Just back from a weekend in London. I took the opportunity to spend time in The National Gallery, the V&A and The National Portrait Gallery. (There is a great exhibition on at The National Gallery featuring the portrait in Vienna 1900. It’s on until 12th January 2014.)
Armed with sketchbook and pencils (and no eraser), I tried my hand at sketching some of the beautiful sculptures in both galleries. I have always wanted to draw portraits, and I figured that the only way to learn is to draw real, live people. However, that feels like a lot of pressure to get a likeness. So learning by drawing from bronze, clay or terracotta faces seems like a great way to practise and learn without the stress. Plus, lots of people are doing the same thing, so you are largely ignored and left in peace.
If you’re planning to do the same kind of thing, I recommend not taking an eraser. What began as an oversight on my part turned out to be a good thing. I looked a lot more carefully before putting the pencil to the paper, and I couldn’t spend time faffing about once the lines were on the page.