The Ship of the Fens

Back on the architectural theme today, at our nearby town of Ely. There has been a church on this site since AD 900, but the current, rather spectacular cathedral dates mainly from the 1100s, with various adaptations and additions over the centuries. It has been known for centuries as the Ship of the Fens, owing to the way it rises out of the surrounding flat fen farmland.

Ely Cathedral watercolourWe found ourselves a comfortable bench with a good view (but only showing a small part of the cathedral), and my son sat and read while I sketched. The slight disadvantage of sitting on a bench on a main park path was that people kept stopping and looking, which was a little daunting and distracting. The day was very overcast, which meant that there wasn’t much in the way of bold shadows or highlights to observe. I still don’t think I managed to get enough dark tones and contrast into the picture, especially on the stonework. However, the scene was very peaceful and pastoral, with two beautiful copper beech trees and an elderflower in full bloom adding some welcome colour variation to the foliage. I just added a few tweaks with the fineliner at the end to add a bit more definition than I’d been able to get with the brush. On reflection, I really enjoyed making the purples today – I think I’d like an excuse to get more of those into my pictures in future…

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4 thoughts on “The Ship of the Fens

  1. I really enjoy your architectural watercolours because I get to learn a bit about the history of the place along with your personal/artistic interpretation. I’m a huge fan of purple trees in landscapes and you’re lucky to have observed two in the scene!! I find your choice of colour is always spot on and think the muted colours you used here really captures the sense of an overcast sky. Can’t wait to see more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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