Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sketching Cambridge: Magdalene College and Magdalene Bridge

Magdalene Bridge - sketching the sketchers and the Scudamore Punters
pen and ink and coloured pencils, 9" x 12"
on Arches HP Block
On Sunday 23rd August I drove up the M11 to Cambridge to join the Urban Sketching Cambridge Group ( also at https://www.facebook.com/uskcambridge) which is based there.

They had got permission to sketch inside Magdalene College.  For some reason I spent all my student years in Cambridge without ever knowing anybody in the east part of the college so this was a novel experience for me.

They were planning on a couple of hours sketching before lunch - and I wanted to see the Watercolour exhibition at the Fitzwilliam in the afternoon so I needed to be speedy!

I decided to focus on just doing pen and ink sketches and then adding colour when I got back home.

I started by sitting in the corners of one of the courtyards of Magdalene College and sketched the sketchers.

Magdalene College: Pen and ink sketches of Cambridge Urban Sketchers #1
11" x 8" in a Moleskine Sketchbook
Next are the two sketches above completed with colour - using coloured pencils - when I got home. I'm not sure who I've sketched in #2 below!

Magdalene College: Pen and ink sketches of Cambridge Urban Sketchers #2
pen and ink and colour pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
Magdalene College: Pen and ink sketches of Cambridge Urban Sketchers #3
Sketching Sue Smith under the Pepys Library Portico (or is it a Loggia?)
- the words at the top say Bibliotheca Pepysiana 1724
pen and ink and colour pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
I then moved around the river side of the college and drew from the wall which separates it from the River Cam and the extremely busy Scudamore Punt station. I listened to lots of different punter guides explaining the college and the bridge and Cambridge generally to those on guided tours while sat in a large punt.  I also watched a few novice punters receiving their instruction on what to do when taking out a punt for the first time.

If I'd had more time I'd have loved to have drawn the comings and goings of the punters beneath me - especially the bit where those who knew the rules came up against those who didn't!

It's not too far to Cambridge - so I shall be back sketching with the group again - although maybe not every outing.  I saw some amazing sketches at lunchtime - not least the panoramic sketches done by Peter Wenman

Panoramic sketchbook by Peter Wenman held by
Peter Wenman on the left and Yasemin Gyford on the right
It was also great being back in a place which holds lots of memories from being a student 40 YEARS ago!  I walked with a friend down Trinity Street and Kings Parade to the Fitzwilliam Museum with a constant chorus from me of
  • "That's just the same!" (e.g. Heffers and all the colleges and Fitzbillies - even if I did forget precisely where the latter was!) and 
  • "Oooh, that's changed!" (e.g. The Copper Kettle looks completely different and whatever happened to Eaden Lilley who did my graduation photo?).

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