This is a view of the front of St Benet’s Hall, in St Giles, Oxford, looking South.
I drew this as a commission, for Ken Craig of Canongate Design. It will form the front cover of a publication.
The challenge was to fit the view onto a sheet with A4 aspect ratio, in such a way that the façade of St Benet’s Hall is on the right. The front door had to be to the right of the centre line. Because the timescales were short, and the country was in Covid-related restrictions, I worked from photos, memory and imagination.
Janet Smart kindly provided photo references, including pictures of the architectural details.
Thankyou to Ken Craig for the commission, and for providing the scanned image of my drawing at the head of this post.
The colours are Buff Titanium, Green Gold, Phthalo Turquoise, Mars Yellow, Burnt Umber and some Perylene Maroon to make the greys. I drew it on a paper block of Arches 300gsm NOT watercolour paper, 9″ x 12″.
I’ve done quite a few sketches in Oxford.
Phoenix Picture House, Oxford
Here is a view looking south down Walton Street, from The Jericho Café, Oxford. It was raining outside. People peered in through the windows. One person actually came inside the café to look at my picture. Or maybe it was to escape temporarily from the rain. They looked at the picture, in any case, and…
Sketching in the Ashmolean Museum
What is the purpose of a museum? The previous evening, I’d been to a lecture by Tim Reeve, Deputy Director of the V&A. He had described, with great conviction, a new building they plan for East London, in “Here East” on the former Olympic Park. It will open up the V&A storage and logistics centre…
Oxford: Pitt Rivers annex and Merton Chapel
This little building to the right (South) of the Pitt Rivers Museum has often intrigued me. It has four chimneys. one in each corner. After I’d drawn it, I went to try to find out what it is. It appears to be connected to the Pitt Rivers Museum, but has no special name itself, and…
Oxford, St Giles
As the daylight faded, I made this sketch from outside 37 St Giles, Estagun House. St Giles is the name of the road going North out of Oxford, and also of the Church, which where the road starts. There has been a “St Giles” church near Oxford from at least 1120. “St Giles is supposed…
Two sketches in Oxford
Here is the corner of Catte Street. On the left is the Kings Arms, a Youngs pub. The marvellous turret on the right is part of the Oxford Martin School. This building was originally the “Indian Institute”. It was designed by Basil Champneys in 1884. The weathercock is an elephant. It now houses the Oxford…
Old Observatory, Oxford
A sketch done in the Science Park. Here’s a sketch showing the Nuclear Physics building.