Friday, 24 April 2015

From Blackfriars Bridge




My cycling commute homeward takes me north over Blackfriars Bridge, close to Tate Modern. Looking east, Blackfriars railway station has recently been extended to stretch from bank to bank; its solar roof provides half of the station's energy. What I have always enjoyed about this view, from the safely of the cycle lane or during windswept interludes halfway across, is the way just a handful of London's most recognisable buildings poke up from behind the station. From the left come the Barbican towers, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower 42 (the old NatWest tower), the Cheesegrater with the Gherkin almost hidden behind…



…then the curvy lines of the new Walkie Talkie, before a gap for the river Thames beneath us (and the spine of the book), and then the pointy Shard, the brick tower of Tate Modern and finally its ziggurat-esque extension, due to open next year.

Look west, and this bridge is one of the best places to view sunsets in London (weather permitting, terms and conditions apply) – but somehow I like these views to the east just as much.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Millbank: the campaign commences


So the general election campaign is underway, something that was very apparent as I cycled through Westminster yesterday, with helicopters overhead, the prime minister heading off to the palace, and TV crews putting up temporary studios on the green across the road from the Houses of Parliament, one for the BBC, and the other for Sky. Allegra Stratton from BBC2's Newsnight was being filmed at a desk behind me as I drew this. My enthusiasm to keep out of shot meant Big Ben remains barely visible on the right hand side of the drawing.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

100 postcards in a box

Gabriel Campanario's hugely successful book The Art of Urban Sketching was published in 2012, and I was lucky enough to have my drawings included in it. Now comes a boxed set of 100 postcards of different images from the book – again including something by me – on sale in the UK from 2 April 2015 (Quarry, £12.99), and already out in the US. It's a great collection of scenes from every continent and 30 countries drawn on location by many of my favourite urban sketchers.
It's a tricky one: are they too good to post to people, or so good that they shouldn't be kept in a box but shared through the post? 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The 1967 Ford Mustang comes fifth


When did I start drawing cars? The 1967 Ford Mustang, above, has just come fifth in a poll of Britain's favourite classic cars – my drawing of it is featured on the website of the survey's findings, which was commissioned by The Car Buying Service. Number one, not surprisingly, went to the Jaguar E-Type (below). My great aunt Nelly lived on Brown's Lane, Coventry, where E-Types were made and test driven, and my brothers and I would sit on her gate and watch them go by when we went to visit her.
Did I vow then to have one when I grew up? No I didn't. Bikes and buses are much more up my street.


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Around the Victoria and Albert Museum


London's Urban Sketchers met up to draw in and around the Victoria and Albert Museum on Saturday. It was a great turn-out, helped by springlike weather. I stayed outside to draw for most of it, around South Kensington tube station (above), and across the road from the museum in Thurloe Square (below). The museum's first director, Henry Cole, lived in the house on its corner. It would have been an easy commute for him in the 19th century – easier than now, when crossing four lanes of speeding, outsized 4x4s and tour buses is required.



Sunday, 22 February 2015

Coming soon: a new book

http://www.rockpaperink.com/post/111370111616/hang-a-hammock
I have a new book out in a few months' time about drawing your way to your dream garden. (Yes, that's my back garden on the cover.)

Click on the cover to get a glimpse of what's inside.

I'll be blogging about it more in time, as well as tweeting and posting on Instagram. Follow me there.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Signing Sketch Your World at the Mall Galleries

I'm happy to say I'll be signing copies of Sketch Your World on Thursday 5 March at the Mall Galleries, London, from 3pm. I'll be there with Katherine Tyrrell, who will be signing copies of her new book, Sketching 365. (There is even a reduced price deal for anyone buying both books before 4pm on that date.)

Katherine and I will be bringing some of our sketchbooks, and will be very happy to talk about all things drawing. The signings will coincide with a Pastel Society event from 6pm to 9pm – details of entry are here – with music by David Buckingham on guitar.

And I'll be able to tell you more about my forthcoming book, Dream, Draw, Design My Garden, which is published soon. Here's a glimpse. I'll be posting more details here shortly.

For more details and directions, visit the Mall Galleries website. I hope to see you there.