Customs House Sketch

Customs House sketchRecently I was able to spend a little time in my local town of King’s Lynn, sketching. It’s a town with a wonderful historical pedigree and plenty of Georgian buildings, and earlier, still standing from its heyday as a Hanseatic trading port. There’s no shortage of lovely architecture (and some, admittedly, not-so-lovely) to sketch if you’re so inclined. My goal on this day was to find a shady spot where I could sit comfortably, and I ended up facing The Customs House. It’s situated on a small harbour right by the River Ouse (sensible) which flows via The Wash to the North Sea, and there are some handy benches nearby.

One of the challenges in this A6 sketch was to get the perspective looking fairly convincing – not my strong point. With this in mind I spent quite a high proportion of my available 45 mins on the pencil outlines before committing to putting any ink on or adding the watercolour hints. Even so, I didn’t get it quite right…

The buttery stonework was a challenge as the sun was almost shining equally on both sides of the building, so there was little shadow or differentiation between the two aspects. Once again, I struggled to know what to do with the buildings in the background, but didn’t want to get bogged down in details which would detract from the Customs House itself.

In the end I was happy that this sketch was both recognisable to anyone who knows the building, and a good memory for me of a pleasant afternoon in the sunshine.

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