Something a Little Different

I try and keep Sunday’s relatively free from work stuff, and even to pursue some art that is nothing to do with birds. I feel very fortunate to own a business which incorporates so many things I enjoy but at the end of the day, work is work and it’s important to have a break.

I watch a lot of terrible movies on Netflix (I am very much in the “90 Minute Feel-Good” category) and they helpfully start the film with a panorama of the skyline where the flimsy plot will play out, so I am getting pretty good at identifying cities. I always get a frisson when I spot the John Hancock Centre (875 North Michigan Avenue) and Willis Tower as I love love love Chicago but San Francisco, Seattle and of course Manhattan feature frequently as well. I’m also learning Spanish at the moment so watch any films I can find that are set in Spain, although I’m not familiar with Madrid. I am fascinated by architecture especially art deco and brutalism, and recent trip to London Bridge reminded me of the London landmarks too.

This is a very long-winded introduction to my cityscape doodle, on the centre spread of a regular 140gsm sketchbook I was given last year. I have used my Parker pen with Schreibtinte verdigris ink which I remember fondly from my days when I would go to London weekly for a day off.

I started following Brandon Campbell on Instagram, an illustrator who does wonderful bright cityscapes as well as charming bird drawings. They remind me a little of Richard Scarry (that ages me!) and I wanted to do something free and gestural as there are times when it’s just wonderful to make marks and not worry about anything more. Here are a couple of screenshots from his Instagram feed:

Having started my panorama with some generic boxy buildings I added The Shard and a couple of other City structures, and then something a little NYC-ish, followed by Trellick Tower and an approximation of St Paul’s. In went a few bits from Chicago, a fuzzy memory of the Louvre, and the Torres Blancas from Madrid which I spotted in my Atlas of Brutalist Architecture. All this punctuated with coffee, breakfast pancakes, and the backdrop rainy Paris jazz cafe on YouTube. Blissful.

I added a wash of water to give some drama, and sort out a few of the numerous smudges, some of which I can blame on my cat but the rest were me forgetting that I’m right handed so really should start on the left and work my way over…

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