Wednesday, 4 August 2010

New Walk Sketch

image: Watercolour, pigment liner pen and pencil on 220gsm Bristol Board.

Earlier in the year I took the bus over to Leicester to see an art exhibition which was held in the museum in New Walk. New Walk is a tree lined pedestrian street streching almost a mile (I would say) from Victoria Park sloping gently down to the city centre. Along its route are numerous cafe's and pubs etc., most in the continental style with chairs and tables outside, often under parasols. It really is a beautiful part of of Leicester, and at the bottom end is not far from the train station.

While walking down, I couldn't resist taking a few photos, with a view to painting at a later date. The steady stream of people going up and down about their business is such a wonderful atmosphere to take in and be a part of.

Here I've tried to recreate that atmosphere with a loosely drawn and painted sketch in the pen and wash style that I like doing. It's not a masterpiece I know, but the enjoyment of creating something like this certainly gives one a sense of achievement. This could be the subject of a much more detailed watercolour work, but for now, I'm happy just to see it as it is - simple and not too fussy. 


  1. The pen makes for an interesting illustration style. Well done.

  2. I think you've created a very interesting picture by keeping the buildings at the sides subdued,so the attention can become completely absorbed into the characters walking to and fro. The trees also, make a nice framework for the people.

  3. I agree. This style works perfectly for this subject and it's not at all overworked. Perfect! Love it!
    I've never tried painting on board before. Is it much better?

  4. Thanks Melanie, I think the pen clarifies the detail.
    Alice, I wanted to keep the people as the main point of attention, and originally intended to keep the background blank. But then my wife said "Aren't you going to add the buildings?". So I put them in faintly and it looked much better - again my wife came to my aid!
    Sandra, thanks for the complements. Bristol board is not actually a board, but a very thick cartridge paper, which doesn't buckle so much when you add wet paint.

  5. This is fantastic! Wonderful atmospheric perspective. Of the people, I like the guy to the right best. The others are good, but I think their legs look just a tad too short. But, maybe they have short legs! I like this loose style!

  6. Raena, I'm glad you noticed the short legs of some of the characters. This was a direct result of upscaling the painting from a smaller photograph, but I hadn't noticed until I'd applied some of the paint. As a consequence I have to live with that one!