Pre-Symposium Sketching: London and Oxford

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Just one week to unpack and repack between trips, and then we were off to the UK. We landed in London, dropped our bags at our hotel, and headed straight to the last hour of a Wren sketchcrawl organized by Pete Scully.

The idea was to sketch sites associated with the great English architect Sir Christopher Wren. The final venue was the Monument to the Great Fire of London. I sketched it quickly and later pasted on the relevant section from my vintage copy of Muirhead's Short Guide to London (1953). Do you see the collaged part on the left?

Monument to Great Fire, London, UK

M. went up to the top of the Monument to capture the sketchers. See if you can spot me.

After a group photo, a few of us went to Borough Market for a drink before dinner.

Borough Market, London, UK

The next day, M. and I hopped on a train to go up to Oxford. It's always fun to try to capture the fleeting scenes through the window.

Farmland, as seen from train from London to Oxford, UK

It was my second time wandering the Oxford streets, but the first time with a sketchbook. It was hard not to think of Endeavour and the Inspector Morse series as we contemplated the ancient halls of learning. Here's a sketch from inside the Trinity College grounds:

Trinity College, Oxford, UK

And one of Radcliffe Camera:

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, UK

Did you see the bicycles? They are on every street.

Street in Oxford, UK

We came back to London to meet a friend for dinner near One New Change, a shopping complex whose public rooftop terrace offers a fantastic view of St. Paul's and the London skyline. I saw why my friend had told me to bring my sketchbook!

St Paul's from One New Change roof terrace, London, UK

The next day, I met a former colleague for lunch at Canary Wharf. It was all suits and seriousness there -- not particularly picturesque. I did a quick drawing of some people outside Starbucks.

Outside the Starbucks, Canary Wharf, London, UK

After an obligatory stop at Cass Art in Islington for supplies, including a tin of Winsor & Newton water colour markers, we boarded the train at Euston Station -- bound for #USKManchester2016!

To be continued...

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  1. I've been waiting to see your sketches...and it was worth it. Looks like a great start pre-Manchester. I love the one from the train with the lines under the paint. Did you do ink first and then the watercolors? Great way to capture a quick view.

  2. Thanks Joan - and yes, I did a quick brown ink sketch first and then added the watercolors, balancing brush, water, and sketchbook on the tray table as the scenery whizzed past!