Here are a few more random sketches from London, quick ones done in the small Miquelrius ‘Lapin’ sketchbook. This first one was drawn while seriously sleep-deprived and jetlagged, having wobbled from the plane hours earlier, and stretched out on the couch in my mum’s living room to watch the Champions League Final (Bayern vs Chelsea). Chelsea parked the bus and Bayern lost on penalties, giving Chelsea the trophy – the upshot of which my wn team Spurs don’t make the Champions League next year. Not good. Sleep was much better.
Next day I went to see my brother, and stuck around with him while my nephew went to a football tournament at Whetstone FC (which by the way is miles and miles from the actual Whetstone; I didn’t know this! North-West London is really huge, and all looks the same after a while) There was a lot of time before the torunament began, so I sketched the lads practising. My nephew Leo has suddenly sprouted up (he is twelve and a half) so he towers above most of his team now. I got to see one game before I had to go; I needed a SIM card for my phone because my old one had finally given up the ghost. Nice to see Leo play though, it’s been a few years. They grow so quickly don’t they!
I really would love to spend a day sketching at the Natural History Museum, it’s one of my absolute favourite places, but this was all I could manage, a quick sketch of a triceratops while my son and co sat down for a minute. We had gone down there with my wife and my older sister, who used to take me there herself when I was my son’s age (and back then I knew everything, everything about dinosaurs). My son enjoyed it, for the most part, but was quite nervous all the same. he loves dinosaurs, and is a big fan of T-Rex (not the band), but we had to line up to see the large animatronic tyrannosaur model, and it was dark, and we could hear roaring. Well, he got scared (as I would have, back then; remember the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds, c.1982? That’s another story), so my wife said, don’t worry its not real, it;s just a Robot T-Rex. A ROBOT T-REX?!! Even I got scared at that thought, imagining a huge godzilla-esque lazer-eyed monster tearing down South Ken.
Ah now this is sat outside the Orange Tree in Totteridge Lane. that’s a pub, well more of a restaurant now, that I used to pass by on the bus every day to Barnet College, but have never been to. Apparently Sean Bean is a regular. My friend and I were driving around London and he said he fancied going there for a quick drink, nice old pub, village feel, sit outside. his is the half-pint in that tall thin glass. It was nice, and the food was good, but inside it was just too clean, too modern, too shiny. No old pub feel at all. I couldn’t really do a proper drawing of the building without sitting far away from it (in the pond for example) so jsut sketched what I could, from behind my beer.
On the right, another few quick sketches, made while having a sandwich with my family in Trafalgar Square. We had gone to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard, as seen in my son’s Paddington book, and I can assure you I won’t feel the need to go and do that again. Standing around for ages (with a four year old in my arms so he can see through the gates at guards who aren’t doing all that much changing to be honest – can’t they at least juggle or tell jokes?), with loads of other equally bewildered people snapping away with their cameras. It was a struggle let me tell you, so in the end we went down to St.James’s Park, and en route the guards marched past us, back to the barracks. While in the park itself, we were taking a photo on the bridge when a troop of royal Scots guards suddenyl appeared out of nowhere and nearly marched all over us, certainly the surprise attack, all we heard was “OI!!!” We stood aside and they marched onwards without missing a beat. That was funny. So off we went and had some Tesco sandwiches in the Square, the Olympic Clock counting down the days until the craziness begins. I told my son about Admiral Nelson, the famous “I see no ships” story, and the legend of the bronze lions getting up and dancing if Big Ben should strike thirteen.
Finally here is the last one I did on the sketchcrawl, which I tried to scan when I first posted but couldn’t (my scanner broke). I have a new scanner now, so here it is, Fleet Street looking towards St.Paul’s, one of my favourite views in all of London. I think that’s it for London sketches; oh no I have another one from the Jubilee Street Party but that’s for another post.