The Thames at London

Working so close to the Thames is a wonderful opportunity to draw some spectacular views. I should have produced more with so much inspiration around, especially as I cross Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges almost every day. However, I have only there three sketches to show for it.

In my defense I have made sketches of other stretches of the Thames, nearer to my home, but these will be part of another post.

This first sketch was made on a journey up to London Bridge. It was a really hot spring morning and I had to find shade, a view that inspired me and a place  to sit down without being in the way. I walked a stretch of the north Embankment from London Bridge towards Tower Bridge but there was no shade. There was a great view of HMS Belfast from London Bridge but again no shade and full of tourists. The south bank was even busier but I found this view on a seat set back from the main walkway. After the main drawing I added some simple washes to the Tower of London but then it started to rain. I packed away and went to a Tango lesson in Southwark at the Tango Club. The painting was polished off at home a week later but I decided to keep the colour to just the distance as I felt adding more to the foreground would make it too busy.


View from the South Bank looking at The Tower of London

This view is of HMS President. I walked to the Thames from work on anther hot spring day. The  spot gave me a great view of the ship and bridge plus the base of the lamppost. I made the line drawing in my small sketchbook on two visits and kept it without colour for some time. It was quite daunting to paint the river but I jumped in about a month later and I’m happy with the result. The Shard was in the background but I decided to  keep it simple this time. I have danced Tango on HMS President. Its a great afternoon event and worth visiting. The dance floor is interesting as there is a definite camber each end.


HMS President

Also from my small sketchbook is this panorama of the London skyline from the South Bank. On a lovely clear evening in June I was walking to Waterloo when I saw this pier and view. I was just starting a week off from work and I felt I could spend an hour sketching the view. Again the line work was done in situ and I laid the washes a couple of days later when I had more time. As I painted there was an Oompah band on stilts playing close by. It was  gentle company and kept a lot of the tourists away from my precious spot.

St Pauls and Blackfriars Bridge

St Pauls and Blackfriars Bridge

As an addition to this post I have included this drawing of Albert Bridge. I entered the Pintar Rapido 2014 and was on a location finding day. I started along the Chelsea embankment and found a handy bench overlooking Albert Bridge.

It was a very hot day and there was a lot of road traffic behind me. However, I sketched this in about an hour before heading off to find other locations.

River Thames

Albert Bridge







  1. These are amazing paintings, the level of detail is incredible and yet they don’t seem over worked or too busy. I also really like the unfinished look if the first painting. Brilliant!

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