Thursday, 7 January 2010

Travel sketchbook: Prague, Nov 09

Greetings everyone and a Happy new year to you!...

I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed the festivities. Apologies again for the lateness of my postings. But as always, I have been very busy with other activities. November and December were especially busy and I haven't had time to sit down and post. Sadly no Christmas imagery as all I have are little sketches of Christmassy stuff on post-it notes. I may make a montage and put it up here soon.

So last November after deciding that I needed a holiday, my mate Paddy and I decided on going to Prague. I have only been once before, 6 years prior, and only for a very short time, sadly not getting to see much of the time. I decided that I wanted to explore the city in more depth. I remember Prague being a very beautiful city. most of all, I regretted having not taken any decent photos of the most recognisable part of the Old town Square, the two Gothic spires belonging to the Church of our Lady before Tyn. So Paddy and I checked into our hotel 5 mins walk from Wenceslas Square and 15 mins from the Old town...We set off on our adventure and voyage of discovery...

Above is the first image I sketched. this is a view of St Nicholas church a Baroque beauty that houses the Prague conservertoir Orchestra. Many of the churches in Prague are now used for Classical concerts (a good chance to see the interior of the building). Fortunately Paddy and I were able to see one. It was an cultural experience to remember.

This next sketch, was a quick sketch in the dark or Prague and was a quick one as it was drizzling. So it is very simplified (like my Edinburgh sketch of Paddy on Arthur's seat...see 08 for details). But i managed to get the prowess of St Wenceslas (who is the inspiration for the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas). Although technically not a King, he was a Slavic Prince killed by his younger brother Borslav who did become King, Wenceslas was canonised by the church and is one of the most famous of Prague's saints. The building behind is the National Gallery of Prague a most impressive building, especially at night when lit up.

One of the days was spent walking to and around Prague castle on Hredcany over the other side of the Vltava River from the Old town. So walking over charles Bridge, you climb a slope to get to the castle. Not a medieval looking one as it has been rebuilt time and again over the years in many different styles, (similar to Edinburgh castle, which doesn't have the Norman look of many castles in Europe). Framed in the castle is the synonymous St Vitus Cathedral. It's silohette can be seen from the Old town. the Cathedral is beautiful housing many chapels including St Wenceslas's chapel the most ornate chapel. A glorious gothic cathedral. But as you can see the spire had a Baroque makeover. This image took me an hour to do as I decided to make it a double page spread.

Now for my most proudest and greatest achievement this trip (definately my favourite drawing, with St Giles). This is the most famous image of Prague for me...The Church of our Lady before Tyn. The church is a most impressive gothic building, sadly the interior was not so impressive as it had a Baroque makeover, so I was disappointed. But the exterior was just as I left it 6 years ago... So I sat on my last day sketching the famous spires. I took my time over this drawing and I hope the effort shows. Sweat, blood and tears went into this drawing and i'm most proud of it. This time round pictures were taken, I filmed it and drew it...that more than makes up for last please enjoy these visual treats...Hopefully more to come this year!... :D