Chimera with Personifications of Fire and the Sea

Chimera with Personifications of Fire and the Sea by Francis William Doyle-Jones.

The sculpture is over the doorway of 24 Lombard Street, London.

It used to be the Royal Insurance building and the statues represent insurance risks of fire and sea and, in the middle, the uncertainty of the future.


    • Hi Michael, this was my plan;
      1. Draw a quick basic pencil sketch for proportions. Estimated 10-15 mins.
      2. Ink over the top. Estimated 40 mins.
      To be all done within a lunch break.

      This was the reality;
      1. Draw pencil sketch, none of the lines were in the right place, copious rubbing out and redrawing. Ripped the thin sketchbook paper. Start again. Finally end up with something to work with. Time: just over an hour, aching legs from standing, shoulder aching from holding the book, etc.
      2. Back a week later to start inking up, first opportunity without rain. Started OK but was taking ages, after an hour I’d only drawn the stuff to the left hand side of the left figure and a basic line for the archway, hadn’t drawn the figures at all!! Time: over an hour.
      3. Back again, managed to do half an hour and again only succeeded to finish a little bit of shading on the body, not even the faces.
      Got fed up after half an hour of trying, and being jostled on the busy street (even though plenty of room for people to get past, phone addicts blindly knocking me) – took some photos instead.
      4. Finished it off at home in 3-4 one hour sessions.

      As you well know, the plans and reality are often far apart. I don’t know why I’m so slow at this, I wanted it to be a quick sketch but I seem incapable of such a thing.

      The pen was a pain as well, on this paper it just doesn’t work well. Immediately after starting I wished I’d used the brushpen instead.

      The end result I’m happy with, it just doesn’t reflect the effort put in though… 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Steve, Thank you for such an honest and encouraging response! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, as a matter of fact, I’m still chuckling to myself while writing this.
    You are correct, often plans and reality are far apart from one another. You sir, have my respect for your persistence in the pursuit of your chosen subject. You shall not be defeated by pen nor paper. Sometimes you have to know when to adapt to the field conditions and it appears to me that you made the correct move.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s