img_0088earlier this week i was at oxford’s natural history museum and pitt rivers museum, accompanied by 40 art students from the college where i lecture. the objective being for them to gather visual reference for their first project of the new academic year (second week back and out on a trip – not bad, eh?). as usual, i was gathering visual reference too – apart from that i like to take these opportunities to get out the sketchbook, i think it important to do the same thing i’m expecting of the students – as well as racing around to help advise and evaluate what they’ve been drawing. i first visited pitt rivers when i was teacher training over a decade ago and have been back with students so many times since, it now seems mandatory for every year group. both museums are located in the same building, and despite having been so many times i still never make it off the ground floor. this time i took my ipad instead of my sketchbook to have my first proper go at using it as a sketchbook on location and felt really comfortable using it, just as i would my traditional sketchbook (of course this was after initially feeling like a bit of a tit with £800 worth of tech when a couple of sheets of paper and a pencil would have been fine). was it worth using the ipad instead of a sketchbook? it felt quite natural to be drawing on it – i got to choose my background colours while on location (instead of having to pre-prepare all the pages in a sketchbook), i got to undo (a lot), and i got to vary my drawing implements without having to carry a case full of different pencils. i also got a few effects that i wouldn’t have got normally (i really like setting the tools to be semi-transparent and then building up layers of opacity), but i still tried to keep the drawings looking like sketches and not be too finished or over-worked. i plan to use these drawings (and previous sketches i’ve done at the museums), to develop work alongside the students over the next few weeks.

About chris cowdrill

i'm an illustrator, i do graphic design and i teach graphics at a college
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1 Response to sketches

  1. Shaun Morris says:

    These are a bit good! How on earth did you manage to do so many alongside 40 students? V. inspiring!

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