Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hampstead Heath and the Boating Pond

Yesterday we went to Hampstead Heath to walk on the Heath.

You can see the circular route we took from the tube, across Hampstead Heath and back again on this Google Map of Hampstead Heath Walk #1 - circular walk to the Boating Pond.

We walked from the tube down Flask Walk and spent some time sheltering under the trees in Well Walk opposite where John Constable used to live at 30 Well Walk as a heavy shower passed by (see my earlier post on Travels with a Sketchbook - Hampstead - Flask Walk, Burgh House and John Constable).

The weather forecast had been good but we seemed to spend the first half an hour after we got to the Heath dodging showers. This is isn't too difficult as you walk down the path which extends across the road from Well Walk as it involves walking through a green tunnel of mature trees. Although we could hear the shower overhead we stayed dry underneath.

It was very odd to think that this was probably the walk that Constable took every time he visited the Heath from his home in Well Walk. I've got a book about Constable and Hampstead and intend to spend some time on my favourite hobbies when travelling with a sketchbook - walking in footsteps of artists who have gone before.

I started a sketch while sat in the shelter at the sports field as the heavy shower proved persistent but didn't have time to finish it as the sun came out and rain stopped.

So we headed out into the open part of the heath and walked across to the Boating Pond where I did the sketch which you can see below. I always like to have a sketch of the day new relatives are born if possible. This one is for Amalie who arrived safely yesterday morning and made me 'very nearly' a great aunt.

Amalie's birthday - at the Boating Pond on Hampstead Heath
11.5" x 17", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney Sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

We then walked back past the Mens Bathing Pond and across the edge of Parliament Hill Fields and down to the other ponds before walking down Downshire Hill - past the road which contains Keats House - the house which poet John Keats used to live in - and back to the main road. Where we stopped for a cappucino at a branch of Carluccios and sat outside while I sketched the plane trees and the view up the hill.

Carluccios and Rosslyn Hill
pen and sepia ink in Daler Rowney Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Then back via Waterstones at 68-69 Hampstead High Street where we indulged in one of our favourite occupations - browsing the books. Walking and bookshops are always a good combination when travelling!

Note: Keats House reopened on 24 July 2009, after a major restoration projectand I think will be the subject of a future trip - and sketch. This is where Keats wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale', and fell in love with Fanny Brawne, the girl next door.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Katherine, love your sketches,would you mind me asking a question? How do you determine which colours you are taking with you? I saw your pencil-box,which is for sketching out,but if you had to chose only couple of pencils, what would they be?
    I was so inspired with what I`ve seen here, that I decided to try sketching "in the wild" myself and I encountered the problem almost immediately - all colours which I had,were wrong colours... I had appr.15 pencils with me and I couldn`t get the colour I was after. Or, am I too much of a copyist? But, from the other hand,colourful sketches are supposed to capture the colour which I see,or am I wrong here?
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful art,
    kindest regards,


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