Category Archives: Pen and ink drawing

Audlem Street Drawing Limited Edition Prints

Audlem drawing at the printers
Simon at Smith York Printers in Ironbridge and me, Ronnie, with the Audlem street drawing

Whenever I finish a drawing, I scan it as soon as possible as the original often represents over a hundred hours work. Given the size of the drawings  (the Audlem drawing is 2 metres long), the scanned file sizes are huge as I scan with a high resolution for the best quality prints and so that enlargements on to canvas can be made for festival banners.

The street drawings are non-standard sizes so there are not many printing firms that can handle this combination. That said, Smith York in Ironbridge is a place where Simon not only can scan, but he also makes adjustments to the scanned image in order to reproduce the best quality giclee prints on heavy watercolour paper.

Andy and Jane at the Old Priest House, Audlem
Jane and Andy with the large size framed print of the Audlem street scene – soon to go up on the wall of the cafe.

The first few limited edition prints are now ready and for sale. I took the first framed large colour print along to Jane and Andy who have been running the Old Priest House in Audlem for almost twenty years. As Jane herself has been included on the drawing, it’s a great keepsake for friends and family of the part they have played in Audlem life. Thanks to you both for providing us with a top destination for many a sturdy breakfast!

When I set out to draw a street, I make thumbnail sketches and take photos. Inevitably, I  photograph a few passers-by and I like to draw them too as they are an important part of the streetscape. It crossed my mind that people may wonder if they have been included on a drawing so here are a few photographed faces and the corresponding sketches.

Williams of Audlem
Williams of Audlem

Set within the lovely group of buildings known as ‘The Square’, there is a shop which has been in the same family since 1862 – it’s Williams of Audlem. I particularly like the sign-writing on the awnings and doorway – and the attractive flower baskets and flags all add up to it looking very elegant indeed.

Williams of Audlem
Williams of Audlem

Audlem is a cycling hub! Cyclists are hard to catch on the move but I managed to snatch a few taking off. The slow start can only be the result of a big breakfast…

Bikes audlem
Audlem Cyclists
Audlem Cyclist 2013
Audlem Cyclist 2013
phone man Audlem
Walk and talk – Audlem
Stafford Street
Stafford Street Audlem

Williams of Audlem and the Old Priest House are stocking limited edition (100 total) prints. If you would like to buy an unframed colour print, prices are as follows: small (800mm long) £95, medium (1200mm) £135  and large (1500mm) £175.

The prices reflect the quality of the print, the work involved in the drawing and include a commission to the trader. So, if you buy a print, you also support your local high street! There are also a selection of postcards from the drawing avaiable for sale. Please dont hesitate to contact me if you would like to reserve a print.

Stafford Street Audlem
Summer people in Stafford Street
Audlem people
Summer People in Audlem
summer people in Audlem
Mum and youngsters Audlem Summer 2013

Thanks for reading!

Bishy Road Begins

Bishy Road, York
Bishy Road, first few shop signs inked in

My earliest memory is being held in my Dad’s arms, travelling on the train from Kings Cross to York in the winter of 1962. I was only two when our whole family moved north from Sittingbourne, Kent, up to Acomb, York.

Bishy Road York
Millies and the Pig and Pastry, York

Life has moved us all in varied directions but last year saw us clearing the last of our dear Dad’s belongings from his home. We would get going early on and set ourselves a bookshelf to clear, or a cupboard to sort but it would always be followed by a treat…morning coffee out somewhere and The Pig and Pastry was a regular treat!

So after all these years I got to know the Bishy Road. What a community – I had to draw your street!

My drawings always begin with an old OS map and this too began with the old OS street maps in York library, then a sketch. I aim to catch all the architectural details as I hope my drawings will stand as an archive of our streetscapes as they stand at present.

pencil sketch
Pencil sketch of Bishy road – I sketch it all out full length before I work on the final drawing.

It is gradually taking shape on a 1.8 metre length of 300gsm water colour paper. For this drawing, I am working in permanent Indian inks: sepia and terracotta and using a mapping pen rather than my usual fixed width Rotring technical pen. It has more variety in the line. Let’s see how it goes!

pen and ink Bishy Road
First lines of pen and ink

Thanks for reading…oh and I have not forgotten about the south side of the street – that’s up my sleeve.

 

 

Dougie Mac at Station Stores, Whitmore

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It is the big Douggie Mac Bike Ride today. It’s terrific to see all the cyclists out in their jazzy colours for such a great cause, all very chirpy and making an early start on their bid for LLangollen. I have been meaning to sketch some of the buildings close to home so, continuing in the spirit of Sketch Book Skool, I sat outside the Sheet Anchor and sketched Station Stores along with a few cyclists!

A few examples of the smiles, waves and colour below. Thanks for reading!Image

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English Kitchen, Brunswick Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme

No 7 Brunswick Street, The English Kitchen

English Kitchen
No 7 Brunswick Street

I’m back from a wonderful family gathering and one of the first jobs on my list was to MOT my car. I popped the car into the garage but this time, packed my pens and sketchbook as there is a building close by that I have wanted to draw for quite some time.

No 7 Brunswick street stands out as a reminder of what was once a street of elegant town houses. The building next door is shrouded in scaffolding at present but the English Kitchen was just the right size for me to complete in one hit, standing with my back to Jubilee Pool.

First and second floor of 7 Brunswick Street
Look up!

Thanks to my friends who have encouraged me to get out there and draw – I completed the line drawing on the street and applied the colour at home. Here is the final sketch. Thanks for reading!

