Saturday, March 28, 2015

London Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl - Let's Draw St Paul's to the Thames - 26 April 2015

I'm organising the next London Urban Sketchers' Sketchcrawl. You can find all the details and maps and some suggestions of possible subjects or views to sketch in this post Let's Draw St Paul's to the Thames - 26th April 2015 on the Urban Sletchers London blog.

Everybody is welcome - the only requirement is that you stick to the terms of the manifesto (see end).

Here are the basics:

  • On Sunday 26th April 2015
  • Starting: 11:00 on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral
  • Lunch at 1:30pm on the Roof Terrace of One New Change - where we might just try a "Draw the Dome in 15 minutes Challenge"! (I think I've been watching too many episodes of "The Big Painting Challenge"!)
  • End at: 3:30pm at Paternoster Square

St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern
  1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
  2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
  3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
  4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
  5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
  6. We support each other and draw together.
  7. We share our drawings online.
  8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

RI 2015 Private View - and sketchbooks on show

I usually have a sit down half way through a Private View, pull out my sketchbook and my favourite Pentel G-TEC-C4 gel ink rollerball in brown ink and have a quick sketch with my cup of tea.

I'm into line sketching at the moment - no shading, no colour, just line.

Time out at the Private View
Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries 24 March 2015
8 x 10", pen and ink in Molekine Sketchbook

You can read about the 203rd Annual Exhibition of Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours #1 - Prizewinners and Events on my main blog Making A Mark.

There's a lot of RI member artists bringing in their sketchbooks to the exhibition as part of the events programme (see the list below) and as you can imagine a lot of them will be sketching using watercolour.

Saturday 28 March - usually a very busy day in the gallery as the Art Societies arrive by the coachload
  • David Parfitt - Showing sketchbooks and iPad drawings 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • David Poxon - Showing sketches and photographs 11:45am to 4:00pm

Wednesday 1 April
  • Ian Sidaway - Showing a selection of sketch books 11:00am – 3:00pm

Thursday 2 April
  • Jean Noble - Showing a selection of sketchbooks and photos and critiques of visitors' paintings

Saturday 4 April 
  • David Parfitt - Showing sketchbooks and iPad drawings 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • David Poxon - Showing sketchbooks and discussing working methods 11:45am - 4:00pm

Wednesday 8 April
  • Ian Sidaway - Showing a selection of sketchbooks 11am – 3:00pm

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lunch at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

After I had finished my talk and panel discussion last Thursday I took myself and my travel sketchbook off to The Merchant Hotel. This is a 5 star hotel which houses The Great Room Restaurant in what used to be the Banking Hall in the Headquarters of the Ulster Bank in Belfast.

As many of you know I'm very fond of sketching food and in particular nice meals in different parts of the world.

Cherubs looking down on diners
I arrived about 1.30 and the restaurant was full. At first, it seemed unlikely I would be able to get a seat. However keen to enjoy some fine dining and a wealth of things to sketch I persisted and was rewarded with a table.

The banquette was very comfortable and the service was extremely high quality after a minor hiccup.

So here - in order - are my sketches and a photo or two.

All sketches were done 
at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast 
on Thursday 12th March 2015
 in pen and ink and coloured pencils 
in a Moleskine Sketchbook 
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

First my sketch of the cherubs decorating the tops of the walls around the room. I decided I liked the one with wings coming out of his head!

Next my starter which was a Seafood Ravioli

Seafood Ravioli, Portavogie Lobster and Irish Scallop Ravioli and Shellfish Bisque Merchant Hotel 12 March 2015 copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Seafood Ravioli, Portavogie Lobster and Irish Scallop Ravioli and Shellfish Bisque
Merchant Hotel 12 March 2015
This was a beige colour - but delicious! Next course was a dish of Roast Irish Cod Fillet with Ham Hock.

Roast Cod Fillet, Smoked Ham Hock, Saffron Potatoes, Chargrilled Leeks and Mussel veloute at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast 12th March 2015 copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Roast Cod Fillet, Smoked Ham Hock, Saffron Potatoes, Chargrilled Leeks and Mussel veloute
at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast 12th March 2015
pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook | copyright Katherine Tyrrell
and finally... my dessert - White Chocolate Parfait.

White Chocolate Parfait, Yellow Man and Orange Poached Fi0gs at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast 12th March 2015 copyright Katherine Tyrrell
White Chocolate Parfait, Yellow Man and Orange Poached Figs
at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast 12th March 2015

Tea in the Great Room Restaurant
Corner of The Great Room Restaurant
I didn't get round to sketching my cup of tea at the end of the meal - due to the need to get to the airport - but it was beautifully served.

This is the link to an example of the Lunchtime Menu(If I were to make a suggestion for one way in which they could improve - I love restaurants which update their menus on their website as fast as they do in the kitchen - and don't just leave the same menu up all year round)

You can find The Merchant Hotel in Waring Street, Belfast in the Cathedral Quarter.

You can find out about the history of the building here.

More of my sketches from Belfast

More of my sketching meals sketches

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cicchetti at Coppi

One of the highlights of my recent visit to Belfast for the Ulster Festival of Art & Design was the food which can be enjoyed in the vicinity of the Faculty of Art & Design.

