House Portraits

I cannot look at an interesting building without wanting to draw it. Whether it is a tudor cottage with wonderful oak beams that invite a black and white sketch, an elegant Edwardian house with patterned brickwork, stained glass and handcrafted windows, or even the simple lines of a modern structure. Shops, schools and public buildings all come within the range of what fascinates me.
I am often asked to make a watercolour of a place in a busy street. This poses problems. Imagine sitting perched on a sketching stool, with busy traffic and pedestrians passing by all the time. So, it is my faithful digital camera that gives me the details and colour I need to complete a picture.
I feel no guilt working from photographs, but only from my own camera. Working from postcards or other references do not inspire me. In fact, if I can work on the spot, my pictures are far better.
When I worked on my book MARI I’ANSON’S FINCHLEY SKETCHBOOK I discovered all sorts of surprising parts of my locality that I had overlooked. Edwardian flats above shops in the main street, corners of narrow streets with cottages, and outdoor cafes in the park, all added interest to my book illustrations.

You learn to see through art.