Urban Sketching

Sketching Crossley Heath School Halifax

Sunday sketch in pen, ink, and watercolour

I’ve had my eye on sketching Crossley Heath School (Halifax UK) for a while. It’s a local landmark and two of my children go to school there. I walked up on a Sunday afternoon and sat on the wall that borders the school’s grounds to draw.

I remembered Shari Blaukopf‘s tip to take a picture before you start drawing as anything could happen before you finish your sketch and snapped the view on my phone.

Sketching Crossley Heath School Halifax in Pen and Watercolour
The finished sketch – turned out to be a very small piece of the building!

Fast sketching

I started with a quick pencil outline. I wanted to make sure the heigh of the building fitted in the page – I tend to draw too big. I switched to drawing in pen. I tried to capture the essential lines quickly. The kids were playing on the lawn but I knew they would want to move on shortly.

A lady working in the allotments across the road came to look at what I was doing. She told me about blueberries and raspberries and how there was such much work picking all these. I told her I knew her daughter as we used to live across the road from each other and asked her about her grandchildren. (It’s a small world!).

After 15, maybe 20 minutes of almost un-interrupted sketching,  a friend called to say she was on her way to visit. I dropped in a few darks with my brush pen, packed up quickly and headed back home.

As we left the Red Arrows came flying overhead. A startling sight.

I painted the sketch at home that evening. I used the reference photo to get the colours and lighting right.

Sketch of Crossley Heath School Halifax by Sophie Peanut

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