I was keen to draw this view of St Paul’s before it vanished behind the new building on 2-4 Cannon Street.
“PLP’s scheme, for global property firm Pembroke Real Estate, will replace a 1959 modernist office building by Theo Birks called Scandinavian House. The north facade, facing the cathedral, is the most orthogonally formal, with red sandstone cladding and a 3m window grid with anodised aluminium frames.
The south-western elevation tapers to create a public garden which will provide a new home for Michael Ayrton’s sculpture of Icarus.”
From Building Design Online 22 September 2014 | By Elizabeth Hopkirk
While I was drawing this, the traffic marshall of the building site came by, looked up at St Paul’s, and remarked that it was a “fine building”.
It was extremely cold, about 2degreesC, and I was wrapped up in my Loden coat and furry boots. You’ll notice I invented a new watercolour technique. It’s called “greasy fingers marbling effect”. See the extreme right of the picture. Before I went out, I put a LOT of hand cream on my hands, because this cold weather makes my skin crack. But then after I had been gripping the sketchbook, I found the paint didn’t stick. But it’s quite a good effect, I think.
I managed to complete the pen and ink drawing, and do most of the watercolour before the cold got to me. Then I retreated to the warmth of the Wren café in St Nicholas Cole Abbey Church.
There I met Amy Marsh @harshmissmarsh who posted my work-in-progress on her Instagram. In the café I painted the red cranes.
Coffee and a small and delicious Marmalade Cake, £6. They were just bringing out some delicious-looking lunchtime food. But I had places to go and work to do, so I exerted willpower and moved on.
The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of Saint Magnus the Martyr in the City of London, drawn from a bench on the Riverside walk.
Saint Magnus was Earl of Orkney, died 1118 and canonised in 1135. This is a Wren church, re-built 1668-1676, after the Fire of London. There has been a church hereabouts from at least 1128.
This church has a marvellous porch and clock, in the shadow in the drawing, but accessible from Lower Thames St. A notice in the porch says “This Churchyard formed part of the roadway approach to the old London Bridge, 1176-1831”.
Also in the drawing is the Monument to the Fire of London, another Wren construction, built 1671-77.
Also in the drawing are a number of 20th Century office blocks.
About an hour to draw, by which time it was dark.
The view looking West through the Millennium Bridge. Drawn from the Thames foreshore. About 45 minutes + coloured later.
The tall tower is 1 Blackfriars. It still has a way to go up.
From an office window
Above Great St Helens
The view from an office window, Tower 42 on the left. This was sketched from indoors, nice and warm. The challenge was to avoid getting watercolour spots on their pristine office furniture.
The view “above Great St Helen’s”, shows what you see if you look up towards the North from the Aviva building in Undershaft, near the Gherkin. The cupola is above St Helen’s Place, 62-69 Bishopsgate. This sketch done standing up, in the cold. Coloured later.
From the main gate of St Bartholomew the Great, off West Smithfield.
Here is a sketch from Preacher’s Court, Charterhouse.
I did it just after “The Well House” sketch.
I liked the three ages of buildings: the 16th and 17th Century Hall on the left, the Admiral Ashmore Building (2000) and the 1970s office blocks and flats behind, with scrappy enhancements, probably 21st Century.
I got very cold.
A brother came by and told me he was the oldest, at 88. He was going to lead Grace at lunch. Everyone would have to stand up. It was like being at school. “I have the mind of a 15-year-old boy,” he informed me, “You had better watch out!”
Here is one of my favourite views in The Charterhouse. That curling support for the guttering (top left) is characteristic: details that delight the eye.
I drew this standing in the roadway. The suppliers and drivers coming and going were very gracious.
Barbican towers are just visible over the autumn trees.
Here’s what it looked like before the colour: