Cocktail Canvases

By: Griffin Suber

A classical architect has the smudge of ink on his fingers and the medal spiral of his sketchbook peeking out of his pocket. He draws, therefore he sees. And he draws the traditional buildings; monuments and ornament everywhere he goes.

Especially at the street café where his cocktail napkin is his canvas! It is this architect’s proclivity which inspires the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Mid Atlantic Chapter’s L’ Enfants to gather for drawing tours around Washington DC, a city well known for its classical buildings. Recently, they asked their under-30 members to submit drawings-on-a napkin, for an unofficial napkin drawing competition. The competition was fierce.

My own artistic training hasn’t advanced since the classical colonial doodles of my childhood. So I am very impressed by this year’s entries in the L’Enfants napkin drawing competition! In minutes these young designers whipped up brilliant interpretations of, well, just look for yourself:

The Final Four

The Final Four

The Winner

The Winner

With so much detail and creativity conjured on a napkin, we’re very excited to see the structures these young architects come up with in the future. Cheers to long careers and cheers to classical design!

Learn more about the L'Enfants: http://www.classicist-washington.org/lenfants/

Our thanks to the Washington/Mid-Atlantic ICAA chapter: http://www.classicist-washington.org/

Buying Guide Spotlight

Perma-Chink products


Perma-Chink Systems Products is the building industry’s trusted partner for the tightest, greenest, and most impeccably finished wood homes in the world. It is premier provider of cutting-edge premium wood stains and finishes, log home sealants, and maintenance and wood restoration products.

Related Articles

Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts

Film Review: Good Work

Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts, a 65-minute documentary video on the building arts, highlights the work at the National Cathedral.