Buildings 3: Architecture with a Cultural or Community Interest

October 20, 2021

The Tower, Fountains Abbey
Because the abbey is a ruin parts of the outside and of the interior of this tower are visible at the same time.
The sketch was made on site with non-waterproof ink brushed with water which is a great way to record tone with the minimum of equipment; just a pen, in this case a Rotring Art Pen, a water brush and a sketchbook.

This week we’ll consider a single building, a theatre, church, castle, or a mosque, in use or ruined, that has a particular appeal to you. It is always best to choose a place you know, have walked around, hopefully sketched and photographed as you will have a memory of how it felt to be there not just the nuts and bolts of the structure.

A different view of Fountains Abbey showing its setting and the position of the tower again made with non-waterproof ink brushed with water.

Just a few of the many ways artists have tackled buildings can be seen at the Pinterst Board below

It includes Impressionist paintings, works by John Piper and also by the contemporary artist David Tress and a few others. These artists use both different materials and different approaches to painting architecture. Perhaps try making several sketches from your reference and while you are drawing think about what you want to communicate about the place.

Is it the architectural details that interest you and how much should you include? Are you excited by the textures and patterns or graffiti on the walls. Do you want to suggest the mood or time of day with the lighting and colour? What do you feel about this building; is it joyful and uplifting or sad and lonely. Are you overwhelmed by it’s size etc. How much of its surroundings will you include and/or do you wish to paint only part of the building?

By making these initial sketches, especially if you have references from different viewpoints of the same building, you will also familiarise yourself with all it shapes and angles and become much more aware of how it is constructed. Last week’s session should help with this.

The Evening before Market Day, Settle
Most of this very loose sketch is taken up by the huge and rather gothic building with turrets and bay windows beside the market place. I sketch . I took photos and left to make dinner. My camera will capture the detail but my sketch will supply the quirky grandeur of the building and its surroundings.

If you have time look at the many paintings Monet made of Rouen Cathedral at different times of day. Enjoy looking at more works by John Piper and David Tress and then set about your own building work! Have fun!

Your paintings:

Line and Wash
by Mali
Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Boveney
Mixed media by Sandra
Binham Priory, Norfolk
Ink and watercolour by Maryon
Reading Town Hall
Acrylic by Malcolm
Ink and watercolour by Ann
The Lyons at Bledlow
Ink and Watercolour by Heather
At the Tate
Ink and Watercolour by Ann
Brighton Pavilion
Drawing by Heather

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