The Standard, London in Living Watercolor

“I'm less into details, I am more into a feeling and a vibe. Once I finish a sketch, I do not touch it again”

Léon Moh-Cah is an illustrator and artist from France that is interested in all the beauty of everyday life. An alumni of London’s Royal College of Art, Léon explains that she is never without her watercolour palette, brushes and A6 sketchbook. During her year-long trip across the world (which she’s still on!), she stumbled across The Standard, London and couldn’t help but sketch some of her favourite spaces at the hotel, both inside and outside. 

We spoke with Léon to understand more about her artistry and what drew her to sketch The Standard, London

What inspires you to sketch? 
Travelling is my main source of inspiration for my drawings, it’s very important to me and nourishes my sketches. I travel to draw and I draw to travel. I’m lucky enough that I can do both at the same time. 

What’s your medium? 
I use mostly watercolour, and a tool called rotring. It’s basically like a needle that spreads ink and is very thin. I also use a bit of pastel and pencil. Watercolour was the first medium I used (after pencil), and now it’s very much my thing. I go everywhere with in it my bag, along with my sketchbook. In my bag, I have a little pocket which has an A6 sketchbook incase I need it, with my rotring, pencil, my watercolour and a film case which I fill with water and my brush. 

How did you find The Standard, London? 
I found it because I follow Donna Leake and her shows around London, and at some point, I discovered Chessidency because of it. I was just going to every Chessidency and sketching all the time there. Everyone was playing chess and I was sketching them. At some point, I was just publishing my sketching of the hotel and that’s how you guys noticed my work. 

What spaces have you sketched? 
I sketched most of the big spaces, I was sketching for 2 days non-stop. The first day I arrived at 11 in the morning, and I left at maybe 2am. I really wanted to get the vibe of it, daytime and night-time. The Library Lounge is the space I became most familiar with and I loved sketching it the most; the books, the words replying to each other on the shelves is really nice. 

I also loved sketching Decimo. I found 2 hours to find my colour palette which is a bit longer than usual for me but I guess it was just the diversity of drawing such a big hotel and I needed to find the vibe of it. Decimo was the starting point of 2 days of sketch in The Standard, London. It was where I tried to marry the orange with the reds and the green and the purple. There is a colour palette in the hotel that is very coherent for me. I needed to adapt what I was seeing to my palette style which was really interesting. Through Decimo I managed to figure out my palette, so it was special for me.

Credit: Léon Moh-Cah

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