Friday, July 10, 2009

Another way of drawing people

I've spent all week drawing life models in Channel 4's new Life Class and writing about it on Making A Mark. Most of the time though, I draw people who aren't models and who are sitting having a drink or a meal in a tea room, cafe, bar or restaurant. Plus they have clthes on!

The other differences are I get to sit down, eating can be a bit awkward - and you have to warn the staff in advance not to expect to rush the food to my table or to expect to get their table back quickly!

Lunch at the National Dining Rooms
11.5 x 17", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I never really draw faces - that's the quid pro quo for drawing people who don't know they're life models. They might know who they are but I'm not sure anybdy else would!

I don't know which is more difficult - drawing an unclothed model who's being paid to pose or drawing people who aren't aware they're being drawn and consequently MOVE the whole time! I've found that drawing people who are not models makes me observe much more carefully and draw much more quickly.

I always take a look at what stage a party has got to with their lunch before starting to draw. It's no good starting on people who are just starting their coffees when if I look in the other direction I can find people just getting their first course.

This particular sketch was done in the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery. That bit of green is the tops of trees in Trafalgar Square. You can see previous sketches from the National Dining Rooms and the Bakery area in:
I'll be adding this post to Interior landscapes with food - a Sketchbook which is a compendium of blog posts about sketches of interiors


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello,
    I like your portraits from life - people in a context - better than a life model just posing without a story. Your gentleness, softness, restraint, is something I wish I could have when I blunder and overdo the colour and line.

  3. shireen syedAugust 01, 2013

    Your work has inspired me to do some pencil drawing of my own, I love the way your sketches glow with light


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