It all began in the morning at Salford Museum and Art Gallery (which is just around the corner from my studio). We were to spend the day with illustrator and author of childrens books, Lynne Chapman who currently has an exhibition of her work on show in the gallery.
Lynne began by talking us through her work, and I learnt a lot about the thought process that goes into illustration; how to keep it interesting, what you can and can't show, how to get around tricky narrative. It was all really interesting and I especially enjoyed getting the viewpoint from another artistic genre and hearing how we shared similar pros and cons of being freelance artists.
It was a glorious day, hot bright and sunny so the group had lunch outside and immediately got stuck in with sketching. The gallery is located in the University complex so that most of the surroundings are made up of wonderful Victorian buildings and lots of park land, and it is always bustling with students.
The plan was to spend a hour at three different spots then reconvene at the end of the day. I started out pretty rusty, not having sketched outside for a good while, but once I let myself relax into the moment I started to get much better. One of my favourite things was to try and capture the atmosphere of all the students lolling about in the sun, chatting and reading.
This girl lay for ages before she realised I was drawing her, at which point she upped an left, you can't win them all I guess, but I did like the shape her legs made from this angle.
This building was always busy and I liked the grandness of the entrance which had floods of people pouring in and out at all times.
The best building was the gallery itself and I spent a good hour or so sketching it. Matters weren't helped by the fact an enormous bus parked right in front of it just as I was drawing the entrance! So frustrating, but I managed to draw around it until it left. I tried to capture the movement around the building which was always changing as people and vehicles came and went constantly.
After grabbing a cup of tea the group met for a viewing of what we'd come up with. Lynne was really enthusiatic about our work and took photos for her blog. It was really good to share our endevours and find out what each other had seen and been inspired by that day.
I'd recommend a sketch crawl to anyone interested in drawing no matter what level they are at. The day was really laid back and fun and I felt I got a lot out of it! I think Lynne runs similar events in her home town of Sheffield so it's worth checking out news on her blog and also other drawing activites at your local gallery.