Our plein air enthusiasts kicked off the 2018 programme in the warmth and comfort of the V and A. Ironically, having expected a freezing, dismal February day, we were met with glorious sunshine, streaming from cold clear skies through the museum’s generous windows. And quite a gathering we had – 12 artist anxious to hone their drawing and sketching skills before our first venture outdoors in March.
Having bagged tables in the ever popular and crammed main café, we lingered a bit before dispersing to our various favourite spots. Some were in the statue halls, some climbed to the upper floors to find new things and others explored Far Eastern objects d’art. So we ended up with sketches of all sorts, from tonal studies of the brilliant European sculptures to fine line drawing of Japanese prints.
Finding a spot to draw is not difficult and the lighting is mostly excellent. There are a few benches scattered around but the real challenge is to find something to sit on. Artists stools are supposedly liberally scattered around the galleries. However we are never the only group scratching in sketch pads and the stools are quickly scooped up by younger, more agile students. Wear trainers next year?
The fun aspect at lunchtime was to look at each other’s work and to swap ideas about ideal subjects. The group is a wonderful mix of professional artists and gifted amateurs so there’s lots to learn from each other’s approach.
Let’s hope the sun gods are smiling again when we go outside in Chiswick on 6th March. It will be good to start mixing shades of green again.