Friday, 23 August 2013

Cornish sketches

Just back from north Cornwall. Here are a couple of my favorite sketches from the last week. The first is of the main harbour in Padstow and the second of Polzeath, which has a big surfing community and currently where our Prime Minister is on holiday!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Manchester International Festival...more sketches

What a fantastic 3 weeks, lucky enough to see Sir Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston in Macbeth, Adam Curtis v Massive Attack, Goldfrapp and Mogwai playing their original score to the film Zidane. And the venues...Mayfield depot architecturally stunning and Albert Hall, just perfect! Here are some more sketches drawn in Festival Square. 

Updated website

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sketching at Manchester International Festival's Festival Village

Two sketches and a photograph of me painting (taken by the very lovely Mr Len Grant). The first sketch was done at an RIBA 'Love Architecture' urban sketching workshop that I ran a couple of weeks back. Great turn out and much enthusiasm for urban sketching!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sketches from Cyprus

I was lucky enough to travel to Larnaca, Cyprus last week to do some external examining at a college there. Here's what I had time to draw. Firstly at Manchester Airport - about 30 minutes, the second drawn on the marina promenade - 50 minutes, sketching with a colleague (we timed ourselves). Then the complex panoramic view from my hotel balcony sketched over 2 mornings. I remember from a holiday to Cyrpus years ago, the distinctive landing lights on top of dockside cranes - and also the radio mast and wanted to get them in my sketches. Then one evening, returning back to my hotel room after dinner and wanting to draw, I did my first night time the dark. All I could see were outlines of buildings and lights (lots of them) including the landing lights and radio mast. It's a bit of a departure from my usual style...strangely liberating, although looks a bit frenetic!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Urban sketching in Castlefield, Manchester

At last...a perfect afternoon for urban sketching. Here we are, the Manchester Urban Sketching group happy in the Manchester sunshine! We're in Castlefield, a historic and Victorian city centre regeneration area on a sunny Sunday afternoon in June. My sketch is of the Bridgewater canal basin, I really enjoy drawing narrow boats; my father had a boat on the Bridgewater canal for years, and I spent much of my adolescent years messing around on boats and canals. Quite a loose sketch, another instance of not having enough time, but enlivened with bright splashes of colour. Deansgate Chapel and the iconic Beetham Tower in the distance. Great output, some lovely work!

Manchester Urban Sketching group

Bridgewater canal basin, Manchester
Collected work from Manchester Urban Sketching group

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Shudehill Transport Interchange, Manchester

Another complex urban much to capture and so little time! Couldn't settle on a view and ran out of time, part view of tram platform with Shudehill car park and iconic Co-operative CIS Tower behind. Out sketching with Manchester Urban Sketching Group last Wednesday afternooon. Small turn out but some lovely work produced.

Shudehill Transport Interchange
Group session sketches

Saturday, 18 May 2013

My post on Urban Sketchers Symposium blog

London urban sketches

I have just spent a couple of days in London and wanted to share my sketches. The first one of Borough Market was sketched at dusk on Thursday evening and then the view from my hotel room was just so complex and busily urban, I wanted to capture it in a sketch rather than photograph. Yesterday walking along the Southbank, I spent an hour (I gave myself a fixed time) on an unseasonably bitterly cold afternoon, to complete a pretty challenging view from St Paul's round to Tate Modern. Lots of urban clutter and bold splashes of colour make for an exciting urban sketch!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Recent sketches of railway stations

I find myself drawn to sketching railway stations, maybe it's the thrill of being on the move to somewhere else - often in my case crossing the country to Cornwall, or perhaps it's all that perspective! Platforms, columns, signage, trains (of course!) all receeding into the distance. And people, lots of them. Bags, cases, seating, lighting. A whole medley of urban clutter to capture in a few minutes whilst waiting for my train. 

Here are 3 recent sketches:

Birmingham New Street Station...arguably the most cluttered UK station of all.

Como Station (for Lake Como), in the beautiful Italian spring sunshine.

And Crewe, Cheshire, such complicated roof structure makes for an intoxicating perspective sketch.

