Thursday, October 23, 2008

RWS Friends: Sketching at the Royal Festival Hall

Last Sunday, I joined the RWS Friends Group for the first time on a Sketching Day and visited the Royal Festival Hall.

A slice of Westminster and the London Eye
11" x 16", pencil and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I turned up at 11.00am duly carrying my portfolio so that hopefully somebody would recognise me as 'belonging' to their group. It worked a treat and I got a very warm welcome from Libby who was organising the day.

We sketched until lunchtime, then had lunch in the Riverside Terrace Cafe, followed by another sketching session after lunch for those who wanted to stay on.

I went up to the fifth floor balcony at the front of the building. There's an excellent view of the Houses of Parliament - and a chunk of The London Eye.

I'd taken my new large sketchbook - and I'm inclined to now think it's too large. The reason being that getting a good saturation of colour on the paper was more difficult than with the sketchbooks I normally use.

Embankment Place from the Royal Festival Hall (with a front!)
pen and ink and coloured pencils in A3 sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I got three sketches done in total, two before and one after lunch. For the first two I was entertained by a 'salsa' band playing on the Riverside Terrace under the railway bridge.
Looking down into the Skylon Restaurant, Royal Festival Hall
8.5" x 11.5", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Note: You can find out more about RWS Friends on the Bankside Gallery (under supporting the gallery/Friends) and the RWS website here. Monthly sketching trips are planned - the next three will be to Somerset House, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Spitalfields.


  1. The London Eye sketch is so impressive, you seemed to have got a lot done and good saturation of colours in that time. Are you still using Lyras or a mix of brands, and what brand paper do you use. I can't imagine taking anything as large as an A3 out with me. Actually I did try it once to do a large skyscraper but learned very quickly that things in view are not as large as I thought!

  2. Well let's put it this way - there was an awful lot of reinforcing of colours which went on after I got home to get the saturation needed.

    I very often work like that so I can get more done while I'm out. If you've got a big blue sky all you need to know is how the gradations work and after that you might as well do it at home and give the time available to other parts which need more attention when working from life.

    I do believe Monet worked this way too!!! ;)

  3. That's a good trick for using your time to the fullest.


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