whenever i walk in a london street

tottenham court road

…I’m ever so careful to watch my feet. Sometimes though it is good to stop and look up. So this is Tottenham Court Road, by Goodge Street, looking out at BT Tower. I was meeting my friend Simon one chilly Friday for an afternoon of sketching in Soho. They don’t sell Micron Pigma pens in London (I asked), so before I depleted my supply I popped into Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road and picked up a Uni-Pin fineliner, which works very nicely. I did find, on my sketching outings, that I would often have to use several pens in each sketch – they don’t react too well to freezing temperatures and often give up the goat (or is it the ghost, I forget), so I would have to put one in my jacket pocket to warm up while a subsititute would come on for a little while. I tended to rotate three pens on an given sketch. It reminded me of playing football when I was a kid and they would take you off for a while to give another kid a go while you put your warm coat on. Anyway, it was with cold fingers that I drew this scene, thinking about when I used to catch the bus home up here, the 134 to Archway, several years ago.

Passsers-by were very friendly. Several people stopped and asked me about the buildings I was drawing. I told them, in this city so few people look up, just staring at shop level or avoiding the masses of bears who wait at the corners all ready to eat the sillies who tread on the lines in the street, and though those old facades are grimy and ridden with pigeons and pollution, the architecture hidden in plain sight is really very interesting.

also posted at urban sketchers

One thought on “whenever i walk in a london street

  1. Rob Carey says:

    No Micron pens, huh? I know the feeling. My mother-in-law just brought me a stack of them from the States, as they’re valuable things. Have you ever tried using a quill pen with waterproof ink? I like the outcome if I can keep it under control. It’s just the dipping that drives me crazy. One of these days I intend to try a pre-filled quill pen. Great sketching, by the way, and you’re right, it’s “ghost.” I think that phrase comes first from King Herod in the Bible- Acts 12:23.

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