Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sketching in Neal's Yard

After sketching at Seven Dials I walked down to Neal's Yard which is nearer Covent Garden. In fact it's about a couple of minute's walk from both Seven Dials and Covent Garden Tube Station.

Neal's Yard
8.5" x 11.5", pencil and coloured pencils

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

A small alley between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street opens into Neal's Yard, a small courtyard which is a slightly hippy home to healthy food (eg Neal's Yard Salad Bar and Neal's Yard Deli - which is the purple and orange building to the right of my sketch above); natural remedies (Neal's Yard Remedies) and other new age type shops - mixed in with beads and back rubs! As you can tell having Neal's Yard in the name has some cachet!

Trees in bins, Neal's Yard
11.5" x 8.5" , pencil and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The colours are a refreshing change - although trying to cope with quite so many complementary colours at one and the same time slightly overwhelms the eyes.

I sat at the Souk end and then went and sat on the bench outside Neal's Yard Remedies (on the left of the sketch at the top) and drew the view of from the other way on - of trees in coloured bins and the green seats which surround them - against the inevitable acid orange painted brick walls!

On the way out I paid a visit to Neal's Yard Dairy - to sniff the cheese - as I'm not allowing myself to eat cheese at the moment (diet!).

The top sketch didn't look right when I got home and I realised that in trying to work through the complexities of the pattern of horizontals and verticals PLUS all the local colours I'd completely lost the value pattern which had attracted me to the view in the first place. A little bit of attention with an eraser to pick out the lights and reinforcement of the darks with my pencil and my sketch was looking much more as it should do.

Sketchercise: there was a fair bit of trekking around - but sketching in central London doesn't rack up the distances as much as walking in parks and alongside canals and rivers!

However I made myself walk down through a very busy Covent Garden down to Embankment to catch the District Line tube home - which is where I paid a visit to the art section of the Waterstones book shop. I'm just about to sit and write the review of that for Making A Mark reviews......

[UPDATE and here it is Art Bookshop Review: Waterstones (Covent Garden) ]


  1. So beautiful, I love your sketches. I'm a little shy of drawing in public yet, but you inspire me to keep trying!

  2. Whatever you did with your magic eraser on that top drawing really worked, Katherine. It's terrific. You should sell it to someone in Neal's yard for their point of sale material.


I always check identities and ALL links in comments for spam.

Due to excessive attempts to introduce spam via comments on this blog, I've introduced a regime where all comments with links in the ID or text to the websites of hotels/resorts/tourist destinations will NOT be approved and are deleted. The websites of repeat spammers are also reported to Google.

Nice, sensible people who are not new to blogging probably don't need to read my Comments Policy