Pen and ink sketch of 7 Brunswick St
No 7 Brunswick Street in full technicolour!

 

 

Burslem Regenerates

East end of Market Place, Burslem, south side
East end of Market Place, Burslem, south side

Just a short post this time as I am about to head off to a big family gathering. Thought you might like to see a few more drawings which I have completed and posted over on the main website www.drawingthestreet.co.uk.  I would be delighted if you would click over and have a look.

Before you head over, a few words about the Post Office on Market Place, Burslem, below. This was a project which the Burslem Regeneration Company and my former workplace, Horsley Huber Architects had a hand in reshaping together with the owner.

Although the reinstatement of the original window layout is a relatively small job in the building industry, I do have an idea of the background work that has gone on behind the scenes by all parties to make this happen, there is more than meets the eye!

That said, this building now looks so much better and you can really see the overall impact when you look at the street as a whole.

Burslem Post Office, the Leopard, Market Place
Post Office and the Leopard pub, Market Place, Burslem
Burslem Post Office before the conservation work began in June 2011
Burslem Post Office before the conservation work began in June 2011

Moving down towards the west end of Market Place, there is a narrow gap, Market Passage where there is a faded mural.

Burslem Bear Market Place
The Burslem Bear

I would never have noticed the Burslem Bear had I not drawn this! A sign of Burslem’s history…

the Burslem Bear
The Burslem Bear
Market Place, Burslem
Market Place, Burslem

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Sketching the Week

Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider
Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider

Some years ago, I came across a book called “Everyday Matters” by Danny Gregory. It’s a moving and uplifting book, all sketches and handwritten notes, a jounal of the everyday moments of his life. I’ve since bought several other books of his, noticing each time how his sketching changed as his skill grew from daily practice.

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I have just completed my first week of Danny’s online sketching school, six weeks and six different teachers offering their tips on drawing. Some 800 plus sketchers have signed up from all over the globe, sketching and posting our most ordinary but meaningful moments. I’m hoping that this will give me the practise and discipline to join that wonderful community Urban Sketchers, so I can really get into the ribs of drawing streets on the hoof.

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Let sleeping cats lie

Somehow, capturing our own everyday matters really helps us see our surroundings with fresh eyes, no matter what the subject is….

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Using the other sort of paintbrush

All these sketches took between 5 and 15 minutes.

Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
cats on the wheelie bins
Sunbathing cats
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Clearing the former Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Contour drawing of Norman and Ollie, our Burmese cats.
Five minute contour line drawing of Norman and Ollie, our warring cats.

Thanks for reading and more sensible stuff on the next post…Burslem in technicolour!

 

 

 

Steeton Hall Gatehouse

An old etching of Steeton Hall Gatehouse made in 1982
Steeton Hall Gatehouse eched back in 1982

Hello again!

I recently cleared out the cupboard under-the-stairs to make way for some new plumbing. It meant shifting a battered portfolio from my student days and having a really good clear out – something I should have done years ago.

In amongst the awful stuff (that went straight into recycling) was something I had completely forgotten about – a measured drawing competition which I entered back in 1982. There it was – my tiny etching of Steeton Hall Gatehouse  along with the full set of measured drawings. I can’t honestly remember how exactly I made the etching although  I do recall it was with a small copper plate (approx 3″x 4″) and a metal point together with a pencil drawing…it is over 32 years ago, but there are my old initials to remind me.

It really is mine!
That’s me!

Steeton Hall Gatehouse is in South Milford, south west of York, my former home town. It’s under the care of English Heritage and is a fine example of a small, well preserved manorial gatehouse dating from the 14th century. I entered this competition because I loved drawing old buildings – so not much has changed there though the whole setting seemed a lot more rural back then!

Steeton Hall Gatehouse,  pencil sketch 1982
Steeton Hall Gatehouse, south elevation
pencil sketch 1982

Another thing that is evident is my growing interest in calligraphy. I think I would have drawn these letters with Rotring pens – it would be many years before I tried my hand at a quill! At least it was one step on from ‘Letraset’ applied letters.

Steeton hall Gatehouse plan
Steeton hall Gatehouse plan
Steeton Hall Gatehouse
Steeton Hall Gatehouse 

I will scan the measured drawings, there are six of them in total, plans sections and elevations, all drawn on A1 sheets and copied on to film. They are detailed down to every last 14th century stone. If anyone from English Heritage is reading this blog, please get in touch if you would like them for your records.

Oh, I didn’t win the competition but I did get a really good consolation prize: an A1 sized roll of tracing paper which, to a student architect, was actually worth something!

I didn’t finish clearing out the cupboard either. I got distracted further by an old envelope full of pencil, pen and ink drawings of old Arab architecture dated 1979, our last year in Bahrain. Perhaps I will post one or two of these one day, but I should be concentrating back on Burslem!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Burslem’s on the drawing board

Market Place North side small
Market Place, Burslem, North side

I have begun to draw up Market Place in Burslem. I took photographs on the most beautiful day last year and got a great welcome and a complimentary cup of coffee from the good ladies in Silver Coin Amusements, pictured below. As promised, they are on my drawing!

Silver Coin, Market Place, Burslem
Silver Coin, Market Place, Burslem

The black and white drawing above is shown so you can see work in progress. I have begun drawing the opposite side of Market Place and will add colour when both are complete.

I have also been overhauling my website -please do click on the link below to see the fledgling site.  I would welcome any feedback. Just let me know whether you can see the drawings on your computer ok – there  is so much for me to learn with all this.  I hope to get the new site and old name integrated in the next week or so. www.cargocollective.com/drawingthestreet