Fighting Chance

A visit to Leeds Royal Armouries, intended to please my son, turned into a good sketching opportunity for our little group of friends. The museum is arranged over several floors and to my surprise is not just about war – it also covers topics such as hunting and jousting, and displays plenty of accoutrements too. This was good, as I’m rather a pacifist, and didn’t fancy drawing machine guns or swords.

We didn’t have a great deal of time available for sketching, so it was important to make decisions quickly. My eye was first taken by this lovely Indian powder flask, dating from the 17th Century. I could easily imagine that this antelope was someone’s treasured possession. Its sweeping curve must have felt wonderful in the hand.

Poweder horn chinagraph

Then, my friend and I set a 15 minute sketch-off challenge, and choosing this funny steel jousting helmet to draw. It was the mustache that did it, really. I have to wonder whether the wearer wore a similar fancy mustache and bulbous nose under his helmet…one can dream.

Knight's Helmet chinagraph

Both pictures were made using a black chinagraph and white CarbOthello pencil, on Ingres paper. I wish I’d remembered in time that you can’t put white on top of black chinagraph with impunity, but never mind.

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