V&A Dundee

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Making V&A Dundee: A draw to artists

We're celebrating everyone involved in making V&A Dundee a living, breathing museum. When we saw Andrew Siddall sat outside sketching the building, we asked him to tell us more.

As one of the many participants of Urban Sketching, I like to join the Edinburgh group when time allows. We decided to have an early summer trip to Dundee as I hadn’t visited the new museum before and thought it would make a great subject for some of our sketchers.

I hadn’t been in Dundee since an interview for the Art School in 1988, so I was keen to explore the city a little more too. I have worked in architecture since graduating in the early nineties and love to draw on location whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Drawing V&A Dundee is certainly a challenge and we took a few hours drawing it from various angles. My particular approach is normally to just commit ink to paper with no pencil ‘construction’ lines but on this occasion I made a soft pencil sketch first. I used the sketching process to mentally uncover the building and work out how the architecture was made.

A black and white pen drawing of V&A Dundee and all its lines and crooked edges. The Tay River is beside the museum and the Tay Rail Bridge can be seen in the distance.
A rough but clear and well done pencil sketch of V&A Dundee on the water's edge.
  • Andrew's line drawing of the museum.

  • Andrew's first pencil sketch to better understand the architecture of the museum.

I then redrew it from a slightly different angle (now that I had a clearer, more 3D understanding of it) using a pigment liner and some dark shading to pick out the depth and shadow between the cladding strips. It's actually fairly straightforward when you break it down into a series of blocks and surfaces; the proportion and sculptural qualities were starting to work much better in my afternoon sketch.

I’ll certainly be back to draw it from different angles and scales and keep on looking for new views. There's still plenty of room for improvement in my drawings.

Andrew Siddall is an urban sketcher based in Edinburgh, drawing spaces and places on location and one day at a time and you can follow him on Instagram.

Black and purple abstract pattern.

To celebrate our nomination for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019, we want to thank everyone involved in making V&A Dundee possible. From the initial idea, to the first visitor, to how we're working to make the museum the very best it can be.