Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sketching the Still Life

Still life at the ROI
10" x 8", pencil and coloured pencils

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

One of my favourite places for sketching people is the Mall Galleries. There are always people moving around the gallery looking at paintings and it's a great place, as all galleries are, to practice 'catching' people in a sketch before they move on.

However what I really like about the Mall Galleries is that in the middle of the gallery there are tables and chairs for people taking a break and a refreshment facility where I can get an excellent cup of tea and a blueberry muffin! As regular readers will know by know I do sketch an awful lot while on a tea break or eating lunch!

I paid a belated visit yesterday to see the Annual Exhibition of the The Royal Institute of Oil Painters. While sat having my cup of tea after touring the exhibition, I spotted this chap studying some still life paintings and managed to get him sketched in before he moved on. I then added the paintings on the wall to the sketch, then added values and a lot of colour notes to the sketch before completing the saturation at home.

One of the interesting things about the Mall Galleries is it's not uncommon to see other people also sketching and/or artists paying a visit. I spotted my gentleman model a little later making a drawing in a small sketchbook of the paintings he had been studying - so I sketched him again.

Sketching the Still Life
7" x 5", pencil in DR sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This sketch is unfinished as somebody sat down to have his cup of tea and unfortunately was right in my line of sight.

The camaraderie of fellow sketchers came to the fore and my gentleman model came over to see what I was up to and was very pleased with the result! It turned out he was an oil painter who loves painting still lifes hence why he was studying the still life paintings. He and his brother make a trip to London once a year from Bath to see the annual exhibition of the ROI at the Mall Galleries.

We had a bit of a discussion as to whether the 'somebody' who had obscured my view was Trevor Chamberlain or not - and it turned out that in fact it was! Trevor Chamberlain ROI, RSMA is a member of the Council of the ROI and an ex Vice President of the RPI. and past President of the Wapping Group of Artists and past President of Chelsea A.S.

You can read a review of the exhibition - The Royal Institute of Oil Painters - 121st Annual Exhibition - on my other blog Making A Mark.

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition continues until 1pm on Sunday 9th November 2008 and is open 10am-5pm daily including weekends. It's at the Mall Galleries, The Mall (near Trafalgar Square), London SW1.



  1. Lovely post, Katherine - it transported me from where I've retreated to my sick bed with a truly horrible cold (similar to yours I expect) to a cosy, creative environment. I particularly love your sketch of your fellow artist sketching and the fact that you met and chatted.

  2. How very interesting - to learn how the sketch was built up and to discover the very distinquished person blocking your view!

  3. Everything you have to say is so very interesting Katherine, and I so love looking at your sketches...drawings. So beautiful and I love the way you handle those pencils and your mark-making.


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