Monday, November 04, 2013

I've been asked to write a book....

It's nice to start a post with the fact "I've been asked" - rather than "I've decided" - to write a book!

That's because, following a meeting with representatives of a publisher last week, I'm currently going through a formal process which will lead to me being formally commissioned to write a book by an international publisher of practical books for visual artists.

The invite to consider writing a book for this publisher came out of the blue and is on a topic I absolutely adore - drawing and sketching!

Title and the name of the publisher are under wraps for the time being until we've 'done the deal' and tied up loose ends.  I'll let you know more as an when I can.

Below there's an invite to get involved and maybe have your images in the book!

What goes around comes around

This year I started contributing to books and magazines for the first time.  In the next three months I've got:
The process of making these contributions prompted me to think again about writing a book - which is something I've been saying I want to do for a long time.

Consequently when I was suddenly asked to write one, it didn't take too long to think about it - and I was ready to say "Yes"!

It wasn't the payback I'd expected - but I guess it was the one I hoped for - but didn't expect!

It goes without saying I'm very excited about it!

So - what's the book about?

I hear you ask....... ;)

It's about drawing and sketching - but
  • it's NOT a "how to" step by step type book 
  • nor is it a showcase type of book.  
Hopefully it's also not going to read or look like any other book about drawing and sketching which is currently available!

Instead I'm going to be writing about detailed and practical tips and techniques for a variety of topics related to drawing and sketching.  If you've read any of my "tips" posts about drawing on this blog or guides you'll know the sort of thing I do.

Drawing from life as practiced in the past - it's progressed since it was a gents only activity!
Drawing from life at the Royal Academy - a plate in Microcosm of London

I need a lot of images!

The book will include a LOT of visual images relating to drawing and sketching. My aim is to show images which inspire and show the diversity of drawing and sketching but also to ground expectations in terms of what can be achieved by people at different skill levels.

Hence this very definitely isn't going to be an "all my own work" book - although it will include a fair number of my own drawings and sketches.

drawing and sketching in the past

I'm also hoping to include some images of drawing from the past. I've been hunting around for some good ones - see the example above!

Tips as to ones worth looking at will be very gratefully received!

contemporary drawing and sketching

In terms of contemporary drawing - I'm likely to asking a LOT of people if they'd be interested in contributing images. I'm going to be very specific about the sort of images I need - but can't be specific about that as yet until I have the book planned out - which is what I'm doing this week.

I've started a list of people whose drawings I would like to see in the book - but I haven't yet finished the first round of invites to contribute as yet!  However, to date, almost all of the people I've already asked have said 'Yes' - which is very pleasing! :)

I now need to think about the best way of moving forward. I'm thinking one option is to invite people who read this blog to suggest people who they think would be good to see in a book. That might be yourself - or others whose work you think deserves to be seen.

There's no guarantees obviously at this stage as to whose work can be in the book - but I'd love to have a great range of work to choose from.

Interested in having your drawings or sketches in the book?

If you think you're interested in knowing more and would like me to see your work please:
  1. Leave a a comment - with your name
  2. PLUS leave a link to where I can see a collection of your drawings or sketches e.g. a Flickr account or set or a website page with a collection of images
  3. PLUS tell me the best way to contact you.
Alternatively contact me - you can find out how to do this in the side column.

Writing a book

Writing books is easier to think about than do!

I say this having had an idea for a book on a niche topic that nobody else has written about a while back.  I've got it about half written.  This is because the only person expecting delivery by a certain date is me - and I committed the cardinal sin of not having a project delivery plan set up at the beginning and an end date in mind.  This despite a career which involved many years of delivering long, complex reports to clients by impossible deadlines!

I'm already revving up my project management knowledge and skills and setting up the checklists for  keeping track of what I've done and what needs doing.  One is a list of contributors.......

Publishing a book

What I'm going to get out of this process is an insight into the process used by professional publishers when producing a book. Plus I'm going to learn more about whether I enjoy the process and want to do it again OR am glad I did it , but won't want to be doing it again in a hurry!

