Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Broomhill Festival: Children's SketchCrawl

Usually my SketchCrawls are for all comers: mostly adults, but generally with 2 or 3 children too. However, a few months ago I was contacted by the organisers of the Broomhill Festival - they had learnt of the Sheffield SketchCrawls and thought something similar would make a great kid's activity. 

The day came round on Sunday. I was more than a little nervous. We planned to spend the whole afternoon sketching in the Botanical Gardens: normally a pretty safe plan for mid June, even in England. Except that it has been raining stair-rods almost every day for what seems like weeks. I got to up the usual ominous storm clouds and puddles in the garden from a recent downpour. The morning continued to brood. 

Then, miraculously, 10 minutes before kick-off the clouds parted and radiant sun shone down on us! I was actually too hot for much of the afternoon, in my heavy jeans and with a big jumper and a fleece to lug around (I even took my fingerless gloves - in June!!!).

I took along piles of my sketchbooks to show everyone, to help give them ideas, and talked about all the different art materials you could try. Thanks to Derwent's generosity, I was even able to lend out tins of coloured pencils, pastels and watercolour pencils for people to experiment with. Then, to everyone's fascination, my friend and fellow sketcher Jane Horton talked about iPad/iPhone sketching - I went to the private view of her excellent new exhibition of iPad drawings Sheffield Illuminated on Friday - also part of the festival:

At 2.30, we dispersed into the park and I spent the rest of the afternoon hunting people down, so we could chat about their sketches, I could offer any help they needed and then sometimes draw alongside them. The children did some amazing work (I wish I had it to show you). They are such naturals at simplification and abstraction; they do instinctively what adults take years of study and practise to achieve.

At 4.30 we did the usual sharing, then I gave Urban Sketchers a plug and signed as many people as I could up for my regular SketchCrawls. We all had a very nice afternoon, so thank you to Simon for the idea and hello to anyone I met who is looking in!

1 comment:

jabbott said...

I agree my daughters approach to drawing is so logical.you can learn a lot from the way they draw.It looks like you had a great time.love your blog.