I had the joy of handing over my first art commissions last weekend. They were two hand drawn elevations of house fronts given as gifts to close family.
I’ve always been a lover of intricate detail and since the fast paced world we live in doesn’t provide much opportunity to slow down and take our time, detailed drawings have become the perfect outlet for me.
I was inspired by an instagrammer I follow called @maltzcreative, who does a lot of intricately detailed shop and house facades.
I’m hoping to make a thing of it, so if you are interested do get in touch and we can chat. More than happy for suggestions.
Hi there. Welcome to my weekly summary of sketches and review of progress.
This week features the start of a new grey mid-tone sketchbook that portrays British weather more appropriately.
Started with a quick lunchtime perspective in Victoria Park. Of course the cars hub-caps were my primary focus – in fact, I only added the rest of the cars outline after drawing the alloys. I also enjoyed exaggerating the curve in the road and the single yellow line.
Bath Abbey – 2min Sketch
As I walked past Bath Abbey (through the archway), I tried a quick outline thumbnail sketch. Admittedly, the proportions weren’t quite right, but [in my defence] I only had 2mins before lunch break was over. I later added the white sky outline.
Royal Crescent – 35mins
With just about enough time to do a sketch, I headed off to my favourite jaw-dropping location in the city to try and sketch it loosely.
Having then shared it on an Urban Sketching group I’m part of, it blew me away the incredible response I got – the most likes since joining the group. Major encouragement!
Moorland Road Shops
That same day (after work), I had caught some kind of sketching bug and just had to draw. This was the view out of a cafe window at some shops opposite. The sun was starting to set which was perfect for testing out a night scene with night lights.
Bath Abbey [from photo]
Having not drawn from a photo in a while, I went back to it in this next piece. I must admit, it is a lot better being somewhere and drawing what’s in front of you.
Rainy Milsom Street
Yes, indeed. I sat through a light drizzle to attempt this drawing. I really wanted to focus on the weather as it was the dominant thing in this scene.
And finally, I started a new grey mid-tone sketchbook which portrays British weather realistically. This is from a photo I took of the Holburne Museum in the snow.
Weekly summary of last weeks sketching efforts. This week, I joined a coffee and art group that meet weekly to chill, chat and draw. My cup of tea! Or coffee 🤔
I began by looking around at the light instalments in the room.
Then ventured onto my favourite pass time – people watching!
Finally, observing people wearing yellow, Bath rugby fans and random bags.
Earlier in the week, I observed details on the facade of the Guild Hall Market.
These were riverside people sketches in the sunshine. Drawn over lunch break. I particularly love the jogger (bottom left) and the dog. I haven’t drawn animals or nature much, which might be another avenue to explore.
I finally manned-up and drew the complex front of Bath Abbey. I mainly wanted to try out the latest addition to my art collection; the Uni Posca White Pen (I must sound like such a geek!)
FIRST I CHOSE MY SPOT: Outside a soon to be closed cafe.
Unfortunately, I did have to move midway through as they were collecting tables. Eek! This helped speed up my drawing process by focussing my attention on key forms and general outlines rather than the details. I also took a photo for reference later from the same angle.
THEN CAME THE DETAIL: I started working inwards adding more lineweight to the outline to add emphasis. This added more depth & contrast and made it more visible from afar.
I had to find my fingers again as it was now freezing. So I went home, had dinner and waited for the feeling to return before continuing (always a handy step!)
Then went over the sky with a black pro-marker and the windows with a 0.7mm pen.
A touch of the Zig Art & Graphite Twin pen shading before the main reason why I started this drawing – the White Uni Posca pen.
Oh . My . Goodness!
I love it! Absolutely love it!
The beauty of using a mid-tone sketchbook is that it has the best of both worlds. You can go one way with colour to add brightness or the other for darkness.
When using a conventional white paper sketchbook, the colours you add can only get darker. I imagine a black paper sketchbook would be the reverse and I hope to one day experiment in one (maybe when this one is done). I can imagine night scenes would be epic!
I also went back over this earlier sketch from the Royal Crescent highlighting the windows.
Anyways, enough from me. Let me know what you think.
It was my day off and so I ventured out to a couple of iconic places in Bath with my new sketchbook. This brown-toned sketchbook works well with Bath architecture as it effectively does the colouring in for you.
I started off at the Royal Crescent, spending roughly 25-30 mins. First tip for a sketch is proportioning. Try to imagine what you want to draw fitting on your page. If it helps, try to set it out by lightly marking your page (I certainly find it useful).
To the left of The Crescent is Marlborough Buildings, a steep row of terraced houses. I like how each house repeats its neighbours geometric order while stepping up or down the hill.
A much harder place to draw was The Royal Circus. It’s circular plan with 3 entrances means it’s easier to draw in plan (birds eye view) than in perspective. I had an interesting chat with a guy whilst drawing who used to rent a place round the corner. He said he always used to come here everyday just because he could – and why wouldn’t you!!
– pen and ink
– toned sketchbook
– I later added some white pastel colours for contrast to the Crescent
The aim is to do as many detailed drawings as possible, as often as possible, to fill up my sketchbook by the end of the year.
Drawn on location, this sketch is of a house close to the Holburn Museum in Sydney Park, Bath. The typical style of the area is of a 4 to 5 storey house. General proportioning is something that still needs work especially when drawing on site.