Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Summer Sunday Sketching West Smithfield

This post was very nearly called "why I love sketching from cafes".

Henry VIII Gate, St Bartholomew's Hospital
8" x 10", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I get a table and chair and drinks to order - plus it's very "conveninent" if I have too many drinks!  Then there's the ear-wigging aspect which can often be very entertaining.  This morning I got a complete unexpurgated analysis of the politics of an architects office and the ramifications of doing PR for the LibDems.  It's amazing how people think you go deaf when you're sketching right next to them!

This morning, I was sat outside Carluccios in West Smithfield this morning.  For the first sketch, I had a cappuccino and sat to the right of the door looking towards St Batholomew's Hospital and sketched the Henry VIII Gate into the Hospital. 

Here's a little about the history of Barts from the hospital website - and an explanation for why Henry VIII should have a Gate named after him
It was founded, with the Priory of St Bartholomew, in 1123 by Rahere, formerly a courtier of Henry I.
Refounded by Henry VIII, who signed an agreement granting the hospital to the City of London. The Priory was closed as part of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, and although the Hospital was allowed to continue, its future was very uncertain as it had no income with which to carry out its functions. The citizens of London, concerned about the disappearance of provision for the sick poor, and alarmed at the possibility of plague breaking out, petitioned the king for the grant of four hospitals in the City including St Bartholomew’s. Henry finally relented; near the end of his life he issued two documents, one a signed Agreement dated December 1546 granting the Hospital to the City of London, and the other Letters Patent of January 1547 endowing it with properties and income. Along with Bethlem, Bridewell and St Thomas’, St Bartholomew’s became one of four Royal Hospitals administered by the City.

For the second sketch, I picked up my stuff and moved to the left of the door and had another cappuccino - followed by lunch of Insalate di Mare (Mediterranean prawns, squid rings and mussels in a light lemon oil and chilli dressing served on mixed leaves - and very nice it was too!) - and looked left to sketch Smithfield Market.

I sketched Smithfield Market in the Spring - see The Courtauld, Old Bank of England and West Smithfield (April 25 2010) - and I this means I need to come back in the Autumn and Winter to sketch it again.

Smithfield Market on a Summer Sunday
11" x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is the "original sketch" which took a little over an hour.  I'll probably continue to work on it to finish off the tree and the sky and deepn some of the values.  Plus this scan is looking a bit weird and needs sorting!



  1. Both these sketches are so lovely! I like the tender colours and the composition that always includes architecture together with nature.

  2. Very cool drawings. I really like them. :)

  3. Beautiful paintings. I like the softness that you've captured and I loved reading your reflection of your time in the cafe.

  4. I love the St Barts pic. You have captured the grandeur of the building perfectly.

  5. Love em both! The first one has a painterly quality and the second you did a great job of keeping perspective and making the arches sharp...different feel, very nice too.
    I'm hoping to get up to Edinburgh sketching in the city.

  6. Thanks for all the comments - it was so nice to be out sketching again - with cappuccino on tap!

  7. Nice blog you have. great job!


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