Exercise: Study of a townscape using line


St Peter’s Street, Ipswich (drawing pen and water wash)

Initial sketchbook drawing

Initial sketchbook drawing

I found a cafe in St Peter’s Street in Ipswich at around 12.30pm and settled down with a strong coffee and my sketchbook. My niece Alice and her toddler were with me and they sketched too which made me feel  more comfortable. The sky was uniformly grey and sunless, rain was on the way.  It was difficult to discern any shadows. The light seemed to be directly overhead with a little from the right. It was a fairly quiet week day with very few people on the street.

This is not a particularly spectacular view (any port in a storm) but No 55, a surveyor’s office, has some nice architectural features and there were contrasting modern buildings in view. Shame the cafe wasn’t on the first floor so that I could have looked down on the scene.

Additional prep to look at the building detail

Additional prep to look at the building detail


I confess I hadn’t properly absorbed the brief for this exercise and while there is a fairly clear background and middle ground, the foreground isn’t particularly well thought out. The perspective is a little awry here and there. This is mostly due to several of the vertical lines not being quite straight. The dome is not precisely centred on the bay window below.

The final picture (which I drew from my initial sketch – see below – and a photograph) was looking a bit sterile so I added a light water wash. About two thirds of the way through my drawing pen ran out of ink and I changed to another, not realising that one was water soluble and one not. It is probably just as well both were not soluble or the whole of my  picture might have ended up a black smudge instead of just parts! The heavier black on the pavement has, fortunately, helped to ground the picture and stop the path floating so much.

I left out quite a bit of street furniture such as bins and street lamps. I only drew  little of the brickwork  but I think a few more patches here and there might have worked.

I’m finding drawing buildings and perspective a bit of struggle but learning rapidly as I go.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s