over and over. A few sketches in, and you feel you’re hanging around an old friend. This is Tower Hall on the SJSU campus.


This Spanish Revival style tower was built in 1910 to replace an older building damaged in the 1906 earthquake. You can’t draw Tower Hall without drawing the supertall, skinny palm trees around it.

The stuff growing on Tower Hall really is a super bright green. ( I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the common kind of blue-green ivy) For once, I’m happy that Pthalo Blue lives in my palette. I’ve been trying to use this color to mix greens, and usually I have a hard time quieting it down to natural-looking mixes. No need for a quiet green on this building, though.

And here is Take #3 from a different spot, on a different day.

Here’s a shot of what my morning sketch setup looked like. Pretty idyllic, huh?

And here’s the sketch above, closeup. This is the Black Power Statue at the University. The statue commemorates an event from the Olympics held 49 years ago. And while there was a lot of controversy surrounding their Black Power Salute, the intention behind it was to bring attention to the inequalities in our society, particularly towards African Americans. You can read more about the statue and event here.


There’s so much more to sketch at this campus, and it’s a quiet and green oasis in the middle of downtown San Jose. I’m going to have to go back soon.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, san jose, Silicon Valley, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to San Jose State University

  1. I like to sketch the same place over and over as well – plus I have that Pthalo Blue in my palette too…I rarely use it because it’s so bright!


  2. Dora says:

    SJSU must be a very exciting place…. and your watercolor pictures are wonderful! I like the green shadows on these ones.


  3. Love ❤️ your work. So pretty!


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