Drawing as Process – study visit at the collection room of the Department of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum

The event was host by OCA tutor Michelle Charles in conjunction with curators from the Department of    Prints and Drawings of the British Museum (BM) on 17 July 2015.

We were gathered inside the main entrance as instructed.  Most of our group did not know each other and only two of us, including me, had met Michelle in previous OCA study workshop at the same BM before.   However, we were friendly people and after eyeing each other a few second and decided to introduce ourselves and a nice group formed, chatting before Michelle’s arrival.   We then followed Michelle to the Prints and Drawings Department.  It was a secured locked area.  We were told to put away our belongs in lockers but we were allowed with our cameras.  We were them each briefly shared with the group what we were studying and what we aimed to get out from the workshop.  Before we proceeded, BM generously supplied us with sketchbooks, handouts of the chosen works and pencils.

The chosen works had already set up on in the middle of the study room.  Michelle talked about each works in turn with the group before we were let loose to do out drawings.  The chosen set were from masters of different eras from Durer and Michelangelo in 16th century to Bridget Riley and Frank Auerbach in the 20th century.  It was amazing seeing those works.  They were not just visually appealing, they also showed us the thinking process of the artists.  Isabel, the curator joined us in the latter part.  She was so knowledgeable not just of the chosen pieces but arts in general.  She was a virtual walking art history encyclopaedia.

Most of us had lunch together in a nearby Starbucks.  We shared our drawings and personal interests with each other over lunch.  I went back with Doris to see the free exhibition Bonaparte and the British Prints and propaganda in the ago of Napoleon outside the Prints Study Room.

It was a wonderful day.  Some images below.

Study for the figure of Pindar in the painting 'Apotheosis of Homer' by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Study for the figure of Pindar in the painting ‘Apotheosis of Homer’ by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

A nude figure seated to front, 1508-12 by Michelangelo

A nude figure seated to front, 1508-12 by Michelangelo

Wooded landscape; two figures on the left another on the road which passes beneath trees c1640-5 by Claude Lorrain

Wooded landscape; two figures on the left another on the road which passes beneath trees c1640-5 by Claude Lorrain

A page playing the mandolin, stayed for the painting 'Le Troubadour' in the Cleveland Museum of Art c1868-72 by Honore Daumier.

A page playing the mandolin, stayed for the painting ‘Le Troubadour’ in the Cleveland Museum of Art c1868-72 by Honore Daumier.

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3 thoughts on “Drawing as Process – study visit at the collection room of the Department of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum

  1. This was a wonderful day.Seeing the way the artists worked out their sketches in preparation for later paintings, and the way they thought, not trying to show finished pieces or hiding the changes as limbs were moved around. It is so liberating, just to follow your own thoughts and be spontaneous.
    Michelle was supportive and encouraging, and she and Isabelle gave us valuable information.
    I am grateful for this opportunity

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This will probably be my last OCA visit as I will be handing in all my assignments in September for my degree in fine art. This event was a wonderful opportunity for OCA students to meet and share ideas. Michelle and Isabelle were encouraging and inspirational and gave us valuable advice throughout. When I look at my sketches that I made during the short time we were in the room I am fascinated by the marks that came from my observations, not the usual precise continuous line that I often try to make when sketching the figure but spontaneous and energetic broken lines and flowing smooth circular movements representing the form. This experience will stay with me for a long time and is a reminder that I will reflect upon whenever I become too precious with early studies.

    Like

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