Saturday, 23 May 2009

Drawing at The Sir John Soane's Museum Workshop

I had a great day of drawing at the Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields yesterday. It was very enjoyable from every point of view. I hadn't visited this museum for many years and had forgotten how interesting it was. The course was a fascinating approach to sketchbooks.

We arrived for a 10:30 start and were introduced to the tutor (James Willis) who gave a talk for the first half hour about Sir John Soane and also explained what we were going to do for the rest of the day. He then took us on a guided tour of the Museum giving us many interesting details about the origin of the exhibits. We had a private view and explanation of Hogarth's Rake's Progress and other paintings etchings and drawings by such notables as Reynolds, Turner and Piranesi as well as Canaletto - just mentioned in passing! During our guided tour we were introduced to Tim Knox the Director of the Museum, who gave us a very warm welcome.

After the tour we returned to the art room where James explained and demonstrated some possibilities for changing and extending our sketch books, using shapes and ideas from the Museum. We proceeded to work on our sketchbooks in preparation for the afternoon's session. Following a short break for lunch, we had a rare opportunity to examine and sketch the exhibits. We all dispersed to find things to add to our sketchbook layers; regrouping in the art room at just after 4pm for a critique of our work, Here are a couple of the layered views from my sketchbook.

I am really pleased with my new all in one printer scanner (Epson SX600FW). I know the drawings are not great but the idea of layers, transparency and overlaid colours is, I think, successful; I can always improve on the execution at a later date. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the day and I certainly felt quite exhausted, but in a pleasant way. The course concluded at 4:30pm.

Although at first glance you might wonder why a person doing CDA 1 was on a drawing course, I will explain that I wanted to meet some fellow OCA students and extend and diversify my experiences and gain some new sources of inspiration. Indeed this course is particularly suitable for students on CDA 1 as it is all about layers, and as you know Photoshop is all about manipulating layers. James' attitude and enthusiasm for the subject and the Museum were refreshing and inspirational; he made this a marvellous course, opening up many possibilities for future work. I am delighted that I chose this course to go on and would recommend it to anyone, whatever fine art course they were taking.