a peek at the Peveril

Peveril of the Peak pub sm
“It is these little passages of secret history, which leave a tinge of romance in every bosom, scarce permitting us, even in the most busy or advanced period of life, to listen with total indifference to a tale of true love.”
That was from Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel, Peveril of the Peak, which up until visiting this pub in Manchester, I had of course never heard of. I thought Sir Walter Scotts were something you drank beer out of. It turns out that is kind of right. Peveril of the Peak was the colourful and yet old-fashioned pub was the nightly location of the Drink and Draw, set upon by scores of sketchers inside and out during the few days of Symposium. I sketched it outside (see above) alongside many other sketchers, several seated, others lined up across the street. Take a look at 13 other takes on the pub, collected  by Suhita Shirodkar on the Urban Sketchers blog. I’ve seen many more online, each as outstanding as the next. I do love to sketch a pub, as you might have noticed if you have followed my blog at all. I think it’s the classic air of social interaction. I just can’t get that in a restaurant, and hardly ever in cafes either (most cafes I ever go into these days, people are just buried in their laptops). I sketched people as well; at an urban sketching symposium I am much more inclined to do that than at other times, and so I practiced as much as I could. Below, two of my long-time sketchblogging heroes, back from the early days of Flickr, before Urban Sketchers: Andrea Joseph and Jason Das. Now Jason I have known since meeting him in Portland in 2010, and he is an especially cool bloke and an inspirational artist; check out  his site jasondas.com. Andrea Joseph I had never until now actually ever met in person – I have her zines and have followed her amazing drawings for years on her blog, so it was wicked to finally meet her in person. Here they are chatting away about music outside the Peveril…

Andrea and Jason sm
Now I did sketch other people, not all on the same night. Here are a bunch of people who were actually non-sketchers (I know, I was surprised to meet non-sketchers as well, after hanging around five hundred people tooled-up with Micron pens and Leuchturms I had forgotten that other people could even be non-sketchers). I did chat with them and gave the statutory “would you mind if…?” before sketching, and I think they really liked them. For all they knew they were probably drawn about 50 times by others in the pub that evening.
Peveril of the Peak people
Actually I think the bottom right lady was either a sketcher or with a sketcher; I forget now. California, I believe. The others were locals. On that evening in the Pev, as people would call it, two Portuguese sketchers Vicente Sardinha and Nelson Paciencia, hosted a special Drink and Draw in which they actually made very cool handouts, which gave tips on sketching in a pub (“Sketching while Sober” I think it was called). Then those that took part in the activity all gathered and did a show-and-tell, it was pretty nice. My personal tip for sketching in bars is this – if you draw the bar-staff, draw them busy!
Peveril of the Peak people sm
This group of sketchers from around the world was sat in a little ante-room inside the Peveril. They are Tine Klein from Switzerland, Suma CM and (sorry, I forgot to write down your name!) from California, and Mark Leibowitz from New York; unseen is Daniel Nies from Germany, sat to my right, but that is his hat. I sketched them and chatted; I had met Mark in Barcelona in 2013, a lovely guy; I unfortunately missed his presentation on the final day due to getting lost in a sketch (that happens), but I hope to sketch with him again in NYC some day. Suma lives in san Jose so hopefully we’ll sketch together in SF some day; she did come along to the London sketchcrawl as well. After this, I moved into the main bar, and had barely an hour to try and sketch an interior panoramic – as you know, that ain’t long enough, but I dashed through it!

