Cliffe Castle, Cricket and KiteI celebrated World Wide Sketchcrawl day sketching in the grounds of Cliffe Castle in Keighley and although I went there intending to draw the house (which is not really a castle at all but worthy of drawing nonetheless) to practice sketching architecture, as usual I got sidetracked as soon as I saw three generations of one family on one of the lawns with cricket stumps and a bat, and later on playing with a kite. Drawing people for me is irresistible and however difficult it is I just have to try. I’ve had such a good time following the advice and tips that Marc Taro Holmes has been giving out on his blog – wonderful resources that he gives away free from his workshops on drawing people in motion.

Cliffe Castle, Saturday afternoonI’d been following reports from the USK symposium in Singapore – wow! What a wonderful thing it’s been – just watching videos and reading posts has been enough to fill me with even more enthusiasm for urban sketching. And now we hear that next year the symposium will be in Manchester!

I’ve only recently realised that sketching soft toys can be almost as interesting and challenging as drawing people – or at least it is when the individual in question is a loved and cherished character. It’s just as important to get a good likeness, and the shapes and textures are just as unpredictable and unknown. I occasionally draw a stuffed rat that I’m especially fond of (he came from IKEA).

Soft Rat

On the 11th August I’m going to try to be at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Cliffe Castle; there should be plenty of subjects. Little stuffed creatures are somewhat easier to draw because they don’t move about much, but accompanied at the picnic by their owners this may be less so. And I may find myself distracted once again by wanting to draw people. Who knows?