I was recently commissioned to produce an illustration for a newly refurbished pub in Clapham in south London. Like many pubs in recent times it has been through a few reincarnations and the new owners were going to create a high-end gastropub and rename the pub “The Pig’s Head”.

It is a fine two-story building of traditional London brick, the colour of toast with red brick embellishments.  The traditional sash windows are generous on all floors and must deliver plenty of light to the rooms above. It’s a lovely structure as those Victorians rarely cut corners.

Planning the illustration of The Pig’s Head

Generally, I would go on site to paint something like this, but, at the time the project was commissioned, the painted signage and woodwork were incomplete so I had to work from the client visuals coupled with what I could muster from Google Street View. In addition to the main structure, there would be a large red and white striped awning covering the chairs and tables out front, not to mention various A boards and barrels by the entrance.

All these things had to be imagined in working drawings prior to any paint to be applied. We even had to discuss the people sitting out front, the chairs and tables, and the estimated width of the candy stripes on the awning once it was fitted.

Drawing Pig's head pub in Clapham

Once all the details were ticked off, I got on with the final picture. This is the part when all the preparation pays off as I could concentrate purely on the illustration without any questions lingering in the back of my mind. I rather enjoyed it all, although getting those awning stripes working and evenly spaced was tricky.

Web page Pig's head pub in Clapham

Once the painting was complete, the client requested that it be mounted and framed. This I did and took a trip south of the river to deliver personally – I hate posting paintings!

I got off the train at Wandsworth Road and wove up and along a number of roads before finally making it to the Pig’s Head. I was really pleased to see that my illustration looked exactly like the final product.

So pleased in fact I stayed for lunch.

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