On Saturday I took part in my first ever Sketchcrawl. It's a phenomenon that's been around a while in the US, but we Brits are catching up!
The idea is, instead of taking a sketchbook out on your lonesome, you meet up with a bunch of other folk and spend the day together. Saturday was Worldwide Sketchcrawl Day, so people were doing it all over the globe.
It was Wakefield's first time, but a great success. Helen, our leader, had sorted a timetable with various places to try (she even arranged a sunny day for us). I missed the 'breakfast cafe' venue, travelling from Sheffield, but got in for the next stage: the orangery garden at Beam (above and below).
We had about 45 minutes. Half the challenge was deciding, quickly, what to plump for, so as not to waste the time dithering. I needed all my 45 mins, tackling all that ivy behind the graves!
That's Helen above, you can see her sketchbook below - I so love the fact that everyone's sketches are entirely different (thanks to Dave Hanvey for the photos).
Next up was Wakefield Museum: really hard to choose, as there was so much stuff. I found myself a vey quiet corner upstairs, surrounded by loads of Victorian bits and pieces in glass cases.
Though I'm sure it's very much against the rules, I was so tucked away that I sneaked a quick cup of tea from my flask (well, I missed out on the cafe bit...).
We had a whole hour, so I managed 2 pages. Victorian dolls are wonderfully creepy, aren't they?
We had earned lunch at a cafe by then, but as soon as we had done our scoffing, we got out the sketchbooks again: This is John Welding, another illustrator, who did some amazing drawings with a brushpen.
After lunch we walked to Chantry Bridge, over a wide river. It was still sunny on and off, but really windy: very irritating, as the wind keeps snatching at your sketchbook pages.
On the bridge, there was the beautiful (and very twiddly) Chantry Chapel, which some people went for, but I fancied the lush view down over the river:
I just had time to do a few quick sketches of a couple of the others, sitting on the pavement sketching. Rose and Dave are looking over the other side of the bridge, to where we discovered a pair of swans nesting.
When we were suitably chilled to the bone by that wind, we headed off to Fernandes Brewery Tap, a lovely, hide-away of a pub, where we chilled out and passed round our sketchbooks. Take a look at the other people's drawings.
So, a smashing day out, a chance to meet some really interesting new people and a licence to draw all day. What more could anyone want? I will definitely be doing it again, and might even organise one here in Sheffield. If you'd be interested in coming along, let me know.
There are more photos in my Photo Gallery.