Sunday, 25 December 2016

Leeds Royal Armouries Sketchcrawl

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely holiday. I'm afraid that I haven't sketched or illustrated anything remotely Christmassy this year, so I thought I would share some entirely non-seasonal bits and bobs instead, work I created this time last week.

That was when Urban Sketchers Yorkshire had another of our grand days out. I got up early and took the train to Leeds, where I met up with about 25 other sketchers at the Royal Armouries.

We have been before to sketch there, but there's so much to go at, you could draw in there for a year without repeating yourself. And it's all free. Fantastic. It was really quiet too, so Sunday was obviously a good choice.

Before I got a chance to get into the exhibits, I was drawn to the interesting setting. Because there is so much glass in the building, you can see out in various directions. I spent quite a while on this first sketch, which is what you see from one of the huge 4th floor windows, looking over the canal basin. When we shared our work at the end, we found that quite a few people had sketched the same thing over the day.

This enormous, armoured elephant was another favourite with everyone. I discovered that you could get up above him on a mezzanine, so I got an interesting viewpoint. It made him trickier to draw though, and his legs have turned out a bit stunted, poor thing. I used my tinted sketchbook, a Strathmore, so I could pick out the highlights on his armoured coat in chalk.

Don't tell anyone but, as with the sketch above, I sneaked a little watercolour underpainting, which is not strictly speaking allowed, but with a waterbrush, at least there is no actual water to spill. Then I worked into it with my Inktense pencils.

Here's the drawing I did of the same elephant, on the previous occasion, in 2013. Rather more stately:

I finished my day by drawing this tableau in the 'hunting' section. I hate the whole idea of hunting anything, but the way the animals were posed provided such beautiful shapes and was so interestingly lit, I decided to sketch it anyway. I sat myself on the floor, which was very hard and quite dusty. It was only as I finished that I noticed the nice comfy stool hanging on the wall beside me. Typical.

Over lunch, I did some quickie drawings of some of our team, testing out different drawing materials. This first one, of Lawrence eating his sandwich (with an uncharacteristically refined outstretched little finger) is done with a Graphik Line Painter. I've never used one before, but it was beautifully smooth to draw with: it really glided over the paper. My lovely friends at Derwent sent me a set of 5 colours as a Christmas present. How lovely is that?

Lawrence then said I should try the Zig brush-pens which he likes to use, so I drew Micheal, who I could tell was  trying hard to look natural, pretending not to be being drawn! The brush-pens were very different, but also really nice to use: you could get a beautifully fine line with the sharp tip, as well as a gorgeous chunky one.

I need to play with my new Graphik Line painters. You can apparently get lots of effects with them.

I do like the simple idea of using a coloured line with watercolour work though, and they are waterproof once dry, so would be easy to paint over. We'll see...

In the meantime, if you want to see some of the other really lovely sketches created last Sunday, go to the Urban Sketchers Yorkshire Facebook page. Plus, if you are reasonably local and fancy a day of sketching with us, join up! It's all free and we are a friendly bunch. You don't even have to know what you're doing: beginners are very welcome indeed, just bring enthusiasm and a sketchbook, and enjoy yourself.


Rhomany said...

That war elephant is fantastic!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you - glad you like him. He is a pretty unusual exhibit!