Hard Lines

Not so long ago friends came to visit for the weekend, and since they enjoy sketching and photography, and because the weather was truly awful, with leaden skies and driving rain, we paid a visit to Ely Cathedral, that (relatively) warm, dry staple.

The cathedral was fairly busy that day, so we dispersed, each to their own dark corner to create a picture from whatever appealed. This was my second sketching visit to the cathedral (here’s the first), and it took a while for me to find a view. In the end the decision was largely dictated by the availability of a small wall to sit on, with some gentle lighting above – very necessary for a sketcher in the dark cathedral interior.

I’d travelled light, deciding to work in pencil for a change. I work much faster in graphite than paint, so I hoped my choice would mean I wouldn’t be the last to finish and holding everyone up. In fact I really enjoyed making the pencils work for me, trying to achieve some good darks and lights to show up the intricate stonework of the cathedral interior, and the contrast with the array of flags. Using graphite always feels rather comfortable and familiar, especially if it’s been a while since I drew with it. And there was enough technicality in this scene to mean I was very grateful not to have to wrestle with the materials as well as the daunting and complicated perspective. Those medieval cathedral designers knew a trick or two…




15 thoughts on “Hard Lines

  1. I love your approach, soft and just the right details. I love cathedrals, though been only to the National Cathedral in Washington DC…..not old at all! I can’t imagine going to the Ely Cathedral, oh what I would give to go to the great cathedrals of the world! By the way, your link to look at your first drawing didn’t work, I tried three times. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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