Tag Archives: Waterstone’s bookshop

A Page Of Pigeons

14 Jan

Ink sketch: local pigeons.


There’s a nice cafe in an old cinema that’s been converted to a Waterstones bookshop in the cuty centre. Sometimes I sit in the large Victorian bow window, drinking tea and wathcing what’s going on outside and sketching. When I first started, there was a Woolworth’s store opposite which had large signage that stuck out a few inches from the wall. While it was doing well, the signage was lit up – a bright orange – but when the chain went bankrupt, the store was empty for a couple of years and because the signage was no longer lit up, it was no longer too hot for the pigeons, who colonised it almost immediately. They were almost directly opposite me so I began to draw them during my visits.

I don’t usually draw animals and had never attempted birds before and they were really hard to draw, they don’t sit still, always fidgeting. It was quite a challenge artistically so I ended up concentrating on capturing the ‘spirit’ of the birds instead of trying and failing to get a detailed likeness. That’s what taxidermy is for. I prefer to draw animals alive. The ‘H’ shows one of the letters with it’s cover off, probably blown away in a storm, and all the electrical gubbins inside. The shop has now been taken over by The Pound Store and their signage is flat, so the pigeons have nowhere to stay and I can no longer sit and sip tea and draw them.

Drawin in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, various sizes, into a Daler Rowney bound A5 sketchbook.

Watching From Waterstone’s.

27 Dec

Ink sketch: watching from Waterstone's.


It’s been a funny old week, all the routines disrupted by the holiday and fitting in daily visits to elderly relatives in hospital and nursing home so today I fancied a bit of peace and quiet. My quiet place is Waterstone’s cafe in the bookshop in the old cinema in the city centre. I like to sit in the window table with a pot of tea and look out into the street below and sketch. There are seats outside the shops opposite and all sorts of people stop and rest there, making them ideal subjects for a surreptitious scribbler.I don’t spend long there, just a quick pot of tea, a rapid sketch and my batteries are recharged.

Today, a very large man sat on the bench, dressed in black with sparkling white shoes and carrier bags full of sale goods. There was so much black on and around him that the sketch looks a bit Frank Miller, but that’s not a bad thing.


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