Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wet evening at Burlington House

Wet evening at Burlington House
sketched from the leather sofas of the Friends Room, Royal Academy of Arts
Brushes iPad app and iPad
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
This is my very first digital sketch on my brand new iPad.  It's the direct result of learning how to use Brushes - with no manual or instruction - while sat on the leather sofas in the Friends Room at the Royal Academy.

I was quite pleased to end up with ANYTHING which looked remotely like a drawing!  However I can now see the potential of the iPad as a sketchbook and will be doing this again.  Although I might practice a bit more first!

It's a bit of an odd sketch since it has the capacious and comfortable black leather sofa under the window at the bottom and then the wet courtyard of Burlington House out the window behind.

Two elderly ladies watched me while they had their cup of tea and came up and asked me about it before they left.  They were very intrigued and absolutely loved the way the picture swivels when I turned it towards them.

Anyway - what do you think?  Any good?

I had a little bit of a fright as I left the RA and walked out under the archway to Piccadilly.  There was police incident tape absolutely everywhere.  It turned out that there was a "suspect vehicle" (which in London is code for "suspect bomb") parked not very far away and the Police had closed down the whole of Piccadilly.  It's a long time since a policeman has said to me "I wouldn't look that way" as I turned around to peer and see where it was.  Realising that white van man had parked a bit too close for comfort I scurried away to the tube - all the while doing mental calculations about the value of the artwork currently residing in the exhibition galleries inside Burlington House!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Burlington House Courtyard - and sketching locations

The Royal Academy - Courtyard of Burlington House - in the rain
11" x 17", pen and ink and coloured pencils in large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
This is a sketch of the courtyard of Burlington House, off Piccadilly, drawn from the covered terrace in front of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Our Drawing London Group in late September was supposed to be visiting my local park in East London but I spotted that the forecast was for heavy rain so we needed to relocate to somewhere which offered a variety of drawing locations which were dry.

We were sheltering from the rain under the covered verandah at the front of the RA but even so I had to keep moving back as the drizzle drifted onto my sketchbook as the wind changed!  However the rain did make for some interesting challanges such as trying (as with the Tate ketch) to find colours in the grey day and neutral stone of the building and courtyard.  It was there to find but you had to look hard and find the nuances.

Burlington House

Did you know Burlington House is not just home to the Royal Academy of Arts
Since 1874, Burlington House has been home to:
Together, the societies contribute to the cultural, historic, natural and scientific cultural environments.
Places to sketch in and around Burlington House

We chose Burlington House and round about as there's lots of interesting stuff to draw in the vicinity - even when it's raining!  Here's my list divided into wet weather and dry weather options

Wet Weather Sketching Locations
Dry Weather Sketching Locations

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cosmic Conversation + RA Sketchbook

The Cosmic Conversation
The Portrait Gallery cafe #3
pen and sepia ink in Royal Academy sketchbook, 20cm x 20cm
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
After visiting the press preview of the new Thomas Lawrence exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, I went for a quick bite to eat and herbal tea in the basement cafe.  (Note: exhibition review to follow/highly recommended by me)

Two gents at the table next to me were having this very intent conversation about the cosmos and movements of the planets and planetary houses (as per astrology) while I sat and eat my crayfish and rocket on brown.  After 10 minutes of drawing people, the sketch was christened "The Cosmic Conversation"!

I've just started to use the Royal Academy Sketchbook (20cm square) which is a casebound sewn sketchbook containing 80 leaves (160 pages) of mouldmade Stockwell catridge paper.  It has different images by the members of the RA - mine's got a very nice by Fred Cuming RA who's one of my favourite ever painters.

It seems to work fine for pen and ink!  This is what one of my pen and ink sketches can often look like before I start to add coloured pencils

Royal Academy Sketchbook
Image: Camber Sands by Fred Cuming RA