I was lucky enough last Friday to be invited along with a group of artists on an “Urban Sketch Crawl” around Birmingham! Thanks to my dad and his architectural illustrator friends, and the fact that I happen to have my own (but rarely sketched in!) Urban Sketchbook, I found out about it and thought I’d give it a go.
I was a little dubious about meeting at the Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum, since with the Christmas market outside its a hectic and stressful area at the moment. However it turned out that we would actually be sketching inside the gallery itself! This was a good solution as not only was it quiet and warm, but it also meant that those (such as myself) who are not so confident drawing interiors could focus on some small objects instead.
It was an interesting exercise drawing a coffee pot, a wooden bird toy and a knife adorned with hunting scenes from BM&AG’s display cabinets. I examined and observed the objects in a way that I simply wouldn’t have had I been visiting normally. The hunting scenes intricately carved into a knife were probably my favourite. I love the tiny hares and dogs. As ever though, the objects I started with were an array of teapots. I figured its best to start off where you’re confident rather than agonise over choice of subject matter. After all everything becomes interesting once you look closely.
I then challenged myself with drawing Epstein’s sculpture of Lucifer. Sculptures are easier to draw than people, with their already defined outlined and features. My version is a little on the camp side, but that’s not so different from Epstein’s flamboyant and emotive style. I think he’s fast becoming my favourite sculptor. But again, you feel more of an affinity with something when you draw it.
There were many lovely drawings, in front of which I was intensely inspired to try new techniques (must add brown paper to my sketchbook!), and materials (hankering after some brush pens now). But most of all this makes me want to draw more.
To see the fantastic works of the Birmingham Urban Sketchers find them on Flickr! I will post a link soon but rather limited by Blogging from my phone. Also Happy Friday 13th everyone!