Thursday, 26 May 2016

Museum Sketching

Yesterday I went to the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock as part of the West Ox Arts drawing day.
Working in museums requires different skills to those more normally employed. It is not practicable to set up an easel in a small gallery where other members of the public are wandering in and out and where in some cases small children are running around. Museums too are wary of paint being splattered over their exhibits !

Instead I figured this was an occasion which required a sketchbook, pencil, fibre-tipped pens and, with a little subterfuge, a miniature palette and a waterbrush. With practice it is possible to hold most of these things in one hand while drawing with the other, standing in front of the glass cabinets.

On the spot, I concentrated on sketching various exhibits, memorising any unusual details and colours which could be added later if it wasn't possible to complete it there and then.

The page could be given unity by the addition of a border and some annotation. In this case I kept the handwritten notes to the barest minimum and placed them where I thought they would look most interesting. Another time I might give the placement of the drawing more consideration if I know there will be a larger area of writing so that the two will work in harmony as part of the overall design.

Most important of all is to remember that an experience such as this should be enjoyable ! You don't have to go to a museum to try it, why not do something similar with your favourite objects at home ?