The Hand & Shears Pub in watercolour. The Drawing London on Location group have been meeting this summer to illustrate London’s historic pubs.
The Hand and Shears Public House, Barbican, London. I recently joined fellow members of the Drawing London On Location group over a number of evenings to draw historic pubs. This is one of nine watercolours that I am progressing as part of that collaborative activity.
Drawing with ink pens forces me to commit to the line and to live with the excitement and risk of owning my mistakes. I work through imperfections by what I call ‘fixing-forward’ as I develop the drawing. Personally, I also find I can work faster in this way than if I were using pencil and repeatedly erasing and redrawing.
Usually I prefer to add paint at the scene where I am drawing. However, on this occasion the time pressure and a busy schedule of pubs to visit helped me decide to add the colour later on. Once back at the studio, a photograph I took provided me with colour references.
I sat low at pavement level opposite the pub to provide a more dramatic perspective. I then also over emphasised that perspective for a little more drama. In adding the paint I was keen to emphasise the inviting warmth of the interior light that emanated from the bar.
Watercolour enables me to introduce some translucency and subtlety into my work. The layering of paint helps me capture the light and shadow. From a practical point of view I also find watercolour blocks to be quite portable and very suitable for street use.
Hand and Shears
Walt Cahill. 1st August 2018
A pub has stood on these grounds since the Middle Ages. The pub’s name relates to the cloth workers who would gather here ahead of the ancient Bartholomew Fair. Today, office workers gather here in the evenings. Tourists visiting the nearby Barbican Arts Centre, The Museum of London or Smithfield Market probably also drop in from time to time.
Windsor and Newton Watercolour paint on 300gsm watercolour paper
Here is an earlier link to the base ink line drawing.
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