Christchurch in yet another hand-made sketchbook
of the building-site showing frantic floor laying. It took a matter of hours to lay 18 precast concrete floor beams with only two workers and a crane. There were lots of measurements taken prior to the lowering of the last beam and some strenuous crowbaring but it eventually fit - Phew!
I managed this quick sketch whilst on a study trip with illustration students to Mottisfont yesterday. Done from the top floor exhibition room looking out over the River Test. I was drawn to the lovely old plane tree which reveals so much more of its gnarled trunk in wintertime. In many ways the countryside offers so much more of its secrets at this time of the year - as long as you can find somewhere warm or cope with the bracing weather!
and I'm pleased to be back in my office to carry on with these observations. The university is now setting up a seperate blog just for my sketches - details to follow...
of the building-site. I have over 40 pages in my sketchbook now and the building is almost level to my 3rd floor office. I'm now on waving terms with the workers!
Struggling to find time during daylight hours and even then it's quite dark these days - here's some I did last week. The concrete's pouring thick and fast (or should that be "thin") and they are casting pillars for floor 3 now. I shant have much to draw soon!
The new teaching facility here at Solent University is moving ahead at a pace:
Latest developments at East Park Terrace...
I've been casually sketching from my office window at Solent Uni, the groundworks progress for the new building here at East Park Terrace - here are some of them - done in A5 cartridge paper sketchbook:
A sketch whilst sitting outside an Italian restaurant drinking coffee on the house (thanks to Carolina!). Done in my A5 sketchbook in around an hour and a half plus some tinkering to darken the foreground afterwards. It took me a few gos to get the proportions of the tower right with the rest of the building. I think this is a good view and might return with a larger sheet of paper (for more free coffee!)
in Southampton? Here's a sketch done yesterday whilst sitting outside the Valentine café in Oxford Street. The café closed before I had finished applying colour so completed from a snap!
Here are a few quick sketches from a recent city break. Clockwise from top left: Rua Augusta Arch, Statue of King Jose 1 Commerce Square, view from apartment in Alfama, Lisbon street scene, aspects of Sintra.
Here is the third of my London buildings commission. Channel 4's headquarters at 124 Horseferry Road was designed by Richard Rogers and completed 20 years ago - 8 years after his Lloyd's building. This presented me with a real challenge in order to represent the building both accurately and aesthetically - you can judge the result for yourself... Done on Saunders Waterford 140 Ib NOT at 570 x 380 mm.
This is the second of the London buildings commission. The RSA building in John Adam Street is the home of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. It was designed by the Adam brothers and completed in 1774 as part of their innovative Adelphi scheme. An interesting fact is that the statues above the pediment and the wall plaques are not original. These were left off at the time due to cost restrictions and the plaques were added in 1980 and the statues in 1994. The artwork measures 500 x 360 mm.
I thought you might like to see a pen and wash sketch I did in my A5 sketchbook of the Castle with bridge in foreground. The view is from the same position as the previous finished watercolour.
Where am I?
This view is looking west and shows the existing tree and buildings in the background. Notice the rills which are designed to bring water from the pond to irrigate the garden.
This view was set-up as a 3D model using SketchUp and shows the view looking north towards the entrance to the existing rose garden. The emphasis in this view is the water feature and to predict how the cherry trees canopy will provide shade to visitors strolling the gardens.
This location sketch done today at Hythe after catching the ferry with our bikes - 30 mins.
These were made as experimental studies of the representation of light inspired from photos on my ipad and carried-out in the studio.
Just to wet your whistle for this course here is my current sketchbook beautifully made by Katherine at Red Hot Press. A5 cloth bound with a heavyweight cartridge just right for all types of dry and wet mediums - see my next post for examples of watercolour studies made over this weekend.
Here are a few drawings I did at the weekend spent in london. The DPS is in the courtyard of the V&A and the other two are in the Maritime Museum Greenwich. Done in my A5 sketchbook on a nice Somerset paper.
Here's something different - a view of the Southampton incinerator from across the river. The metal dome shape can be easily spotted from all points of the city. Due to its reflective material it changes colour throughout the day and time of year. The photograph I worked from was taken on a hazy morning in early spring last year and I tried to give the structure an air of mystery by enhancing the lighting effects on the roof.
A pair of cottages built in the mid 1860s and moved from Ashtead Kent. The interiors beautifully reconstruct a farm worker's home in mid Victorian times.
