Monday, 7 May 2012

the pool of london

hms belfast
Just a couple of weeks now before I am back in London for a visit, so here is a drawing from a previous trip back to the capital, on a sub-zero day in December 2010. You may recall the huge blizzard we had that winter, when the snow stayed on the ground for nearly two weeks. Despite intense cold I still got out to draw as much as possible, and one gloomy afternoon I sat by the Thames, with ice covering the Embankment and frosty Thames air biting my fingers, and sketched HMS Belfast with The Tower and Tower Bridge behind it. The 'Pool of London' this area is called, a natural harbour in the river and much busier in centuries past. To this day, I still cannot look at Tower Bridge and not think of the old Thames Television logo with that memorable little jingle, right before 'Rainbow' or something would come on. My brother once told me that the big guns on the side of HMS Belfast facing north are targeting Scratchwood Services, on the M1 out past Mill Hill, because obviously that's where the big threats are coming from. I don't know if it's true, but it's a nice story.



  1. What a great drawing! I tried drawing this one - but from London Bridge and ships with foreshortening are not easy!

    Perhaps we should all go and draw the new one which is on the Olympics terror alert special exercise? ;)

    see Navy's biggest ship in Thames Olympic-security drill

  2. Wow, that is a big ship. I don't know if I'm brave enough to sketch it and catch the attention of the paranoid terror-security agents, but what an opportunity!

  3. Great sketch Pete, you've seemlessly managed to fit the Tower and Tower Bridge in as well.

  4. I had to fight for the right sketching spot, Murray, let me tell you!

  5. Canaletto sometimes shifted landmarks around so that they were depicted as all being visible from the same spot (which in reality they were not). Who cares, if it looks good.

  6. Well no shifting here, these all are exactly where they were:


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