Tuesday, 30 August 2016


I didn't have very long in Cambridge this time, but as I was staying in an Air BnB with a bike, I was able to cover some ground :-)

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
I love the Gonville and Caius building, which is opposite Great St Mary's and next to the Senate building. I suppose I like the scale of it - not as enormous as the lovely Kings College and others that date back so many centuries, but more of a 'human' scale.

Gonville and Caius from St Mary's.

I started painting the tower it last April on a very cold windy day, so was determined to return to my spot outside St Mary's and finish it this year. Last year I also went up and had a look at the view of Cambridge from the St Mary's tower - quite wonderful. This year I sat in the sunshine, and a busker set up and started singing gorgeous love songs just behind me. What a tough life :-)

Gonville and Caius tower,
Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5.
Herring Compact palette
with Daniel Smith colours.
There were tour groups wandering past giving a commentary in various languages and a lovely sense of Summer holidays.

I was using my lightweight Herring palette - shown left - which I have modified to hold 24 Daniel Smith watercolours. More than really necessary but I enjoy having so many colour options and a number of lovely earth colours and convenience greens. Here are the colours in this palette and here is a post on many of the palettes I use for watercolour and gouache.

The brushes are Rosemary & Co - a size 10 and a new size 2 sable, and I was also using a Faber Castell watersoluble graphite pencil and a Copic cool grey felt tip pen.

The markets in Cambridge are open every day, but with different stalls on different days. I bought a lot of gorgeous fresh summer berries :-)

I also spent some time sketching from this shaded position - a rather nice view of Great St Mary's from the rear. It's a very important church for the university - all Cambridge students must live within 3 miles of it. On graduation day they parade to the church, and then into the Senate building to be presented with their degrees.

Great St Mary's, Cambridge, in The perfect sketchbook B5. Stage one.
A visit to Cambridge wouldn't be the same without enjoying some of the college gardens, checking out the freshly made fudge shop, a high tea, a cello and violin concert in a stunning chapel and an open air Shakespeare - all with my lovely daughter as my tour guide! 

Walking around in Cambridge, like Bath, is lovely. I feel there are more historical buildings in one English city than in my whole country! Fortunately many of them are beautifully preserved.

I'll come back next year and finish my painting :-)

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