Maltby Street Market Sketch

I set out last Saturday to sketch Maltby Street Market. It’s a weekly food market which is just round the corner from my flat in Bermondsey, Southeast London.


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Maltby Street Market is actually set up in Rope Walk; a narrow alley bound on one side by railway arches housing bars and restaurants and on the other by stalls serving all manner of British and international food.

I’d had the urge to capture this characterful and complex view for some time. There’s something compelling about the colourful flags strung overhead the bustling throng that always descends to sample the delicious treats on offer on Saturdays and Sundays. I also love the hanging signs for Vermouth 49 and Little Bird Gin. You can just see the Shard looming in the background.

It was a bright February day, the light was fantastic but the chill gradually seeped right through my clothes and into my bones. I reached a point, despite having simplified the view when I knew I’d have to leave, warm up and add the finishing touches to the sketch at home.

 

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I think the full length, double page sketch (top) turned out pretty well but I prefer this crop (above) which has a more abstract quality.

The Bar Tozino people had a tricky start to their day. The lock on their front door had broken so they had to dismantle the door to get in. That set off the burglar alarm so there followed a raucous half hour when the whole area was beset by wailing. Despite that they were very friendly and generously let me sit and draw at one of their outside tables undisturbed for several hours. I ordered a delicious pisto (like a ratatouille with a couple of fried eggs on top) to keep up my energy levels. Delicious.

Mushrooms – Pen and Watercolour Sketch

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I found these gorgeous mushrooms at the Puntarelle & Co fruit and veg market which opens each Saturday morning in the railway arches of Spa Road. That’s approximately three minutes walk from my flat.

I was shopping for a vegan brunch that I’m hosting on Sunday. I’m planning to cook the mushrooms with olive oil, garlic and black pepper and serve them with avocado and homemade humus on sourdough bread.

I bought the sourdough bread from the Little Bread Peddlar, another arch-dwelling local business, on the other side of Spa Road to the veg market. Amazing to think that when I first moved in here 30 years ago there was only a sparsely stocked Spa mini-market, a chip shop and a dodgy pub. Now we’re spoilt with all manner of artisan goodies.

Just as well they only open on Saturdays though or I’d spend a blinking fortune!

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Pre-Loved Fashion Drawings

fashion, high heels, handbag, leather, gloves, head over heels, bags of style, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteerI recently moved back to London – a rather unexpected and initially unwanted development – but it’s actually turned out to be quite wonderful…

I was having a wander around my district the other day and saw a sign outside the Mary’s Living & Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street asking for volunteers. The Mary in the title is Mary Portas, ‘Queen of Shops’, and the 23 Living and Giving shops in London all sell donated new and pre-loved fashion in aid of Save The Children. So I signed up…what better way to contribute to a worthy cause, meet new people and hang out in a gorgeous place? Not to mention the beautiful pre-loved designer gear (no staff discounts!).

During my first shop shift I felt inspired to draw some of the delightful items on display so I signed them out in the ‘borrow book’ and took them home.

I started by making some sketches to test colours and layout, taking elements from the shop decoration (by Elno Art) to use as the border.

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I was pleased with the sketches but I wanted to develop them into more polished pieces which I could donate to the shop. I got the sketches enlarged by photocopy so that I could trace the layout onto lovely heavy watercolour paper without having to start the whole design process again from scratch.

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Once the pencil line work was complete I went over it with water resistant pens of various nib sizes

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pencil, pied a terre, shoes, fashion, high heels, leather, head over heels, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

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Then with the pen outline finished I rubbed out the pencil marks and started adding layers of watercolour paint

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Obviously the shoe drawing is my favourite…the actual shoes are my size but those heels are really high and my knees are middle aged!

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Finally I got the completed pictures scanned…

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fashion, leather, gloves, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

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I will be so proud to have my drawings displayed in the shop and maybe even sell them – all proceeds to Save the Children.

Pre-loved fashion – sustainable, ethical and beautiful; reuse, recycle, donate!

Update: On 21st March 2018 my lovely friend Wendy came by the shop to buy ‘Head over Heels’! Thank you!

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Tap

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I had a lovely outing to Lassco salvage yard in Bermondsey the other day; not only do they have many interesting and beautiful objects which have been rescued from old buildings but there’s a splendid cafĂ© there too.

I was particularly taken by the tap collection and immortalised this example over a nice pot of green tea.

My companion made a beautiful pencil drawing of another tap, both our drawings along with our models are shown below.

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