There being no football or rugby matches this Saturday I was able to join The Dodgers. Most were in their class in the Studio in New Malden so for the rest - just 4 of us - we went to this delightful pub on the banks of the River Thames in Twickenham. It dates back to the 17th century with a Samuel Scott print, dated 1760 hanging above the fire in the bar. Its garden overlooks and is sometimes with the higher tides in The River.
It was due to be cold but wasn't that chilly. With the sun on my back and the face of the pub I was able to set up my tripod easel and work away quietly. Well not quietly - it was the day of the England Fiji match, one of the Autumn Internationals - and soon the area in front was a buzz with fellow rugby fans. Plenty stopping to watch and make generous comments as the image developed. It is always pleasant to chat and sometimes encourage people to have a go. I wonder if they ever do....
Never was it more true that if you want to see something draw it. Or go somewhere to draw...It was a grey, damp uninviting day but as I have missed so many Urbans' outings determined to go. Astonishingly 40 or so joined us. Initially there seemed little to inspire but having seen the skyline from Battersea passed New Covent Garden to Vauxhall I thought I'd head west and found my way onto the Riverside. Wonderful sweep in The River and mix of new and old buildings. And Battersea Power Station being masachered. The chimneys going or gone - to be replaced with fakes - which is a shame. But a good urban subject and in the spirit of the manifesto captures a moment in the continuing change.
It was so damp, not actually raining that the paper wouldn't take pencil let alone watercolour so having somehow got the basics retired for a window, table and hot chocolate in the Riverside restaurant/bar. Really good.
Met for a mid-session break then back to Vauxhall bridge. I'd seen another catch the drama of the bridge and a series of posts at the foot of it which seemed a good option. But now the drizzle made watercolour impossible. Retired to Tate Britain, a comfortable bench to finish.
Not my best day, out of practice so need to get some more days in...
Sketching thoughts and stories from John Webb.