January 20th, 2008

sweeney todd + paranoia

I just got home from seeing 'Sweeney Todd' with friends in Peckham. Lots of throat slitting and gore and very, very atmospheric. I'd spent all yesterday morning cycling around London's old wharves, so I really identified with Tim Burton's cool set. But I got way too caught up in the mood of the film, and as we left the cinema and were walking to the pub up Peckham Rye, it suddenly seemed the most obvious place in modern-day London that one would have one's throat slit by a wild-eyed barber set on vengeance. We went into the pub and couldn't find a seat, so the bar woman (who wore lots of black eyeliner) ushered us into a very dark, quiet room at the back, where we were all certain to die marvelous gothic deaths. We ordered chips but decided to give the meat pies a miss. This first sketch is pretty bad, but I think it's kind of funny because it looks really tight and paranoid, which was exactly how I was feeling:

I did the other two sketches after I'd had a gin and relaxed a bit.

spot-the-wharf game

I got up early on Saturday morning and cycled around London's docks and wharves, which must be one of my most favourite places in the world. So many of them still exist, in all different states of usage and repair. I like to play this game where I try to count all the different wharf signs on both sides of the river between Greenwich Foot Tunnel and Tower Bridge. I missed several (such as Convoy's Wharf) because I only decided to play about a quarter of the way around the loop. So if you're in London, you shouldn't have too much difficulty beating my Saturday score of 34. Lots more to be had, especially if you count the street signs. The other tricky part is that a lot of the wharves have two signs, one on the riverside and one on the street side, but you often can't see both at once if the building's flush against the river.

Here's my trusty bike next to the lamp post. The only problem with riverside London is very hard to settle down to draw one or two things, because then I'll miss looking at the 9,145 other amazing things along the way. So I usually end up taking photos instead of drawing, until my battery runs out (246 photos this time). But I WILL draw some of it soon.

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