VSW: Cathedral of Saint Basil’s, Moscow

I’ve started this study very late
on a weekend night.  The building is
the Cathedral of Saint Basil, AKA Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, AKA Cathedral of the Intersession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat (image right from Wikipedia).

Or, CIMHTM if you like acronyms!

Magical turrets and bubbling rooftops created fairy-tale building imagery that is so so different from our buildings in the USA… I have to believe that Disney saw Russia before creating Disneyland.

I started again by blocking the onion domes in pencil.
Is there anything harder to freehand than swirling diminishing stripes?
Truly wonky sketches!

Then I began in the center of the motifs with detail, moving outward,
inking with a Platinum Carbon fountain pen in Platinum Carbon Waterproof ink.

Watercolor took much less time, and it felt a little too color-by-numbers to be fun.
I know I have actual gold watercolor that shimmers but can not find it!
If I have time for one more I may do the next one in a
fantasy manner, adding magical colors as if the building is a fairy building,
as they sort of lend themselves to bright color!

The images I used were provided by Aniko Szedlak;
In a rare instance I thought you all should see the entire building, hence the Wiki pic.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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2 Responses to VSW: Cathedral of Saint Basil’s, Moscow

  1. laurenob says:

    Thank you for sharing your process, it really helps this very non-artistic drawer, and I hope you’re finding and getting your groove back. I usually don’t use pencil to start, as I feel I can never truly cover the markings. Which makes things challenging but also makes me concentrate more. But I think if I did start to incorporate pencil I might push myself more. May I ask what type of pencil you use and whether you erase it all first to very light or just wash on over it?

    Thank you, I aspire to your penmanship because I know the artistry is way out of reach. 😂 I love that you’ve discovered your distinct style.




    • I use a softer pencil but keep it sharp. So HB is a preference. Sometimes I plan on erasing, sometimes I wash over it — it depends on the sketch. In commissioned pieces I think these things out much more. I use a soft grey knead-able eraser — I wish I could tell you the name but all art stores have them and they are inexpensive. Knead them a lot so they are pliable. The best.

      I tend to like Pentalic HB woodless pencils and they are now made by someone new but you can see an image of them here: https://dkatiepowellart.me/2015/07/01/kursuwa-stad-aluminum-pencil-caps/

      Also, you may want to search in the sidebar for “tools” and discussions about paints and other tools. When I switched from acrylics to watercolors reading about what other artists used helped me so much — saved me money too. Like buying artist grade, not student grade, paints. You can’t get a juicy wash with most student grade watercolors so you are forever disappointed in the intensity of your colors!

      I was an architect ages ago. My penmanship is pretty bad but a stub nib on a fountain pen helps a LOT (saves on plastic going into the landfill from microns and the like). I talk about fountain pens, and the best way to go is to purchase one like a TWSBI Go with a stub then get some waterproof ink, like DeAtramentis Black or Urban Grey.


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