I wasn't really in the humour for the National Gallery. I know it's winter, and it's time for indoor locations, and the National Gallery is beautiful, but the sun was shining, and I didn't want to spend all my time indoors sketching paintings, or just looking at paintings. Don't get me wrong, I like to go into art galleries and look at art. But when I'm sketching, I'm sketching.
So I felt so lucky when I walked through Merrion Square and saw two guys practising their tightrope walking skills. They were happy to be sketched and they were very relaxed, chatting away as they practised their skills. The hardest bit seems to be actually getting on the rope - each had their own technique, but in both cases, it involves going from sitting on the rope to pushing yourself up using only the strength of your legs - hard on the knees and glutes I imagine.
Once the sun had moved behind the row of Georgian houses, I decided to go into the gallery. There is a spot I know where you have a fantastic view of Lincoln place and Lincoln's Inn. I couldn't use watercolours, due to the proximity of paintings on the walls nearby, so I just drew with a very light pen, observing the proportions and relationships between the various elements. It didn't look like much. And I was a bit frustrated with it, I have to admit. But when I added colour and extra pen lines at home, I was happy with how the spread turned out. The windows on the right-hand page are from the buildings nearby.
At that point, I was ready to go outdoors again, and I just sat outside the gallery on Merry Square - the sky was interesting, as was the bare tree. I decided to only hint at the building itself. It was a quick sketch. Despite my little cushion, it was cold out there!
Time for meeting everyone in the Gingerman pub. They still had their Christmas decorations on. So I couldn't resist that. This is a few weeks back of course. I do expect they have taken the decorations down by now!