Project – Townscapes

Exercise – Study of a townscape using line

This exercise called for a couple of pages of preliminary drawings, then a study in pen and ink or drawing pen. By this point in the course I had left it too late to do much drawing outside as it has turned cold and wet, so I modified this assignment to do a pen sketch from a photograph.

The image chosen:

Townscape image 1

My sketch:

Townscape 1

Some bits of this have worked quite well, but I have failed to get any sense of tone in the majority of this image.

Exercise – A sketchbook of townscape drawings

I tried this exercise drawing the two 10cm squares for a detail and tonal study:



However, when I can to the full sketch I realised I had got some of the proportions wrong (the ivy is too small). I also got too cold drawing and lost inspiration for this view.

So I tried again using a photograph of another area of Grassington:

Townscape image 2

Townscape 2

I started this sketch on a background of light graphite rubbed into the paper, and I really like the effect this has had on the image. It also makes it quite easy to rub guide lines into the background once you no longer need them.

Exercise – A limited palette study from your sketches

Again, I had to modify this exercise as I didn’t have enough preliminary sketches and none which mentioned colour, so I worked off a photograph of Skipton high street:


I decided to work with the Letraset Tria pens and started out trying to complete it just using diaganol lines in one direction:

Limited pallette 1

I didn’t get on with this though, so abandoned that idea and started again:

Limited pallette 2

I rushed into this drawing too quickly though and didn’t get all the main angles worked out before starting to draw, so I only completed part of the drawing. Problems include:

  • The people are too small in the distance to the right of the car
  • Shop fronts too high (in taking out the cars parked in front of them, I have miss-judged the pavement level)
  • Background building wrong shape (in taking out the tree, I have got the shape of this wrong)
  • I drew the building lines in too far down before adding the car

If I get chance later in the course I might re-try this exercise.

Exercise – Drawing statues

I never realised how few statues I have near me until I went looking for them! However, I did find 3 in my nearest town and had to make do with them.

The first one I attempted was a statue of Freddie Truman in the canal basin:


Using pencil, I made the following sketch:


On a different day I tried to tackle the other two statues. First off was the angle on top of the war memorial. There was only one location in which I could sit and sketch this, which wasn’t the ideal profile:


I was also a fair distance from the statue (I zoomed in to photograph it), so I went for capturing the general outline rather than including any of the detail as I couldn’t really see it from where I was.

My first attempt in charcoal:


The statue here was very roughly sketched and the background too bland, so I had another go, this time using softer charcoal and attempting to capture some of the cloud formations:


Outlining the pillar on which the statue stands was a mistake, but I was quite pleased with the rest of the image.

The final statue was on the high street:


There was nowhere to sit nearby to be able to sketch this statue, so I had to do my drawing at home, choosing pencil for this one:


The pigeon didn’t work brilliantly on this, and his right hand went a bit funny, but I like the looming impression he gives.

Check and Log

How did you use a limited colour palette to create a sense of depth?

  • Only through the use of perspective and some shading with the black pen. The Tria pens don not allow for different tones.

Did your preliminary sketches give you enough information for your final pieces of work?

  • I didn’t manage to do any sketches from preliminary sketches due to the weather turning and needing to progress with the course. If I get chance later in the course I will re-visit this exercise.

Would you approach this task differently another time?

  • I think it is important to use rulers and get the main perspective shapes sketched in before starting drawing in earnest. I did this best on the image with a background of graphite and this is the one which has worked the best.

Have you got the scale of the buildings right? Make notes on what worked and what didn’t.

  • When I got the perspective right then yes. I struggled when trying to exclude things (e.g. the cars in the limited colour palette sketch).

Have you captured the colour and atmosphere in your studies? How did you do this?

  • I have worked mainly in pencil with these sketches, the only colour study being the limited palette sketch, which I think best captures the atmosphere as well. The drawing I am most pleased with is the one on the graphite background, but this does have a different atmosphere than the image it was taken from, as the drawing is much more moody.
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