Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sketching in Greenwich

After visiting Docklands yesterday I was a bit concerned about today's sketching meetup in Greenwich as I was afraid of walking through the same places once again. Also the weather was not very promising, to say at least, with low dark clouds threatening any outdoor activity.

A view on Old Royal Naval Colledge

However, everything went unexpectedly fine. Heavy showers made me seek shelter very soon and so I crossed the Thames using the underwater footpath:

Under the Thames

Last time I checked it was under restoration so today I used that tunnel for the first time. Lifts still don't work being repaired so you have to take a narrow spiral staircase on both ends, which makes numerous signs asking cyclists to dismount look a bit odd. The passage itself is significantly longer than the width of the river as it is diagonal for some (presumably geological) reason.

The building on the south bank I always thought was the Maritime museum is actually a former Naval college now partly serving as a music one (which, again I can say, is quite symbolic).

Old Royal Naval College

(also to mention, that wasn't the first turn in its history as originally the building was built for a hospital)

A view on Old Royal Naval College

If the bluish domes resting on the thin grey pillars remind you of something (more precisely, of St. Paul's cathedral), you're absolutely right as they were designed by Christopher Wren as well. It's even funny how much both buildings have in common stylewise.

Here's my poor attempt (you might as well call it "put the charcoal back, you don't know how to use it"):

Old Royal Navy College wing

Then, as the rain continued, I went to the Maritime museum right after the college. It turned out to be an another museum worth spending a whole day in without getting bored or tired.

Exhibition entrance

National Maritime Museum

One of the first pieces visitors see is the splendid Miss Britain III power boat. This silver bullet is faster than 100 mph!

Miss Britain III 100 mph power boat

Miss Britain III power boat

There are maybe not so many things on display (well, still plenty but less than could be expected from the building of that size) but the additional space is carefully organised to create the proper atmosphere. That's why you don't end up with a headache soon and can literally spend a day there.

Predictably, there are halls entirely dedicated to ship models:

And nose figures:

Plus light shadows

Many of them are too grotesque so I takes some time to pick one for sketching - otherwise you can't be sure if that's your fault or the original figure indeed has the distorted proportions.

Now back outside to ramble the streets around...

Greenwich doors

Another power station of the south bank. Smaller than the famous Battersea station and Bankside power plant now housing Tate Modern gallery, but wow, it is still operational!

Greenwich old power station

It looks like another weekend is very close to being called a perfect one:

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