I have made several drawings of townscapes, as well as a number of specific buildings that interested me for different reasons. I have included the individual buildings in a separate post.
This view of a side street from a bridge over a now dry moat beside the city walls of Naumburg was drawn with a black fineliner in the shade on a pleasant sunny afternoon. It was a relaxed unhurried study. The lampposts are such different sizes in the drawing . However, the smaller one in the middle ground looks correct for the houses nearby. The one closest lies slightly beyond the house on the right but also looks correct when compared with the front door of the house in the foreground. There is a concealed road junction just beyond the first lamppost and then a piece of waste land on the opposite corner before the next lamppost, which creates a strange perspective. I have tried to indicate this through discontinuity in the roadside: shrubs spilling out on to the pavement. There is too much negative space in this drawing – it needs some interesting clouds! This drawing was also included in an earlier post.
In the course materials, we were encouraged to seek a view from above a town, looking down onto rooftops. I drew the next drawing of a corner of Heimbach, in the Eifel, from the cemetery, which is high above the town. It was a very hot day and after the climb up a long flight of steps, I eventually found a combination of a view and some shade and settled down to draw. Once again, I used a fineliner. However, it was a hot day – over 30 degrees celsius – and the level of detail is less because I had already spent a an hour or two walking around in the afternoon heat trying to find a good view! This drawing took perhaps about 30 minutes. The tall building in the background on the right is part of the castle. I like the zigzag pattern of the rooves and also the glimpse of a road surface, while the whole composition is encase in foliage directly below where I was sitting, as well as on the hillside beyond the village.
The next drawing is again of a side street. It was drawn from beneath the awning of an Imbiss (snack) stall in Gemünd, also in the Eifel, during a thunderstorm. The storm came on fairly rapidly and I needed to wait somewhere fairly close to my bus stop! I chose a central table as far away from the rain as possible, especially as the owner came out from time to time to removed the rainwater from the awning with a broom handle, which caused an additional torrent to pour down onto the pavement. A man also sheltering from the rain came and sat at the same table and got through a large plate of chips while I was drawing and never said a word! I had to buy a cup of coffee for the use of the table and shelter but it went cold while I drew this. The trees look a bit stylised although I had not intended that: I simply wanted to indicate the direction of light, such as it was, and so used a thicker line for shaded areas, although I got this wrong on the trunks! The trees down the centre are in huge tubs and seem to act as a traffic control measure. The tree closest in the road on the left has foliage that is a bit too low – it was possible to sees bit more of the houses that stand at the far end than is drawn here. The building on the left moving into the middle ground is a church.
The last drawing was made in the market square of Nideggen, a village on top of sandstone cliffs down the Rur valley north of Heimbach. Nideggen was almost destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt after the war, including the Burgfried (keep) of its interesting and picturesque castle. It is now a village of cafes and restaurants and gift shops – tourism is important to this village. I drew this fairly rapidly while sitting outside a cafe and added colour later for interest and to remind me of the sandstone buildings. The market square is not level and slopes down towards the viewer. I was sitting at its lower edge, which I think I have conveyed in the sketch. I initially misjudged the height of the shop roof in the middle ground, left. and redrew it. The original line is still visible. The stone tubs of flowers are rather randomly placed in the square and perhaps serve the function of forcing traffic to drive around it and not take a short cut! I included them because they were there but they don’t do much for the composition. If I were to draw it again, I would explore some ways to include flowers but in a more integrated and aesthetic and less “factual” manner.