Part Three, Project 5, Exercise 1 -Sketchbook of townscape drawings

Streets in townscapes, from industrial buildings to a collection of domestic houses, offer diverse opportunities for using a variety of colour media.  Focus on one particular building, for example a corner site or a building façade, and notice how the other buildings support your main focus.  Make written notes about your sense of the place. Take note of your eye level which will become the horizon line.  

Make a detailed study with a 3B pencil, in a 10cm square, showing a section of the building to help you get the essence of the structures in front of you. Draw a second 10cm square tonal study showing how the light falls across the building.  Make notes about the direction and strength of light, time of day, shadows, colour,the use of the buildings, movement of people and anything else that will help your decision-making for a larger piece of work.  Decide on the most interesting view. Sometimes it’s only when you begin to draw that you spot an exciting view. Plan in your sketchbook where everything you intend to include in your drawing will be. Draw the main shapes in pencil or charcoal before you commit yourself to colour. Find your own unique view of your chosen place. Your drawing should have a sense of the actual location but you don’t have to include everything you can see. 

This exercise evolved away from the initial instructions.  I carried out a few initial small sketches and really like the value they give to your thought process.  However, the light was rather grey and flat during the days I was trying to do this and I always seemed to be in the village in the early morning, meaning it was pretty quiet and devoid of people, so I felt there was a limited amount to say about atmosphere, colour, light, people…..etc.  The process of making these small sketches was an effective way to determine the important shapes and to work out what to leave out from the scene, without committing a lot of wasted time and effort into the work.


I progressed away from the initial exercise to drawing a variety of scenes in my sketchbook thinking about the sense of place, atmosphere, interesting shapes, light, texture, colours etc.  However, I did not create a finished piece from all of these drawings.  I found I was veering away from the course a little as I was interested in the subject matter, but was finding it hard to settle on one scene and develop it.  However, the final piece for assignment three was a development of the work done in the 10cm x 10cm sketches above and I felt that the observations made during this time were a key part of the evolution of the assignment.




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