Monday, 6 May 2013

My website and thoughts about Etsy

I have made a few updates to my website, I want to try to illustrate how my work has changed recently with all my urban sketching...I wear my 'I'm an urban sketcher' badge with pride. I also now have links to my etsy site on my homepage with thumbnail images. Etsy has been a bit slow for selling, but I do think there is a good potential audience out there, particularly in the USA / Canada - and I do think the site is graphically very pretty. There is lots of lovely work on it, if only I had more time to browse it more regularly.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Milan Cathedral

A belated post from Milan. I took time off from visiting Milan Furniture Fair to do this urban sketch of Milan Cathedral and the Piazza del Duomo. Galleria Emmanuele Vittorio II just in view to the left of the sketch. It took about an hour and a half. I gathered quite a crowd at one point! I wanted the watercolour to be quite subtle and not too distracting from the detail in the sketch hence the paint is virtually monotone.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Urban Sketchers Symoposium

I am thrilled to be attending the Urban Sketchers Symposium in fabulous Barcelona in July, which sold out in less than 2 hours. Luckily I was working at home on Monday so planned my time to be ready when registration went live Monday 1pm GMT. Not only that, I have enrolled on workshops with some of my favorite urban sketchers including Tia Boon Sim and Luis Ruiz. It promises to be an overwhelmingly creative few days and I can't wait to completely immerse myself in an urban sketch-fest!

I am now an official USK member for Manchester and you can find me on the global blogroll

Here's my most recent urban sketch. All Saint's Gardens, Manchester on a freezing cold March afternoon, a couple of weeks back. Sketch is so loose because I couldn't feel my fingers! It took about 20 minutes including splashes of watercolour.

All Saints Gardens, Manchester

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Kurio Up North masterclass in urban sketching

Slightly belated post but I had mentioned previously that I had been invited to run an urban sketching masterclass for the first Kurio Up North, a programme of events organised by Colebrook Bosson Saunders, an award-wining London ergonomic design company. This took place on Thursday March 14th, was facilitated by local creatives No Chintz, and the venue was Bench in the Northern Quarter (Manchester). Our audience was comprised of about 40 architects and interior designers. After my brief introductory talk about urban sketching, we set about doing a couple of hours of informal drawing and painting. After a couple of hours, a glass of wine or 2 and a pie(!) we shared our work and photographed it. A shortlist was picked and some rather splendid prizes awarded. 

What I really want to say is that it was great that so many people turned up on a chilly March evening and our drawing challenge was met with such enthusiasm. It proves there is a real interest in sketching and needless to say some lovely work was produced (as expected from a room full of architects and designers)!

Because I now teach, my days are filled differently and I have the time to be more creative than when I worked full-time in architectural practice, but I am fully aware that other people aren't afforded that luxury - of time to be simply creative. I was delighted, and quite astonished that people had made such an effort, and so obviously enjoyed the sketching part! It demonstrates there is a real appetite for urban sketching and hopefully we have a recruited a few new members for our Manchester urban sketching group.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Urban Sketchers: Out and about and Inside In.

Urban Sketchers: Out and about and Inside In.: Life's been so hectic with work to finish for my solo show at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.  It opens on 23rd March and we&#...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Kurio Up North

I am very excited to be doing an urban sketching masterclass for my good friends at Colebrook Bosson Saunders - a London design company who manufacture their own award winning ergonomic products and 'bridge the gap between furniture, technology and people'. They are bringing their fab Kurio events programme to Manchester for the first time. We're hoping for an evening of convivial sketching, no experience necessary.  Evening of March 14th at Bench in the Northern Quarter. Refreshments (drinks and pies!) by Tea Cup and the evening is being organised by the equally fab No Chintz. Bound to be an unmissable evening (as long as I can hold my nerve!). Do email me if you'd be interested in attending.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Coffee shop sketch...(Cafe Nero, Didsbury)

I keep telling prospective students in interviews that they should sketch more and refer them to the Urban Sketchers website. I suggest that if they are offered a place on our course, then over the summer when 'A' Levels are done, and there's just the long wait for the results, that they buy a Moleskin pocket sketch book and spend time drawing the world around them. And, where better to start than in a coffee shop...I always suggest. So I finally took my own advice! This is Cafe Nero, Didsbury. It's a busy view but I have restricted the watercolour palette and picked out highlights in cerulean blue and bright red. This sketch was done yesterday afternoon and took just under an hour and a half.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Manchester Urban Sketchers group January 2013

It's our first event of the new year tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. We're sketching around the MMU campus and I have a particular (and quite complicated) Manchester skyline view in mind. I'll report back on progress shortly!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Padstow Harbour 1

Padstow Harbour 1 by simoneridyard
Padstow Harbour 1, a photo by simoneridyard on Flickr.

Sheltering in the bandstand! About an hour's sketch. Jan 2nd 2013 looking at the harbour with Rock's sand dunes silhouetted behind, across the estuary. Dusk falling, hence slightly moody watercolour.