Monday, November 10, 2008

People watching and sketching - outside Tate Modern

Bankside people
8" x 10", pen and ink in Moleskine
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

A great place in London for watching and sketching people is the space just outside Tate Modern.

In the summer, if you sit on the ledge which runs between the silver birch borders you can face Tate Modern and sketch people sitting and lying on the grass between the museum and the Thames Path (see right)

Outside Tate Modern #1
(or what to draw in the summer
when life class is on holiday)

11" x 8"pen and ink
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

At other times of year you can sketch people sitting and standing on Thames Path (the 'Bankside' section) next to the River Thames (see above).

Plus if it rains you can always dive Tate Modern until it stops!

I like to focus on postures rather than features. It's all about how they distribute their weight.

I've summarised my other tips for sketching people in 10 Tips for How to Sketch People

I also like to write down 'odd things' that I hear people saying in my sketchbook. The statement in the bottom right hand corner of my recent sketch (at top) came from a young person with a mobile phone who walked past me. Obviously not everybody knows what's in that big building next to the Millenium Bridge!
Hello Hun, I'm in front of this big building with paintings on the wall
Overheard while sketching at Bankside
Hanging the Street Art exhibition, Tate Modern
(from the Millenium Bridge)
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell



  1. How I envy those people lazing in the August sun. I regret I didn't spend more time sketching people while the weather was good. I was inspired by your tips, Katherine but obviously lacked dedication - so I'll have to put in on top of 'Goals' for 2009.

  2. Last February I've been at London and I sketched people outside and inside the British Museum, my hotel was nearby.

    Great to have found you!


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