I'm noticing more decorative lights than in years past, and they make Seattle so much more welcoming.

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Sketched Jan. 18, 2019

Downtown streets aren’t the most pleasant on cold and rainy evenings, but all those lit-up trees sure brighten up the scene. I thought the decorations usually came down after the holidays, but this year I’m noticing more lights than in years past.

The colorful cluster in my sketch is at Fourth Avenue between Virginia and Lenora streets. My view points toward the sharp-edged Fourth and Blanchard office building, whose silhouette up against the gray sky on this gloomy late afternoon looks more ominous than usual. It’s no wonder the tower is also known as the Darth Vader Building.


Seattle Times news artist Gabriel Campanario has been capturing Seattle's places and people in hand-drawn sketches for more than a decade. To see past columns, visit the Seattle Sketcher home page. Prints, notecards and a book of Campanario’s sketches are available for sale through The Seattle Times store. You may also fill out an illustration request to order a specific image.

The longer and brighter spring days can’t come soon enough for me, but in the meantime I can appreciate how these illuminated trees make the city so much more welcoming.