I approached this project by doing some observational drawings in a couple of locations in the Coventry city centre as I live in Coventry this seemed the perfect place to focus on for.
I wanted to try and get a more elevated perspective of the city centre and the best place I could think of that provided this was the IKEA cafe. From this place you can view the expanse of the city. I picked a spot and began drawing trying to focus on perspective at first.
I initially just sketched what I could see – not worrying too much about tone, highlights and shadows etc. But I returned to the same view a few days later to add a sense of tone and colour using watercolour paints.
I took a photograph of the view after I’d stopped painting, so you can see what I was actually looking at.
I wanted to sketch in a couple of locations so I moved then to a more central location, Costa Coffee shop in Waterstones offers some views across the heart of the city centre. It’s not as elevated as the IKEA store but it’s still higher up so you can look down on passers by.
I did a pencil sketch over half an hour – forty five minutes and then returned home to add colour to it using watercolour paints. I tried to make notes in pencil of the colours of different areas as my reference for painting.
Admittedly my watercolours may have given the centre a bit of face lift in terms of brightness but generally the colours aren’t too far away from the reality of what was visible.
I hadn’t however paid much attention to the highlights, shadows or mid-tones when completing this sketch so I returned on a different day to do a few more studies.
In the sketch below I tried to focus on where the light was falling on the buildings and areas of shadow. It’s pretty rough looking but it does give me an idea of these aspects. I was drawing around 9.30/10am and the sun was just rising above one of the central buildings I was drawing.
Having focussed a little on the tones of the larger buildings and surroundings I wanted to shift my view slightly and focus more on the ground level Trying to capture some of the textures of the surfaces and a few people passing by. I decided to use a fine liner pen for this as I felt it freed me up a bit to draw in a more expressive way – especially considering how quickly people were moving out of my field of view.
I feel like I’m not at a stage where I’ve got enough gathered to convert these drawings into one clear design. However I’m not 100% convinced of which printing method to go for. Linocut prints offer clean sharp lines but I like the idea of trying a collatype or collagraphic print. I think a collatype would allow for textures to come through as a focal point of the print but they would minimise the amount of colours I could have in the final print…