This is a view from the wonderful new highwalks under “London Wall Place”, the office development.
Here is the drawing in situ on the high walk:
140 London Wall is a local landmark under threat.
It was designed by Powell and Moya, and constructed in 1972-76, as part of a 1947 grand plan* for development of the area north of Bank.
In my sketch I wanted to show the great mass of this huge rectangular building, so confident, and the way it shelters the activity below.
This sketch took about 1hour 30mins.
Then I walked into the picture, and found a stunning view across the old buildings in the Barber-Surgeons garden. This is a 5 minute sketch, coloured later.
*Grand plan: the 1947 Town Planning Committee publication, “The City of London; A Record of Destruction and Survival” by C. Holden and W.G. Holford.
For previous sketches of 140 London Wall (aka Bastion House) see
It has been snowing now for several days. Robin invited me to sketch The Charterhouse in the snow, and suggested a viewpoint from the second floor of the Infirmary.
From here I could see all three of the Barbican Towers. Someone was clearing snow in the foreground, but they moved on before I could get them in the picture.
It was a good place to sketch, warm and quiet. I could hear the muffled sounds of the nurses moving about below, and of the Brothers who were in the infirmary. Sometimes they called out.
Here is what the picture looked like before the colour went on.
This picture took about 2 hours: One hour for the pencil outline, half an hour for the pen, and half an hour for the colour – roughly. It took ages to get the proportions right. Especially in the snow, the eye sees detail in far-away objects, so the temptation is to draw them too big.
After I handed in my visitor’s badge at the gate, I went out into Charterhouse Square. I looked back at the Chapel. And did a quick pen sketch, standing in the snow.
This took about 10 minutes, coloured later on my desk at home.
Thank you to Robin, and to the Brothers, Master and staff at the Charterhouse for their hospitality.
The building which was Bernard Morgan House has now been pulled down. This is sad. It had a calm 1960s look, and ceramic tiles on the side.
I looked across the gap and could see the Welsh Church: Eglwys Jewin.
The church is the building with the green roofed turret and the long windows. It was founded around 1774. According to its website “capeljewin.org” in the 19th century it was “one of the most powerful and influential churches in the Calvanist Methodist tradition”. It was very well attended in the 19th century so they built a new and bigger chapel on Fann St in 1879. This was destroyed in the Blitz in 1940. The building I’ve drawn was built in 1960.
Lauderdale Tower is just visible, to the left of the picture, and Blake Tower is on the right. Ahead, behind the church, is Tudor Rose Court, a City of London building providing sheltered housing to people over 60: 16 leased, and 60 social rented flats.
Bernard Morgan House used to be a City of London building too. It was a police house.
I drew it in 2016:
Who was Bernard Morgan? There is a Bernard Morgan, born in 1924, who was a code breaker in the Second World War. Was it him?*
The destruction of Bernard Morgan House was opposed by a well-orchestrated campaign of local residents. But the residents did not prevail.
Taylor Wimpey are going to build luxury flats: “The Denizen”. This is how the view I’ve drawn will look after “The Denizen” is built:
Here’s another view of “The Denizen” from the Taylor Wimpey website. See how big it is! Fortune Park is the trees in the foreground. You can see Blake Tower on the right and Lauderdale Tower in the Centre.
Update, March 2018: John Tomlinson tells me that Bernard Morgan House was named for a councilman. Buildings and streets in the City of London are only named after people who died at least 20 years previously, and Bernard Morgan the codebreaker was evidently fit and healthy in 2014.
Yesterday I did an etching based on a sketch I made of the Cheesegrater and St Katharine Cree.
This is a post-card sized etching on copper plate, printed by the technique called Chine collé. Japanese paper is the coloured background, and is printed and glued to Fabriano Unica, all in one process. It’s a bit tricky, but gives a good result, I think. The Japanese paper takes the ink very well, and provides the coloured background.
The plate is made using a hard-ground etch, then aquatint. Hard-ground etch means I put a varnish on the plate, then draw the picture in the varnish, so revealing lines of bare copper. Then I dip the plate in acid for 20 minutes. The acid attacks the bare copper and makes lines. Then if I print it, it looks like this:
The next stage is aquatint, to make the tones. Aquatint is nothing to do with water, and nothing to do with colour. The name is misleading. The plate goes in a box, where I’ve turned a handle to make clouds of fine rosin. The rosin drops on the plate like rain. Then it’s annealed with a gas burner. Now there are lots of tiny dots in a random pattern on the plate. The skill now is to paint and dip the plate, so as to get the tones. The longer the plate stays in the acid, the blacker the tone. But if you leave it too long the acid bites off all the dots and the tone is light again.
The picture has 5 tones and plate tone. The darkest tone was in the acid for 4 minutes.
Here is the plate being inked up:
I did the printing on the Henderson press at East London Printmakers.
Here is a post-card sized sketch of people listening to the concert. It felt as though the stones were listening too.
Pen and ink in small Seawhite journal, about 20 mins.
I have previously drawn the Cheesegrater from Threadneedle Street. Today I went to find a good view from the East. I was keen to include the ancient church of St Katharine Cree.
Here is the Cheesegrater from Leadenhall, just east of Creechurch Lane.
The current building of St Katharine Cree is 1633. The tower that I’ve drawn is from 1504. Parts of the church date back to the Mediaeval Priory 1108. This place is a survivor. It survived
The Cheesegrater, aka The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall St, was finished in July 2014. The architects were Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
Behind, you can just see the cranes for 22 Bishopsgate under construction.
Drawn standing in the street, 1 hour, drawn and coloured on location.