Here's the last watercolour view showing Southampton Docks. This one portrays the four ferries: the ro ro car transporter, the IOW car ferry, the Red Jet and the Hythe ferry. The view is from Hythe pier and put together from several photos to assemble all the ferries together at one time. It took several visits to achieve this but worth it in the end.
hardly had time to start this one before it really chucked it down. With nowhere to shelter my friend Kate and I had to "leg-it" to the car this time - pity. Nevertheless, the rain produces an interesting mottled effect! I shall return!
and then the rain came down...not the best medium to use at this time of sunshine and showers! Here's a watercolour sketch done at breakneck speed yesterday just outside Winchester. This sketchbook was handmade for me by my partner Katherine (orders taken!). It contains Fabriano paper which is not ideal for watercolour as it's so absorbent. It all got rather soggy but interesting results all the same. I quite like sketching days with "weather" as it brings forth unlikely results. Meanwhile - back at the ranch...
This one probably took the longest at around 20 hours due to the detail but I think the subject matter is worth the time taken. I feel that I know these structures intimately now and worthy of further studies.
I limited my palette to just 5 colours for this piece and concentrated on the tonal values in order to create the atmosphere.
Here are details of my finished watercolours which give an indication of my brush stroke technique. I tend to work wet-into-wet using warm and cool colour until there's no more benefit in moving the pigment around and I'll leave to dry. I'll then add detail and finish with some dry-brush. I use a large squirrel hair brush for sky and sea washes and sable brushes nos 4, 6 and 8 for the rest. I buy my brushes from Rosemary & Co.
No you're not seeing double - here are my two watercolours of the Southampton docks view as seen from the Town Quay. The final watercolour is the largest I've done at 430 x 570 mm and so much easier to paint - I plan on doing everything larger in future! For this I stretched a sheet of Waterford 140Ib NOT paper which provided a drum-tight surface. Even when soaked the paper remains flat and a joy to work on. Although the smaller one was done to gain approval from the client it also helped to establish the composition and colour palette - a useful exercise.
Well here's my third and final version of the view showing the Western Docks container terminal and completes the set of three watercolours (I now have some appreciation of how Monet felt when he painted multiple studies of the Haystacks series!). These will now be enlarged to a good size for the finished works - I'm looking at around 460 x 620 mm - this will give me real opportunities for getting out my big brushes and allowing the paint to work for me - to be continued...
...and here's my second attempt - judge for yourself - I think it works better with the others as a set of three - we'll see?
This is the last of my initial views of the docks - here we have the container terminal at Western Docks looking across the River Test from "Goatee Beach" at Eling. The cranes dominate this part of Southampton and can be seen from miles around. I'm not sure about this one and I feel my original sketch done on location has more atmosphere. I plan to look at a closer view with just the river in the foreground.
This is the second in the series of views of the docks showing Fawley refinery looking from Hamble. I used a 250mm lens to get a panoramic view which I cropped for this watercolour. Again, a misty morning providing atmosphere and "aerial" perspective.
Here's my latest watercolour which is a small scale version of the first in a series of southampton views focusing on the docks. Done from sketches and photographs this piece measures approx 270 x 370mm and was done to establish my colour palette with a view to producing a larger finished work. It shows the cruise liner Saga Sapphire in dock a few weeks ago as viewed from the Town Quay. It was around 10 am on a misty morning and I have tried to represent this in the soft washes of colour in the distance. Watch this space for further views!
Here's a couple of sketches I did today at the Titanic Event at Ocean Terminal Dock Gate 4. Fred Dinenage compared this memorable event organised by staff and students of Solent University. The sketches are both on A4 cartridge paper.
I've never been able to sketch the clock tower from this position due to adjacent trees obscuring the view. At this time in early spring however it's perfect! The segment-like architecture of the Sea City addition can be seen and is almost ready for its opening on the 10th. I have to say I struggled trying to keep the tower straight which "curves" its way up to its delightful copper roof. 30 minute sketch.
...and this one's specially for Betty: Western Docks from Eling
Here's a sketch I did today - one of several studies for a future commission to show views of Southampton. I'm trying to compose a view that can be recognisable as well as a personal interpretation. We'll see but whatever the outcome it's been a joy to partake en plein air in such lovely March weather. This sketch shows the view looking west from the end of Mayflower Park - about 45 mins.