The BBC were interviewing Simone Ridyard and James Hobbs, leaders of the Manchester and London Urban Sketching groups, because Saturday was World Wide SketchCrawl Day and Urban Sketchers from all around the globe were out with their sketchbooks. Unlike the lucky folks living in warm, sunny climes, SketchCrawl North decided it would be prudent to spend our day indoors.
The museum is a real treasure and much bigger than I expected. It's stuffed full with all sorts. As you can see, I really got into the cases full of skeletons. One room was dominated by a massive T-Rex (the favourite of all the children visitors):
One of my favourites was the elephant skeleton. I had no idea that inside their big, stubby feet, they have the bones for long toes:
As well as skeletons and stuffed creatures, there was a vivarium, with live snakes, frogs and lizards. I chose the chameleon because he was sitting nice and still. Only his eye swivelled round, keeping tabs on passing faces through the glass.
At the end of the afternoon, we met up with the Manchester group in the huge Kro bar. Together we were quite a crowd: 30 - 40 people, sharing our sketchbooks and getting to know one another. Fantastic. The home group had been drawing around Victoria Station and many of them had braved the street. There was some brilliant work, despite the cold (and often wet) conditions.
On the train home, by pure coincidence, the man opposite me got out a sketchbook, so we got talking. He was also a professional illustrator - what are the odds? The train was horribly delayed, so it was great to spend the journey chatting and checking out each other's art equipment (that sounds really nerdy actually...).
If you want to get involved with Urban Sketching in Yorkshire, just email me, or contact Simone Ridyard for the Manchester group, Tim Richardson at Urban Sketchers Birmingham or James Hobbs for London.