Traditional Pen & Ink (5)

August 10, 2011

So the idea is to concentrate on architecture this fortnight in pen and ink, moving away from my scrappy sketching style to something fitting closer to the tradition of Pen & Ink. I’m not exactly sure what that tradition is because I have the reed pen work of Van Gogh in mind, and the crow quill & India Ink style adopted by Donald Friend. I have to dig out examples by Albrecht Durer, for example. I guess I’m aiming for something in the style of Arthur Guptill.

In the meantime, I thought I’d transcribe a work done by Ptolemy Dean, the architect who sketches on the BBC TV show “Restoration”. As you may know, Dean almost never draws a straight line straight; he has this wonderful wiggly line when he wants to draw a straight line. In addition, he goes home and floods the drawing with watercolour wash.

What I’ve attempted here is a contour drawing, where all the straight lines are straight and except for omitting several lines here and there, I’ve copied all the lines Dean has made. I have been careful to “join up” all the lines, but as you can see I have not been perfect in my joins. That will come later. It turns out to be entirely contour, except for a bit of cross-hatching in the church windows bang in the centre. Of course it was enormously tempting to transcribe or translate Dean’s shadows, which he adds in watercolour, but I think I’ll just try out a few contour-only architectural sketches first.

Obviously Dean’s sketches are sketches; he leaves out things and suggests heaps. His perspective is often suggested; you can see mine is wonky in places as a result.

I need to rough out something like this every second day if I’m to make any steady progress. Two days have already passed and the clock is ticking…


Dean, Ptolomy. Britain’s Buildings: Places & Spaces. London, DJ Ltd, 2008.


One Response to “Traditional Pen & Ink (5)”

  1. quirkyartist Says:

    You do love to set yourself a challenge!

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