Charles made drawings for his school’s yearbook and engineering pieces for the Laclede Steel Company, where he worked in his teens. He continued developing his skill at Washington University in St. Louis while studying architecture; one of his most impressive artistic skills was his mastery of the esquisse, the preliminary sketches of design problems in architecture. He made Christmas cards for himself and family members, and even continued to draw later in life while telling stories to his grandchildren.
These three sketches serve as examples of the drawings Charles made on his extended honeymoon with his first wife, Catherine Dewey Woermann, a fellow architecture student at Washington University. The newlyweds spent several months in Europe in 1929 visiting centuries-old architecture and the more recently-built modernist buildings.