The end of term is a tiring place to be, and as much as the sketchbook work continues, blog posts do not…
The first sketch is from the centre looking towards the main altar, this gives the full height of the cathedral as does the second picture which is off centre in the left hand wing looking directly across to the right. Depicting the magnificent size to me, means the height, its an awe inspiring building. The difference between the two sketches is time, the first, my children were pootling about outside on strict instructions not to hit any tourists while on scooters, this meant that throughout the hours sketching I was interrupted every 5 minutes when they checked in to prove they were ok, carrying scooters off the stone floor. I have to say that my children are being very accommodating about the time this course is taking up, as long as we end up in Nero’s for a drink after they seem to be ok.
The second sketch I had a couple of child free hours and I kind of got locked into the space by a service so just kept adding detail. the ink wash was applied at home for a more informative tonal image. the final piece these informed was a loose adaption
A1, the paper prepared from the bottom up with potato sack and the top down with newspaper, I did this to help ground the picture tonally before I started. I then applied a mix of white gesso watered down with a bit of yellow and orange ink, I wanted to warm the paper up as the ceiling is artificially lit with comforting yellow hued spots. Then the deep blue middle part of the picture, this is the Prisoners of conscience window at the back of the cathedral, a piece of art that has attracted and fascinated me for many years, I can sit and look at it for hours, from a distance, the most striking element to me is the intense blue overall of the glass and I wanted my picture to reflect this eye-catching part. The lines were put on with the wrong end of a mapping pen again, in a blue ink to start. I then overplayed green lines. The width of the paper was giving me problems as the image is height over width but the paper seemed the right size and I didn’t want to chop it. So I hemmed in the sketch with ink wash after ink wash. I wanted to darken the picture significantly which because of the pools of inks drying time meant this took up the lounge carpet for most of the week. I then went over the lines with a darker blue so they stood out from the ink wash and finally added the altars gold.
I am slowly getting a sense of the arches that are the symbol that define this place, they create the walls and arch up the roof with perspective leading them of into the distance, which is what drew me to my next piece.
I finally remembered to box the picture in my sketchbook, (got kicked out for choir practise for this one, again my urchins were floating about the background) I liked the idea of confining it to a square and handily this was formed as long as I stopped at the top of the first arches. This is right in front of the main altar so the blue is more prominent as is the large golden cross with the candlesticks either side. I’ve had to take the ceiling behind the arch a deeper yellow to distract from the richness of the altar-cloth but I’ve been determined not to rely on gold ink for the ornaments, preferring to achieve a deep yellow to match the other colours. This piece I’ve let gravity do its thing, its helped elongate the piece as all the drips run down, but I don’t think this has been the best piece of the assignment.
An unexpected early wake up (its hayfever season, I wake up wanting to scratch my eyes out, I’m trying not to be too reliant on antihistamines this year) had me thinking about structured shapes
These are the recuring lines that have happened throughout the sketchbook, I nearly went through the page with aquarelle here, but you get the idea. This led on to the chapterhouse roof, this isn’t a perfect sketch (worked off a photo), but I have a better idea what geometry needs to be in place to get this accuratly and I think that will be interesting as a larger square. So thats next.
Today we are going to Mottisfont abbey, they have an exhibition of drawings from Southamptons amazing collection, hockneys constables etc, I’m hoping to find some inspiration because I think its time to draw this assignment to a close soon, the sketchbook hasn’t been very experimental for this, but it has been very well informed and as a result leaves more space for the larger pieces to be the experiments.