A limited palette study from your sketches


This is on A3 with conte crayons, willow charcoal and charcoal pencil.

A few days ago, I passed this lovely cottage and the wisteria caught my eye. The clear blue sky was beautiful. So I decided to draw it using lilac, blue and sepia. I have not put in much detail, the main focus is the wisteria and the blue sky in the background.
The porch has a brick support on the right and wood on the left.
I like the combination of lilac and sepia.



A sketchbook of townscape drawings

I was driving around looking for a suitable building, after the buildings I had chosen earlier did not work, and I saw this lovely corner pub with red umbrellas, a red matching stripe across it and lovely flower baskets. The sky was clear blue with just a few clouds in the horizon ( not rain).

I did an initial sketch to take in the image. The building is on a slope, in a corner and the road goes downhill towards the right past it. The pavement does look a bit wonky, but somehow the tables manage to stay on it very well.
I have tried to bring out the joy I felt as it was the first ‘warm’ summer’s day. The time is around 1.30 pm. The sun was behind me on my left. The shadows cast were fairly strong. The roof had a lighter patch nearer to the left. The chef was having a smoke and chatting on his mobile. I was leaning against my car sketching. There is a hedge on the right, so included part of it as the foreground. The cottages on the left across the road are lighter as I included them as background. As I was on the right, I have made the rounded corner of the building shorter than the entrance on the right, indicating perspective.
The barrel on the wall is just a sign stuck on the wall so it did not cast any shadow. I included the yellow lines in the fore ground, just to show the winding and sloping road.

After the initial sketch, I did the ten centimetre studies and charcoal sketch. The final piece is on A3 coloured in with Derwent Inktense pencils.



Initial sketch with the chef.


Study of a townscape using line


This is on A3 with ink and dip pen. I attempted to draw a car and impression of others behind it from the whole line of cars on both sides of the street. There are always traffic wardens passing so I included one and a parking ‘pay and display’ machine. I had to make corrections with the car. It was very tricky to draw. The initial one was very small. I like this street as it has a mix of old and new.
The building in the foreground has thicker darker lines.
In my last report, my tutor asked me to look at paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and John Virtue. I had seen some of Vincent’s work, and John Virtue is new to me. I spent a lot of time looking at their work, including watching a video of John Virtue painting the London skyline made by the National Gallery. His work is only in monochrome, using mostly acrylics and ink. I found his work interesting as the black and white leaves you to use your imagination more. He does not put any detail, but you can make out the location. He does not paint the London Eye as he does not like it.

I like Vincent’s townscape below. He has managed to include a five story building in the foreground.
I have a problem drawing vertical lines, the always go at an angle, despite practise on plain paper.


Project Townscapes

This is a view from a window on the stairs of the fourth floor of my office building. Some people go downstairs in the parking lot for a smoke. Once a week I climb the stairs to look out onto the Downs for fresh air and the beautiful view. This is on an overcast day. I tried a few sketches in graphite. I was particularly attracted to this as there are myriads of shapes, windows, chimneys, rooftops, and in the background – trees and more houses disappearing into the Downs.
In the middle there is a crescent shaped road with small narrow terraced houses which I wanted to depict compared to the wider houses behind them. They also have smaller chimneys compared to taller wider ones at the back. The road further back has houses with semi circles and triangles above windows.
The building on the right is modern, with straight lines against the older cottages with uneven lines behind it. The building on the left has an interesting angle at the corner. There was a seagull sitting on the ledge, but I tried to concentrate on the buildings.
I did the final drawing in charcoal on A3 paper.



Rome- accuracy of a drawing

I used two line for the top parallel line as there was big difference with the building in the foreground o the right and the last building along the line.
The different lines have a different vanishing point. Also the lines along the different floors don’t seem to be accurate.

Check and log
What problems did you find in executing perspective drawings?
I have always avoided drawing buildings and preferred natural landscapes. After the last
two exercises, I realised they are interesting, especially the lovely old cottages, they are all unique with beautiful detail.
I did not have problems with the parallel lines of the wall of an interior view. I did struggle however to get the sofa on the left correctly. The direction I was standing, with the doorway at an angle, I drew the French doors and wall on the left and I got the vanishing point at eye level. To make the drawing correct, I had to show the arm of the sofa but just couldn’t get the angle correctly. I can now understand how Vincent Van Gogh, when he painted his room, the lines appear skewed.

Make note on the merits of using or not using rulers to guide you.
Using rules would make a drawing very sterile, like an architectural drawing without any character or soul. I prefer not to use one while drawing, although I do have problems getting vertical lines straight. Hopefully with practice, I will improve. The ruler is useful to check perspective and for drawings using grid lines.