Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sketch Crawl #1: Sunderland

Sunderland University 
(Pitt medium fibretip and Pentel Brush Pen in A4 sketchbook)

My very first sketch crawl! And it was fun. I met Michael Lee, who'd organised the day (he might quibble at the use of the word "organised") at Sunderland University on a bright sunny day and after some brief introductions we set to drawing. While I decided on this rather minimalist building (best not to be over-ambitious at the beginning, I thought), Michael opted for something else. Whatever it was, here he is drawing it.

Having limbered up, we moved on to something much more taxing - the Empire Theatre.

Empire Theatre, Sunderland
(Pitt medium fibretip, coloured pencil 
and grey brush pen in A4 sketchbook)

Talk about complicated and fiddly! I got totally lost with that columned thingy at the top and the swags round the lion's head (for that is what it is) went far too wide. But hey! it's only a sketch. 

By the time we moved on, the band rehearsing in the pub over the road had still not mastered the song they'd been hammering away at.

And so to Keel Square, a new development in Sunderland. Or rather, a new open space, we found, with wind whistling in from all directions and a crazy BMX biker determined to whizz across anything we chose to sit on, so we retraced our steps to find a more sheltered view of the Londonderry:

The Londonderry, Sunderland
(Pitt medium fibretip, grey and blue brush pens in A4 sketchbook)

One of the hazards of drawing in the street is that you may attract the attention of interested but sometimes opinionated passers by. I attracted two today: one who seemed to be the cook in the Londonderry who just wanted know what we were doing; the second who I suspect was a patron of the Londonderry ventured the opinion that what I was doing was "not bad, not bad".

He may have been right. I added the blue wash after I got home and think it may have been a mistake, but too late now ...

Michael, who I think had produced two sketches for my every one, kindly pointed me in the direction of the Metro station. When I got there, the Metro was broken. I dunno, the good folk of Sunderland moaned for years that the Tyne & Wear Metro didn't go as far as Sunderland, so they built them an extension. What did they do? They broke it and made me get the bus home.

Transport snags aside, it was interesting to see Sunderland again after so many years and all in all, it was a Great Day Out. Thank you, Michael!


Stew Crowther said...

Hello Harry,
Fantastic sketches - loved them.
Oh, and I don't think the blue was a mistake at all :-)

harry bell said...

Thank you, Stew, much appreciated. And welcome to Boogie Street!

Icy Sedgwick said...

They're wonderful sketches! Wish I could have come but I was in London for the day. And that blue looks lovely :)

harry bell said...

Thanks! I hope we can meet up on another crawl.

marja-leena said...

How wonderful that you've taken up sketching on the street and sharing it with us on your blog! Glad to see you back! Love the work!

I am missing my long time print studio and my pals there after it was shut down two years ago. There is something to be said for in joining with the like-minded.

harry bell said...

Thank you, Marja-Leena! I've struggled for some time to simply get some work started. Sketch crawling in company has certainly picked me up.