Peveril of the Peak panorama sm

Click on the image to see it in more details.There is Arno Hartmann in the middle there, excellent architect from Germany who was at the Symposium teaching a workshop on 360 degree sketching, really nice to meet him. At the end of the bar, two fellows who were drinking and dancing along to the music on the jukebox – here I must say that I was singing along too, for the music was pretty wicked. I live in America now, I don’t hear the Small Faces, the Jam, the Pistols, Pulp, all those being played at the pub. This was like going back to the great Soho pubs back in the 90s, just all my faves being pumped out all night. I got conversing to the people sat around me; a couple attending the symposium from Austin, Texas (well one sketcher and her non-sketcher hubby, who also loved his music, but was more a fan of Death Metal than David Bowie), plus another couple who were up from Luton. There were local art students there telling us about Simone Ridyard’s books, and the beer was tasty (and a lot cheaper than London). And all around people still sketched away, every single night. On the Saturday evening we ended up there again. I gifted a man we sat next to a quick sketch of his building’s front door (he lived in an apartment opposite the pub), while I unashamedly wore my Captain America hoody with the hood up (just for photos though…), because much of Manchester was dressed up in costumes for that weekend was the city’s Comic Con. I saw an absolutely perfect Squirrel Girl earlier that day and really wish I had sketched her, but I was busy drawing a building. I was one of many Caps. Here I am below with Jason; dear oh dear. Months ago, I had pledged to Simone on the USk Manchester Facebook group page that if I somehow managed to get tickets and time off to attend, I would come dressed as Captain America. Well, I kept my word…

with Jason Das

And on that silly note we conclude our trip to the Peveril of the Peak. Stay tuned for more Manchester sketches and stories…

Advertisements

Capturing the Crowd (with James Richards)

Capturing the Crowd - Albert Square sm

The second workshop I attended at the 7th Urban Sketching Sympo – er,”USKManchester2016″, let’s just call it (that’s the official hashtag by the way, #uskmanchester2016, if you happen to be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, well maybe not MySpace, anyway all those so-called media sites (that is the term right?), just use that hashtag and you will find everyone else’s Symposium stuff. It’s pretty damn wicked.) Sorry, just interrupted a sentence to shorten it with a longer sentence. Ok. The second workshop I took in Manchester was called “Capturing the Crowd“, taught by James Richards, assisted by his wife Patti, and held up at Albert Square (no, not that Albert Square, a real and much better one). Jim Richards sm

Jim is an excellent teacher who went through everything step by step, how to construct a scene with a crowd of people in it, tips on detail and colour, tricks for poses and perspective. I’d not met him in person before so it was a real treat to learn from this master, especially as I have been trying more and more to add crowds of people into my location drawings. The only thing we didn’t really have was a crowd – that afternoon was pretty rainy (hello Manchester!) – but that wasn’t a problem. People were always walking past, and if you draw enough of them, then voila – you have a crowd!

There is Jim on the right there, I managed a very quick sketch while he was going over the mechanics, as it were. He was extremely well prepared. Now I won’t go over every aspect of what he taught us, but if you pop over to Jim’s website, he has put together a thorough step-by-step demo.

Here are the first quick sketches I did in the workshop, just rapid sketches of people as they passed by, working on poses and using people to create perspective. The final drawing I did is at the top – I stuck around the finish it after the workshop had ended. The rain didn’t last all afternoon, though I stood beneath an arch. I did bump into former USk London sketcher and animator Nathan Brenville, who was visiting family in the north (he now lives in Madrid). He has a colouring-in book coming out soon which is all about Maggie Thatcher!

Capturing the crowd sketches sm

Key points I took away:

  • Go with the basic eye-level as the point to draw the heads in your crowd – the bodies will shorten as they get further away
  • Only the front ‘row’ of people need to have details – beyond that, simple people shapes – and bring some people right up close in your sketch, to add to the depth
  • Legs overlap a lot so many figures walking towards or away from you will appear to have one long ‘upside-down-triangular’ leg
  • Add a few different colours to peoples’ clothes – even if all the ‘real’ people seem to be wearing shades of grey, a few bolder colours will make all the difference
  • Yeah Manchester really does like to rain
  • I should look at a map and not just use the force*

Cheers Jim! Check out more of his lovely work at www.jamesrichardssketchbook.com/

IMG_7237

*Ahem. After this I was supposed to meet up with other sketchers at the Peveril of the Peak pub, but I totally got lost TWICE. Even after being given directions. I made it eventually…