As I’ve mentioned, I was lucky enough to get down to London recently to meet a friend for sketching. We thought the British Museum would offer some good sketching opportunities. Perhaps we’d given slightly less thought to the crazy numbers of visitors heading to the same venue.
When it came to sketching, we tried to find a room which had rather fewer visitors, but this seemed to be impossible. In the end, I plumped first for a carved Paleolithic ram platter (for ceremonial meals). I loved the ram’s expression, with its painted eye, and the vast exaggeration of its body and tiny legs. I’d happily have oven-to-tableware like this.
In the Enlightenment I found a slightly sad rat, badly stuffed, and not greatly helped by my execution. His toes were all broken and wiggly with age. I don’t know why I chose him – perhaps it was his wistful little face which drew me in. These two sketches were done in fineliner and black Tombow with waterpen – quick to work with and compact, both useful properties when you’re surrounded by jostling onlookers and you just want to get your sketch done!
The last picture was done in the Egyptian hall, the spectacular bust of Rameses II. There was a handy bench right in front of him, and one little space left for a tired sketcher to sit. (That’s why we can see more up his nose than might usually be expected.) But I quite enjoyed the opportunity to sketch at a more extreme angle, and to study this wonderful piece of ancient sculpture. Chinagraphs on Ingres paper for this one, and my favourite of the day.
We felt we’d earned our post-sketch ice creams.