standing on bow street

bow st russell st panorama sm

More London… After a morning spent mooching around Greenwich (and re-enacting scenes from Thor 2 with my son) I had some time to do more panorama sketching in central London, and I chose to look around the Covent Garden are for just the right spot. I found it on the corner of Bow Street, Russell Street and Wellington Street, sloping down towards Strand and the Thames. This is a colourful bustling part of central London, but not too busy in the Oxford Circus sense. Tourists ambled here and there – hither and thither if you like – occasionally stopping to ask me for directions (“um, sorry can’t remember London as well as I used to…but here’s a handy map!”). Yes that object on the left of the picture with the yellow top is a very handy map of the area, there are lots of those around London now which is very helpful. Bow Street always conjures up thoughts of London’s first professional police force, the famous “Bow Street Runners”. Across the way you can make out the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently playing. It’s supposed to be one of London’s most haunted theatres, haunted by a ghostly ‘Man In Grey’. Maybe it’s John Major. Russell Street, crossing over to the right, leads up to Covent Garden, land of Annoying Street Performers. Annoying Street Performers – in fact any street performer who requires you to clear a massive space in a crowded public area and walk around their sacred space while they jump about to awful music simply in the name of ‘spectacle’, and then passes around some sort of bucket expecting you to contribute actual money to fund their nonsense – are not my favourite things about big cities (you’d never guess). My own public performance these days consists of standing for two and a half hours drawing at an unusual angle into a Moleskine. Here are some in-progress shots…

I do love standing and sketching panoramas, but they really do take a long time. I had to add the colour when I got home. I had to stop after that two and a half hour mark because I needed to go home for dinner, so I had less time to look around the shops. I never got to Stanford’s, one of my favourite shops in London growing up (they specialize in MAPS), but I did find the new Moleskine store which was fun (I stamped the back of my current Moley with their little London stamps). A little pricey, but they had a lot of really cool stuff. I’m using the newer ‘art plus’ version of the watercolour Moleskine, which I’m not enjoying as much as the twelve previous watercolour Moleskines I have filled. The new paper is…different. Still, I’ll fill it! Here is a map of the area, showing where I stood and sketched,

cov garden map 2


For a closer look (why not)…

bow st russell st panorama sm LEFT

bow st russell st panorama sm RIGHT