Urban sketches

2015-11-21 Aston 5 (2)

Trees by the Aston expressway

Last Saturday I joined, for the first time, the Birmingham Urban Sketchers Group.  The location was Aston, following a road past a Seventh Day Adventist chapel and low-rise residences against which autumn leaves piled high in drifts, under the expressway to the park and Aston Hall museum.  Arriving late, on the coldest day of the year so far, I found other sketchers dotted about, hunched against the wind holding down their drawings.   The expressway rises to sweep over the residential streets.  The Aston Tavern proved a surprising haven in this urban environment, with log fires and good beers and classical music playing on the background.   Behind this is the parish church, with tumbling memorials leaning against one another in the graveyard.  I walked round the outside of Aston Hall (a large Jacobean manor that had been besieged by Parliamentarians in the Civil War) and looked down stone steps through trees to the Aston Villa stadium dwarfing the surrounding dwellings.  We finished in the Eritrea Café, a late Victorian building, surmounted by a statue with helmet and trident, formerly the Britannia pub and for while used as a cannabis factory before its latest incarnation.  I drew using my current field kit: conte crayon as initial layer and resist for subsequent watercolour.   The drawings of the other sketchers can be seen on the group’s Facebook page.

2015-11-21 Aston 4

Aston Villa stadium behind trees

2015-11-21 Aston 3

Waiting for the train home

2015-11-21 Aston 1 (1)

The Aston Tavern

2015-11-21 Aston 2 (1)

Trees against the wall surrounding Aston Hall


16 responses to “Urban sketches

  1. Neil great to hear you’ve met up with the local urban sketchers. You did stacks of work! Obviously you Brits are made of sterner stuff when it comes to winter sketching. After our 4 C degrees outing this year our group has decided that winter sketch outings will be indoors!😊

      • Any thoughts where to go. I know you sketched there last year. I’m being flown out to give a 20 minute talk and am there three days. I’ll be taking my drawing stuff. Actually you influenced me to find the local urban sketchers, by the way.

      • Gardens by the Bay and Arab Street with the Sultan mosque would be good. I’d also suggest that you get in touch with Urban Sketchers Singapore, which is a very active group, they might be having an outing while you are there or someone might be able to sketch with you. They are very friendly😊. If nothing else check their Facebook page and you can see where they have been sketching which might suggest some places to go.

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