I’ve recently become interested in London and what it has to offer in terms of light and architecture. It lends itself well to ‘tonal’ painting which I seem to veer towards. I took the week off work and spent 4 days in the capital last week. It was great! Really hot and the heavy backpack was a bit of a burden but it was well worth the effort.

I made a point of indentifying potential locations in advance so that I wouldn’t expend too much energy searching around for a subject. First off, I hit the area around Bank and the Royal Exchange, following in the footsteps of my ‘hero’ Ken Howard!

I was lucky to be there on a Bank holiday when all the city workers were away. This one was done round the corner opposite the Bank of England…

The drawing is deceptively complex but there’s no time to dither. After doing quick thumbnail sketch in my sketchpad to work out the basic coposition I want I go straight in with a thin wash to map out the position of the key elements. Then it’s a question of establishing relationships…colour, tone etc. I try to get in the zone where I forget what I’m painting and see it in more abstract terms, attempting to pull things together to make a coherent whole. I really enjoyed painting these and will certainly be back for many more.