Museums tend to have a lot of big, dark paintings about redundant topics… you could easily believe that for about 600 years nobody in the “Western World” ever painted anything that didn’t revolve around religion (which they probably didn’t because only the churches had any money to pay artists…) The plus to this is that you get to see different versions of the same stories, which can be fascinating. The down side is that you begin to feel like if you see another chubby cherub hovering above a concerned crowd, you’re going to stick your finger down your throat… but I digress. I wore black to the British National Gallery “Big Draw” event on Tuesday, which made it possible to try that messy technique where you color your whole page black (very popular with the kindergarten crowd) then use your “rubbah” aka eraser to lift off the spots where the highlights should be. And danged if it didn’t work. Kind of. Above you see the results of my attempt to “drawr” St. Francis Meditating by Francisco de Zurbarán in 1639..
Later that day I tried a new life drawing venue, one we saw advertised at the “Crown and Greyhound” pub in Dulwich Village when Helen and Gary took us there a couple of weeks ago for a traditional Sunday pub lunch. So, first, here is “The Dog” as they call it, from the corner booth looking out to the village:
We got there early enough to have supper and for me to sketch a bit before the class. Once again, I hit it lucky with finding really excellent instruction and models provided by a group called “Alive and Drawing”, this time with two young women wearing body suits painted with a colorful diamond pattern. This is one of my two favorite sketches from the session, the other one I’m saving because I think I might use it in my “Call and Response” exhibit coming up next spring:
So Tuesday was a very full day, followed by an “off” day when I didn’t take any classes but instead stayed in to finish a few things I’ve been meaning to try, such as Helen’s 1980 photo (which doesn’t quite do her justice), and a still life of silver goblets:
The goblets were engraved with prizes for running and track events from the 1890’s, the egg shapes were turquoise marbles… Helen thinks the silver needs polishing, I think it’s got a lovely patina!
So there are five very different sketches, each representing just one facet of what I am now thinking of as my Sketch Pilgrimage to Europe… and I’ll be shipping one full sketchbook home tomorrow!