Southwark and the City

By Peter Matthews




I started drawing this picture at the beginning of May. I had huge ambitions for this scene however I soon found out that trying to fit everything I wanted to, was going to be impossible. In fact after many attempts at working out an overall composition, I gave up and simply started drawing the most important building in the scene Southwark Cathedral.




Having drawn the main tower and the south transept, I then moved to the east end of the building.






It was here that I realised that by drawing in the Cathedral the available space for Borough Market was only enough to show primarily its roof top. It would have been nice to have included some people scenes just outside in the foreground. This picture not only shows the start of Borough Market being drawn, but my first train to appear in the scene.




It wasn't all doom and gloom regarding Borough Market, I was able to show some people scenes through the glass canopy and at the entrance bottom left. However another disappointment was not being able to show in full, that elaborately decorated structure bottom left. But as I hinted at earlier, getting a composition that included everything I wanted proved to be difficult. This and other factors lead to me taking a break around the end of May to complete the Peru picture. A second train makes an appearance.

The break lasted to the end of July, when I decided to give the picture another go. Southwark Cathedral needed completing, the main nave of the structure starts its march leftwards towards its west front.

The elaborate entrance on the side of the Cathedral is now complete, most of everything else linked with the Cathedral is obscured by a large tree. The tree at this stage is just outlined in pencil.






The tree is now complete as is the Cathedral, minus the very small portion that is visible of the north transept.


My focus now shifts to the bottom right of the scene. If I had stuck to reality the foreground would be mostly rooftops and railway lines, not very interesting. So this part of the picture uses a lot of artistic licence. For example in reality the railway lines are further apart crossing two bridges not one. The office building and the small part of Borough market right of the railway lines have been squeezed, so a road and pavement can be drawn in, allowing more people scenes.



The building that makes this scene unusual is the Victorian House poking up between the railway lines. Clearly the owners were unhappy about moving out to make way for the railways.





The roads I wanted to include which resulted in me squeezing the buildings have now been drawn in; And as always my car makes an appearance.




The railway lines and the main train in the scene are now complete, just the background needs finishing.




The background to the Cathedral is now started to be completed. The City Skyscrapers are starting to be drawn in and the River Thames makes an appearance.



The background to the Cathedral is now complete. As can be seen, only the "Walkie Talkie" building is yet to be finished of the City Skyscrapers. The regular shaped cut in this structure indicates where I originally intended to draw the Office building that stands opposite. However to have it obscured in this way was a shame. Alas artistic licence came to the fore and I eventually drew the offices more to the right allowing the whole "Walkie Talkie" building to be seen and a bit more of the river.

Here is the finished drawing, if you look carefully the now completed top right of this scene, does show the Tower of London inbetween the office buildings and a bit of Tower Bridge rising above them.