Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Trinity College Dublin

I was sketching around Trinity College not long ago. I was practising "working structurally", a technique from SketchingNow Buildings, an online course by Liz Steel, which I'm finding very useful as I want to sketch more complex scenes these days and need to develop my observational skills, as well as a sound method for approaching intimidating classical buildings.

This time, I worked in a small square sketchbook, as I had a sore back and I didn't want to be carrying lots of art supplies with me. I am not a delicate draughtsperson, so changing to a different sketchbook presented its challenges for me. Plus, I didn't have much time. And we all know what happens when I rush.

But Trinity College is such a wonderful place - it has both ancient and modern architecture, lots of steps to sit on, and a constant lively crowd pacing its squares, students and tourists alike! And a few quiet corners too. And cricket matches when the weather is good!

For this sketch, I was sitting on the steps across from the Examination Hall on Parliament Square. All was quiet and peaceful, until a security guard asked everyone to clear the steps. I thought there might be a wedding in the chapel behind me. But a few minutes later, the commencement procession crossed the square to reach the Trinity College Chapel, with all the pump and ceremony expected for the occasion. Graduation Day! Or Commencement in Trinity parlance. At this stage, I was standing behind a bin, still trying to finish my sketch. Actually, those solar-panelled bins are very handy - a good flat surface for my sketchbook! Must remember that! When I could no longer see the Examination Hall, I started sketching the new graduates, in their beautiful black gowns trimmed with cream (fake?) fur.

I then decided to move to a quieter spot. I'm not sure what it's called. There was no name on the building (that I could see anyway). It just looked like an ancient Greek temple. It's beyond Library Square, on the Pearse Street side. After struggling with pillars, I moved back to Parliament Square and sketched proud fathers taking pictures of their offspring! And the black things in the air are not crows. They are the black square hats that are thrown in the air after graduation. All of this ritual is alien to me. We didn't have any formal graduation in my college. It was all very low key. Just exams, passed. A thesis, passed. (First class honours - I was a good student) And less than a week later, I had moved to Ireland anyway! 

And here, I couldn't resist throwing in a few pictures of the Long Room. Wouldn't it be wonderful, and scary, to sketch in there some day?

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