Today was my big driving day 260 miles including all those crazy motorways around Liverpool and Manchester. A sketch for breakfast to relax and then a much needed coffee break and sketch a few hours in. There is nothing like a sketch to revive me and get those creative juices pumping – even if my circles are wonky.
I decided to break my big drive by a visit to a special great house – Castle Howard. The work of two of my fav architects Vanburgh and Hawksmoor. A great example of English Baroque – if you don’t already know this… I am into Baroque (so is Borromini of course!) The sketches of the building follow – but this combo includes the two pots of Yorkshire tea that I had. These were without doubt the best pots of ‘normal’ tea that I had on the trip!
I have been waiting to scan this sketch and re-post it (was originally an iphone photo upload on route). At the time I was somewhat disappointed with my Welsh album – I tried to do too much and didn’t have enough time for the sketches – I never ‘felt’ like I nailed it. (A disclaimer here: often we are far too critical of our work at the time and later when no longer comparing our work to the subject realise that it is a lot better than we thought. I am here recording what I thought at the time!)
Anyway – I did this sketch in 10 minutes (the linework only) standing on the grass in front of this great building (hopefully back far enough so I didn’t ruin anyone’s photo) and I enjoyed it tremendously and just felt good about it!! I then added the paint while I was having lunch.
Although I am an architect, I do find interior sketches challenging… But I was determined to have a go at the great hall. Although not great in size, it is a great space. Paint added while I was have my afternoon tea.
Borromini liked the Great hall too. Things have changed since I was here first in 2000 – you can now take photos inside.
I was running out of time but had to rush out into the garden to sketch the two most famous architectural follies on the estate. The garden buildings are what make Castle Howard really special – the entry road, gates, pyramids, obelisks all add to the drama of the place. This building is the temple of the four winds by Vanburgh (modelled on Palladio’s Villa Rotunda – have I ever told you I am a Palladio nut as well?) and in the distance is Hawksmoor’s masterpiece – the mausoleum. I tried to see if I could get special permission to visit it but unfortunately the curator was away – maybe next time?