I know something about the commissioning side - having commissioned publications in a past life.  However being on the other side of the fence and delivering the whole package will be a new experience for me.

This week I'm drafting the Flatplan of the contents and what goes where.  This is a map of the whole and a guide to the parts. It helps me think about how much to devote to different topics and helps me identify what I've left out and need to include.

I've developed a template in Word which will keep me organised and on track with the numbers relating to what I need to produce!

What this means for my blogging

Inevitably there's going to be some impact on my blogging - but I'm not quite sure what that will be as yet. It may be that there will be rather fewer posts while I get the book underway and then maybe no posts at all for short periods. It's difficult to say.  However I'm not giving up blogging - except for this next week!

I'll be back on the 12th November.


  1. in hebrew we say kol hakavod which means well done and mazal tov which means good luck .i've been reading your blog for a long time and i am sure the book will be as great as your blog.

  2. What exciting news! I know this will be a fantastic book and I look forward to seeing the end result.

  3. If anybody EVER were organized in their approach to writing a book, you would be that person. Gabi Campanario was an absolute organizing wizard in his planning and creating the Urban Sketchers book and I know you'll be right there with him in the great Organizing Stratosphere.
    Congratulations! We've all been waiting for the first Katherine Tyrrell book and here it comes! (I'm a self-appointed spokesperson for the world ;D.)

  4. Fantastic news, well done! it is refreshing to hear about fruits being rewarded etc and I know it will be a fab book. Already looking forward to reading it.
    Thank you for your blogs till then - Best wishes Karin Moorhouse.

  5. Congratulations on your book deal! Looking forward to seeing your drawing and sketching tips in print :) Wish you all the best in the writing process.


  6. Congratulations! - can't think of anyone more deserving of 'being asked'.
    -and can't begin to comprehend the countless hours and energy you put into your research and writing (are you cloned?)- your posts are always informative and engaging

  7. Very cool! Sounds like a fascinating project Katherine.
    If I understand the scope of your plans I would like to see contemporary drawing in the form of digital drawings too. And I don't mean concept art, which we see the most of online.

    There are lots of artists who use portable digital mediums and work plein air for instance. They are using the digital medium in a 'non digital' manner. That is, the drawings produced don't look like digital work.

    I do think you have found a nice niche for this book.
    I look forward to seeing its progress.

  8. Hurrah! You're going to love the process! And the gap while you wait for the printed book to arrive makes you forget the problems that happened in its creation. I've been on the editor side more than the writer; both are fun (and hard work).

    Would love to contribute, drawings, sketches, etc.

  9. What fantastic news . . can't think of anyone better with more to share . . congratulations !

  10. Excellent news ! Going to be a great read for sure. Like so many waiting excitedly for the result. Well done!

  11. Great news! This is a book I will certainly look forward to read:-).
    Good luck!

  12. That's great I can't think of anyone better to write a book on drawing and sketching I think the work ethic that you portray through your blogging etc is to be admired I wish I could use my time as well as you seem to. Congratulations.

  13. Many thanks for all the extremely nice comments!

    I think it's pretty fantastic too!

  14. David - it will definitely be referencing digital drawing. How could it not these days? :)

  15. That's wonderful news. We all know you'll do a wonderful job.

  16. Hi Katherine, Congratulations on your invite to create a book!!! I am a member of the get your art out there group on facebook.:) I would love for to look at my pieces and maybe include a piece in your book. or :) *Cynthia

  17. Congratulations!
    This is exciting news.

  18. Teoh - you're already on my list of people to contact! :)

    However I'm only halfway through it and can't get back to it until I've finished the flatplan

  19. All the best with the book Katherine. I am an Urban Sketching fan and post my own efforts at and

  20. Thanks Don - I'll be sure to take a look.

  21. What fantastic news! Can't wait to see your sketching and drawing book, which I just know will a welcome addition to the art world.

