Part 3 project 5 exercise 1 townscape

I’m using my own photos for these as standing still or sitting in unsuitable seating is problematic due to a back injury, and keeping hold of items such as drawing implements and sketchbook tricky due to Dupuytren’s contractures in both hands. I also need glasses to see the page and sunglasses in bright light which is an incompatible combination. These are largely inconveniences most of the time but, in these circumstances, comprise an impediment to on-the-hoof sketching. Luckily, I often take photos and I have quite a few suitable ones. This first sketch though, is from a paused dashcam video which I’ve found to be an unexpected source of material.

They’re not brilliant, these sketches. I don’t really ‘do’ precision and I’m not keen on complexity in a building or scene. The lines and angles escape me and I find I want to resort to more generic and simplified orientations and shapes.

This is white Derwent pencil on black gesso (it was the next available page) and the rounded shape at the bottom is the car’s fascia under the windscreen.


This is a terrible representation of a shot of Lancaster university’s campus which is one of the most surreal places I’ve ever seen. Straight out of a virtual world simulation, it looks completely unreal. Not so much here, rendered in biro, that first building on the left an absolute crime against perspective.


Two boats on Brighton seafront suited me far better, unlike the darned arches and brickwork behind them. I will get the hang of this, but I suspect it will be when I need to do so for my own purposes. The key thing for me is that I know what I find difficult and I have an idea why that might be. I used to be able to do it and now it’s tricky, so is that an effect of the inevitable age-related degradation of vision, lack of practice, or has my information processing dropped a few stitches in the hand-eye coordination department?


This is from a google-provided pano of a series of shots at Broadwater in Lancing/Shoreham. I’m inevitably at the eye of the curve with the path, the grass verge, the waterway, and the row of buildings arching away to either side. In the drawing the buildings are too large, even those at the centre, but there’s something more attractive to me about a vista of this kind than twiddling with walls and bricks.


For me though, all of these are beaten hands down by a deteriorating concrete underpass. I’ll be very happy to move onto the assignment where I can develop one of those themes, hopefully demonstrating some of the skills these exercises are designed to address and probably don’t.

2 thoughts on “Part 3 project 5 exercise 1 townscape

  1. I am glad to learn of the challenges you face when trying to represent the subject you want. But I wan to say I love the result you are getting, the texture and flow of the lines, the simple value contrasts, the “soul” behind your choice of subject. I look forward to seeing how this evolves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ach, thanks! These things are supposed to be challenging but sometimes, just sometimes, I’d like to breeze through an exercise! Still, what would I learn if I did? The next step is going to be no more expert than the last – statues!

    Liked by 1 person

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