On Wednesday lunchtime I enjoyed Fish and Chips while sat in a booth next to Dara Ó Briain at the Canteen at the Mac (I sleepwalked past!). The Mac is a new arts venue in Belfast - behind the Art School. It has fabulous looking and tasting food (here's the lunch menu). It tastes even better when you've had no breakfast because you were up so very early to catch a plane to Belfast!

Then on Wednesday evening after my talk, Julie Douglas and I met up with John Angel and his wife Megan and we went for a late dinner at Coppi in St Anne's Square, behind the Cathedral.

I did a super fast sketch of the Cicchetti I had for a starter - and then had a go with colour when I got home. Very tasty!  I followed up with Pork Saltimbocca Prosciutto, Roast Chestnut, Sage Butter & Bitter Leaf Insalata - but was too tired to sketch by this stage!

Cicchetti (pronounced “chee-KET-eeh”) are small dishes of food - not unlike Tapas - but Italian in origin and typically served in traditional "bàcari" in Venice.

Cicchetti at Coppi in Belfast 
(spelt incorrectly on the sketch)
Clockwise from left: Crispy Squid, Arrabiata Mayo & Lemon, 
Lemon Chicken Spiedini, Roast Pepper Salsa and Polenta Fritti, Candied Fennel, Goats Cheese & Balsamic
Plus I do like a restaurant which goes to the trouble of telling you which dishes are vegetarian, gluten free, contain nuts etc.

I've got a set of food sketches coming up next - from lunch at The Merchant Hotel on Thursday after my sessions were finished.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Sketches from Victoria and Albert Museum Sketchcrawl

Only a week late this time - here are the sketches from the London Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl at the Victoria and Albert Museum last Saturday.

It was so sunny that I say in The John Madejski Garden - the courtyard with a pool in the centre of the Museum - all afternoon drawing people sat in the sun.

Sitting in the sun, The John Madejski Garden, Victoria and Albert Museum 7th March 2015
pen and sepia ink in Moleskine Sketchbook (11" x 16")
I started with the chap sat next to the external corner of the building (top left) and then worked my way across the page relating one person to another. Of course they were never all present at the same time as people came and went as I drew - and some of them moved rather a lot while I was drawing! Which accounts for why some are half finished!

I also drew some London Urban Sketchers. On the left is Jean Edwards (a drawing a day) and on the right is Pavel MillerYou can see what Jean and Pavel were sketching in the Tweets below my sketch - they were both sketching the architecture of the V&A at the time.

London Urban Sketchers hard at work
Pen and sepia ink in Moleskine sketchbook

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Sketchcrawl at the British Museum (February 2015)

I always seem to be late posting sketches from Sketchcrawls! These are three from last month's Urban Sketchers London visit to the British Museum.

I avoided the architecture and stuck with the artifacts in the cases and a rather splendid sculpture above one door.  Some of them are very difficult to draw - but I'm not showing you my failures!

Painted Statue of a Woman 2000-1600BC (Old Babylonian)
British Museum 7 February 2015
Not quite sure what the name is for a statue above a door This is Indugud (c.2,500BC) - it looked like an eagle and stags to me but it was about 25 feet up in the air!
British Museum 7 February 2015
These are African Masks made from all sorts of things - but wood is very popular
The masks at the top are of Women and the ones at the bottom are of wild animals
British Museum 7 February 2015

Today there's another sketchcrawl at the V&A Museum in South Kensington which I'm leaving to join now.  It finishes at 3.30pm so still time to get along and join in!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Meet me and get 'Sketching 365' signed at the Mall Galleries TODAY!

I've only just realised I have completely forgotten to highlight on this blog that I've got my "meet the author and get your book signed" event at the bookshop in the Mall Galleries this afternoon (5th March)

You've got a few hours to get up to the Mall in London and catch James Hobbs and me, see our sketchbooks and get your copies of Sketching 365 and Sketch Your World signed by us!

There is even a reduced price deal for anyone buying both books before 4pm today.
We're also very happy to answer any questions you may have about sketching and how you are getting on with your own sketches.

We'll be around until 7pm after which I think we might be joining the Pastel Society's Art Event evening.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A Cheshire Garden on St David's Day 2015

A Cheshire Garden on 1 March 2015
pencil and coloured pencils in a Stillman and Birn Zeta sketchbook  12" x 16"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I've been drawing my mother's garden in Cheshire for some years. I sit next to the French window into the garden and have the benefit of armchair, warmth and cups of tea while I draw the scene outside the window.

Sunday, 1 March 2015 - St David's Day - is nominally the first day of Spring in the Meteorological calendar - or so the BBC weatherman informed us!

The the weather was very good in the morning and very dim and grey in the afternoon!  Of course, the major benefit of staying in one place is that I can get up the next day and continue a morning sketch from where I left off the previous day. However, by midday, as we travelled to catch my train from Crewe, the weather had turned to sleet!

This isn't finished and I might tweak it a little bit more - but I'm loath to do too much now I'm back in London and don't have the garden in front of me.

You can see more sketches of the same garden - at different times of the year - on this blog. See:
If you're wondering about the size of the bird table it moves around depending on the season and weather. In the winter months it's always very close to the door into the garden so Mother can feed the birds easily.