Monday, October 15, 2007

A Drawing Weekend

Drawing the crowd drawing spaces
8"x11" pencil on HP paper

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This weekend was very drawing-oriented. On Saturday I went to see what was going on in the Covent Garden Big Draw event and on Sunday I drove up to Nottingham to see the Annual Exhibition of the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society (UKCPS) and to attend the AGM.

Covent Garden Big Draw

Big Draw Month kicked off on 30th September with Big Draw East which I wrote about here. Over 1,000 events drawing events take place across the country in October - but a significant number of these took place this last weekend and in London the major focus was on the Covent Garden Big Draw weekend. I was able to get there on Saturday afternoon and saw an awful lot of drawing going on. You can see some of the people drawing architecture in the Covent Garden Piazza at the top.

More about this - and more sketches - in Drawing the Covent Garden Big Draw
on my other blog.

UKCPS Exhibition and AGM

It's the first time I've been to a coloured pencil exhibition in the UK. The UKCPS very sensibly holds their annual open exhibitions in different parts of the UK and this year it was located in the Barn Gallery at the Patchings Art centre just outside Nottingham (In 2008 it will be in Bristol and Birmingham in 2008). I don't know quite why but I think I was expecting the 6th Annual International exhibition to be larger. I think that might be because I'm used to going to the various national Art Society exhibitions at the Mall Galleries and Bankside Gallery which are much larger than the gallery at Patchings. For example, the recent Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall galleries hung over 400 entries.

On the other hand, the obvious explanation for the exhibition still being quite small is that UKCPS is still extremely young compared to many of the other Art Societies - however it's growing very fast. I learned at the AGM that membership has grown in the last year from some 350 to over 500 people! Growth apparently accelerates with every article about coloured pencils in the UK art press of which there are more and more of late.

I believe just over 60 submissions to the open exhibition were juried in, of which 59 were hung. It would be interesting to compare the various art societies - numbers of members compared to numbers of open exhibitions submissions and numbers of works hung to see what proportion of works hung belong to members and what proportion of members get work hung.

Obviously in determining the gallery size the annual membership fee and/or submission fees and/or sponsorship received are all crucially important. Staedtler provided sponsorship for the 2007 exhibition and it was really pleasing to hear that UKCPS has already secured sponsorship from Faber Castell for the 2008 exhibition in Bristol and from Derwent for the 2009 exhibition in Birmingham.

After the AGM Ann James Massey SWA, CPSA, the President of UKCPS gave a short talk and demonstration of her technique in black and white. I've asked whether I can summarise the main tips and learning points for this blog and Ann has agreed so I just need to do a draft for her to see and check and then I'll be posting them.

Patchings Art Shop

For those people in the Nottingham Area - the art shop at the Patchings art centre offers the opportunity to 'stock up'. I replenished supplies of things that I have difficulty getting at my local art shops and noted that they had a very good supply of certain art materials albeit limited to specific ranges.

Finally the drive up to Nottingham was done in perfect weather and everywhere I looked the colours of the trees were 'ripe' - I've got to try and get out this week and get some tree drawing done!


  1. You had a very full weekend. How exciting with lots and lots of art and drawing as well. Good for you!

  2. I particularly love this drawing with the triangular composition and the nicely composed value scale. It is amazing what a subtle value range can do.

  3. Casey - it was absolutely amazing to just turn round and see them all drawing like this. They did the composition - I just turned up!


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