Four versions of Castle Howard: Which is your favourite?

March 5, 2015 | Leave your thoughts


I did these four sketches of Castle Howard in the last few days, each using a different approach. I am interested in hearing from you, which you prefer and why!

I am still too close to the process of doing these to make a judgement on the finished product but I certainly know which sketch I enjoyed doing the most. I wonder if you can guess which one that is!

You will also note that the proportions vary from sketch to sketch. I wasn’t really trying to achieve accuracy in this regard but version B is the closest!

These sketches are obviously done from photos as I don’t happen to be in Yorkshire at the moment – sadly! I was using my own photos as reference and have sketched this building before on location. I have promised a few people that I will write a blog post about my thoughts of sketching from photos, so I won’t go into it now, but needless to say it makes a big difference to sketch from your own photos and from something that you have sketched before.

You might be interested in the original sketches from 2009 here and also my post trip analytical sketches done in 2000 (my first visit to this magnificent great house).

Anyway, back to my work this week…. here they are on their own with a few comments:


A. First version was done late at night as relaxation and a way to wind down after a busy day – yes I know I am a little crazy! The emphasis was the facade and so I was struggling to fit the dome in. I went for drama with my darks and was working very loose.


B. An attempt at a ‘neat’ sketch which was worked on progressively during the day. I knew the building quite well by this stage, so it was easier to achieve accurate proportions and allow adequate room for the dome! Purple shadows to vary the colour a little.


C. A multiple ink version which started with the central section of the facade. Mixing up coloured lines and paint and making it up as I was going along. The facade stretched in width as I was working – but not at all fussed by that. Note. the turquoise explosions are from drawing into wet patches with my De A Cyan ink!


D. Watercolour pencil and watercolour paint – the full sketch was completed in under 15 minutes. This fact alone makes this a compelling version – but I am not saying it is my favourite – you have to guess that!

So two questions:
Which do you prefer and why?
Which do you think is my favourite(at this stage) and why?

(And just for the record I have a theory as to which I expect will be your favourite… will be interesting to see if I am correct!)


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