Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Week in London

Even though my base is Montreal, I travel a lot and bring my sketchbook with me. Starting now, I am spending the next three months living with my girlfriend in the heart of London, UK, so will be adding new sketches from London every week or so. Our place is a quaint one-bedroom flat five minutes from Russell Square (see my R.Square sketch of the businessman - many of them here in London! - relaxing while talking on his mobile). These, then, are the first few sketches from London. As you can tell I have been visiting here and there, keeping an eye out for what I think are exciting visual and design possibilities. I also try to tell a story where I can. I rarely try to capture a touristy scene. Rather, I'm more interested in exciting shapes, textures, and lines, and the way things of the natural world (perhaps a neck line, or the deep shadows within a dark pub) create things of visual interest. Inevitably I draw a lot of interiors... Lately I've been drawn to ever smaller things, like the abstract patterns created by dark patches underneath bush-like trees (where the light doesn't hit) or within confines like windows or corners, vaulted archways... etc. I try to heighten these contrasts by using the brush pen very thickly there. I almost always depart from what the scene actually looks like for the sake of heightening the contrast and making interesting abstract shapes. A good example is the drawing of a wooden bench in front of bushes and trees in the quiet little Heathcote Quad, London House, a part of the building where we are staying.