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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sketching London - sketchcrawls

On Saturday, we joined the Urban Sketchers London on Trafalgar square, where I was very happy to meet yet other sketchers I knew, besides our Asian friends. 

I was not surprised to see Martine, a sketcher from Paris who attends most big sketching events and who must figure more or less prominently in almost every sketcher's sketchbook. I know I sketched her a few times myself in the past. It is always a pleasure to see her.

KK, Pramote and Tia already at work
I imagine Trafalgar square is a popular meeting place. At the time we were there, preparations for the Busk in London festival were underway, adding a bit to the general confusion. To get more comfortable and away from the crowd, I climbed on Nelson's Column, where other sketchers were already tackling the vibrant scene.

A very relaxing spot in a very busy place
There are many statues all over the square, but this one, of the horse's skeleton, caught my attention in particular. There was a ribbon-shaped bit on which text was scrolling. I think it was numbers of the stock exchange. I was told that this particular statue was there temporarily and that artworks exhibited on this spot are regularly replaced.

Maybe it's Admiral Nelson's horse
After a quick bite, I tackled another giant of a subject, Admiral's gate. I tried out something similar to Pramote's technique, using a lot of water and dipping my watercolour pencils in water to make them nice and juicy. I felt exhilarated during this sketch, leaving behind any wish to make an exact sketch and just letting intuition guide me. I was fairly satisfied with the result and Pramote told me it was my best one yet.

Playing with accidents
The following day, Sunday, we met again by St Paul's cathedral for a sketchcrawl organised by Pete Scully, which he calls Sketching Wren's London. Pete started by giving us a bit of historic background on Wren and his work. He was very generous with his knowledge and even gave us a handout. I was sorry that we had to leave early to catch our train to Manchester.

I had time to make this quick sketch of the cathedral, sitting next to KK and Pramote. I let intuition guide me again and had a lot of fun with it. This sketch even earned me the highest praise from Pramote. He looked at it and exclaimed: "This is fun!" I couldn't be prouder of myself.

Even KK seemed a bit impressed :)
Before leaving, I walked around the cathedral for a bit and sat down to chat with Pete and make this quick sketch. I learned that Pete had been to Luxembourg in the past and would love to come back to sketch. Anytime, Pete! I will gladly guide you whenever you come.