Time and patience
I originally trained as an architect and went on to build a career as an industrial designer. But after many years, I've returned to my first love – drawing beautiful buildings.
I now live in the Unesco-heritage city of Bath in the UK, surrounded by classical Georgian buildings. Most of the building here were built from Bath stone. The light, honey-coloured limestone produces a fantastic array of colours – from warm earthy tones, through cool blue-greys and moss-laden greens.
I've attempted to capture these colours using traditional hand ground Chinese inks and watercolour.
My paper also plays a major role in the eventual success of the piece. I'm fortunate to have the wonderful St Cuthbert's Mill on my doorstep. They've been making high-grade paper for the past two-and-half-centuries, and their 100% Cotton watercolour paper, is my favourite surface.
Stretching the paper takes some time, as each piece needs to be soaked, then taped, while wet, to my own hand-crafted oversized drawing boards. Once dry, it stretches to a tensioned, flat surface with a high-quality grain – perfect for the highly detailed architectural drawing that I'll start to work on. Most of them are large, some as wide as two metres.
My years as a practising architect definitely come into play during this stage, and I re-draw each building as accurately as I can using the architect's own dimensions. In many cases, this involves searching through archives, out-of-print books and dusty old records to discover original building plans. Once I have these I can produce a scale drawing that is as faithful to the original intention of the architect as I can manage.
Once the building has been constructed in pencil I can begin laying down the ink washes. Each wash is an almost imperceptible tint, but gradually, the effect builds up; colours begin to strengthen and shadows begin to darken. On large drawings it can take several minutes to apply a single glaze, becoming like a moving meditation for me. It's where I discover the still point of my art and allow it to gradually unfold before my eyes.
And so I hope, that when you view my work, you'll see these buildings as I do: Worn and weathered over the years, but glorious in their design and structure…
Each piece can be reproduced in a variety of sizes to fit any interior or design scheme.
I also am happy to work to commission for specific briefs and colour palettes.
You can read more about what I'm working on in my blog.
Please take a look at my work and let me know what you think.