Drawing The Duke

Wednesday 6th April, 2016|Category: News
Alexandra Crichton line drawing of The Duke

A few months ago we were lucky enough to have Alexandra Crichton create some stunning line drawings of the hotel, we thought it was about time we shared her beautiful work with you!


Alex was awarded an Art Bursary at Warminster School Wiltshire, where she honed her talent for drawing and design, then excelled creatively at Plymouth College of Art. She established as an artist in 2001 through the Prince’s Trust specialising in Motorsport paintings and portraits, later venturing into nautical, abstracts and murals too selling directly to the public and through local galleries. Now also a 1st Class Spatial Design graduate she feels very at home in coastal  Devon where she lives with her fiancée.  She enjoys the pursuits of coast and country  – clay pigeon shooting, hiking up Tors, mountain biking and a spot of sailing. Whether she is designing or drawing in her studio, painting on the coast, sketching ancient towns or consulting on projects she endeavours to create balance and drama in all her work. 

We were lucky enough to sit down with Alexandra and have a chat about her art and drawing the duke:

1) What made you create this kind of art? 2014-11-21 14.30.44_resized
My portfolio is a wide range of subjects and mediums, but I have always been a strong drawer. I see drawings as finished art pieces now but previously they were just part of my creative process for creating a painting. I now love to see the working drawing shown through a painting – it shows the hand of the artist at work.

2) You are based at Ocean Studio’s, why did you choose there?
I chose to be an Ocean Studios artist as I felt Plymouth is experiencing a great artistic flourish and I wanted to be involved. I loved working in the Royal William Yard amongst other enthusiastic artists, but having recently given birth I am now working from my home studio.

3) What appealed to you about drawing The Duke?
The Duke is an imposing structure with complicated architectural details. I enjoy the challenge of drawing detailed subjects: boats, cathedrals, bridges and streets. It’s not always about replicating reality exactly but capturing an essence. Sometimes my quick sketches just suggest complex detail.

4) The Hotel is so iconic, what was your favourite part to draw?
I loved drawing the turret on The Duke, I found it particularly interesting; it’s like a fairy tale looking out to sea! The many balconied windows and complex stonework requires a keen eye to get back on the page in order. My favourite sketch of mine is a loose drawing, featuring park benches in the foreground and balances two large trees with the hotel.

5) You designed some cards for Walter’s Birthday (Managing Director of the Duke) – how did you find the process?
I decided to draw the Duke from many angles for the card design. I also varied the amount of detail, style and width of the pen line too. Changes like these keep your eye fresh to draw each image independently. Adding flat colour just for the sky gives the pen drawing a pop of contemporary energy, whereas the watercolour one has a more traditional feel.

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“I draw what I see and paint what I feel – objects, places and architecture with an emphasis on the drawn line, or scratched line in my paintings. I love evident creative markings.”


“It’s a joy to balance form and function and then to add my artwork – bliss! The boundaries of design are strangely comforting to me and I relish getting my art ‘off the wall’.” 

Thank you so much to Alexandra for doing this artwork for us (which we are completely in love with) and also for taking the time out of her busy day of art and her new baby to answer our questions – we couldn’t recommend her and her artwork enough!

You can find out more about Alexandra on her Facebook or visit her Website.

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