Comings and goings at the Bakerloo

 In Technique

Early evening in Zone 1 – and the working day is done


Finished! Unless I add more sky…


The other day I had arranged to meet a friend at Elephant and Castle Station, and, as always, I suggested meeting at the Bakerloo Line exit. This, as opposed to the Northern Line exit. Why? Well, there’s somewhere to sit, there’s arboreal shade from the sun, the three lifts usually work, and, most importantly, the general atmosphere I find, less, well, intense… Maybe that’s because of the proximity of workplaces and the University, but , there’s a hustle and bustle typical of London Zone 1, but without the growling, potentially knife-wielding claustrophobia of the area around the Northern Line ins and outs.

Soon I realised a cityscape was imminent. I took numerous iphone pictures, all around knee height. This would allow the dynamism I aim to capture to, er, be captured… Typically, though, I had to return on another day to utilise the ‘burst’ camera function to accurately record the tops of the buildings there, and, when doing so, also ‘got’ some more passers-by. The vast majority of people there, though, are exiting the tube station, or making their way around the corner to the accompanying entrance. Accordingly, having been deprived of a signal for the duration of their journey, everyone is relievedly checking their mobiles – now in receipt of the glorious five bars. Or, knowing they will be below ground in less than a minute, having a last check to see who is also not being acknowledged…

Again, this one’s drawn on a piece of A2 Heavyweight Cartridge paper. I start with the structures, using Copic C2, add details and more rendering with C3 up to C5. I then utilise the Copic spray device across B24 (Sky Blue), having masked off appropriate areas. I use C3 Original to fill in details of the Strata building, peeking around the corner. Then a couple of streaks using R27 (Cadmium Red) to suggest the movement of the buses around the ‘roundabout’ here, and lastly, my range of Ohto Fineliners describe the excellent array of figures I was lucky enough to record…

Finished. Although I still may go back and REALLY make the sky more intense and blue. But this may cause a visual imbalance to the whole composition. What do you think?


Initial layout utilising proportional dividers.


Drawing, prior to figures.

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