Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sketching the Pastel Society's Private View

People at Pastels Today - 110th Annual Exhibition of The Pastel Society, Mall Galleries
9th June 2009 5.30pm
8" x 10", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

One of the less well known ways of getting exercise is walking around exhibitions. Yesterday I went into town to the Mall Galleries to pick up an artwork for a friend and to go to the Private View of The Pastel Society 110th Annual Exhibition.

You can read more about this in Exhibition review: The Pastel Society's 110th Annual Exhibition

For this sketch I adopted my usual approach as outlined in 10 Tips for How to Sketch People. With this particular sketch I started by sketching in the outlines of the frames behind the people. That gave me both scale and context for the sketch. I was able to use them to find how people of different height fitted into the picture. I then sketched the couple of ladies who are seated in the bottom right quadrant. They also served to provide a different sort of scale - for people sitting down. Then came the couple of chaps standing up and after that I fitted people in as they came and went. One particular lady was actually standing in a quite different part of the gallery but because I'd got enough information by then about relative scale I was able to fit her in quite easily. Having said that - I'm still not sure I got the lady in the left foreground right in terms of scale - as I actually sketched her after she left!

One of the things I see people doing sometimes when sketching people is to fit EVERYTHING inside the four lines of the picture frame. Personally I don't find crops which isolate the subject inside the four lines to be very persuasive of real life. By way of contrast I'm always trying to find ways of explaining why this is a slice of life that I'm sitting in the middle of - and I have no problem whatsoever in slicing people in half or only showing part of one shoulder - while of course trying to avoid ending up with a really weird unexplained shape! This post explains a bit more about this subject Making a Mark: Composition - the four most important lines

Sketchercise: This outing and trip around the Mall Galleries created a total of 4,907 steps or 2.323 miles (264 calories) for the day - but I was also good and resisted having a muffin with my cup of tea in the gallery! It would have been a lot more but for the tube strike which meant I had get home sooner than I'd planned.


  1. Great Sketch! I've just recently found your blog and I'm enjoying it! I'm sketching more and more, but not quite the habit I want it to be. Your blog is inspiring me.

  2. I love how all your people look like individuals, shortcuts or generic humans here! I feel as if I would recognize them if I wanted into the room...


I always check identities and ALL links in comments for spam.

Due to excessive attempts to introduce spam via comments on this blog, I've introduced a regime where all comments with links in the ID or text to the websites of hotels/resorts/tourist destinations will NOT be approved and are deleted. The websites of repeat spammers are also reported to Google.

Nice, sensible people who are not new to blogging probably don't need to read my Comments Policy


Related Posts with Thumbnails