  22. Congratulations and good luck. I know it will be a brilliant book. I don't. Know how you find the time to do it all. I think Jan was right, you must be cloned or you have a time machine.

  23. Great news Katherine - you must be so excited. I am very pleased that someone has the brains to give you this opportunity. You know where I am if you want any images - especially step by step ones - I have LOADS.

  24. Congratulations! I'm sure this will be a wonderful book. Of course I have loads of images too for you, if you like. Here's the Botanical set on Flickr, but there are more sets with artwork on my Flickr stream too. Good luck ;)

  25. Hi Katherine
    Congratulations. A book from you is an event that was going to happen at some time for sure! What a great project. I'll e-mail you direct.

  26. Well, Katherine, you said all skill levels, so here's my bit...

    Ruth Bosveld
    I have a mix of sketches and other works.

  27. Wow, this is wonderful news! Hearty congratulations. It seems like all of your work on Making a Mark has been leading up to this for years, so I'm glad it's going to (finally) come to fruition! The rough draft is already here in these posts! :) Good luck sorting the deal-details. It''ll be exciting to see your updates as they come in. Rooting for you from afar.... B.

  28. Sigrid - the graphite drawings are looking good

    Malcolm - one of the topics will be different types of surfaces to draw on. Maybe we could focus on that?

    Ruth - I'll be taking a longer look later

    I've added you all the list of possible contributors

  29. Belinda - many thanks - and you're right about the posts. I've got a lot of material for the book already sorted!

  30. This is not a surprise as you are so clever!So Congratulation!! May be you can find something interesting on my blog
    In bocca al Lupo !!!

  31. Congratulations! What a fantastic opportunity, and well deserved. You'll put together an amazing book I'm sure.
    Always happy to be of any help I can be. I ditto the earlier suggestion of including digital drawing too. Although I've tried and don't particularly like it, the use of stylus and tablet for in situ sketching is surely increasing.

  32. What a wonderful opportunity for you; I know the book will be a great resource! I'm a pencil artist who got back into drawing (And started blogging) when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 4 years ago. Believe it or not, it's very therapeutic!

    Sarah Melling

  33. Congratulations Katherine, I'm sure the book will be a great read.
    Paul Alcock

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  35. Congratulations!!! You're the perfect person to write an art book as your blog is so informative. Sue

    My drawings are here:
    Sketches some on flicker
    Most on facebook or my web blog.

  36. Oona - I had to take the whole comment out - but I've got it.

    Folks - if you want to send me an email address, go to the side column and look up the details of how to contact me.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Congratulations! Great news...I`m sure you`ll do a really thorough and interesting book...... and you`ll have a satisfying and creative time doing it. I`ll keep you in mind when looking at images and maybe find some historical pieces that might be of interest.

  39. Very excited to see that all of your tips,guides and experience will at last be in a book Katherine. Jarnie

  40. That's great news Katherine, I've been enjoying your blog for well over a year now and look forward to your book. I'm a keen sketcher of all sorts of subjects, examples can be found here:

  41. How wonderful! It's going to be a great book I'm sure!!
    I keep all sorts of sketchbooks and artist journals. If you want to have a look they are here:

  42. Congratulations! What an exciting project. It will be wonderful to get all of your experience in one book.

    My drawings and sketches are on my website as well as my Flickr, if you see any that look interesting for your purposes:


  43. Looking forward already to reading the book!

    As to drawings, the two people that spring to mind for me is - who ran 28 drawings later on facebook ( - which got a lot of folks drawing. Also, Wil ( does lovely stuff, although perhaps tend more towards watercolour.

  44. Congratulations! I'm sure it will be an amazing book, all the best with it!

    An example of my sketchbook pages here:

    Some great drawings by two of my friends here:


    Best wishes, Sarah Roberts.

  45. Wow Katherine that is so exciting! Congratulations I am sure the book will be a huge success!

  46. Congratulations! Would love to be involved if my stuff is suitable - see for examples... Contact details on website :-)


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