I went down to the picket line outside the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea yesterday, partly to show my support for the strikers, partly to get some sketchbook practice. I worked into my A5 leatherbound sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S.
I started with a very quick sketch, just a few seconds to start to get my eye in. In the second sketch I focussed on the background – the building and trees- to become familiar with them and overlaid a few experimental figures onto it. Finally, in my third drawing, I quickly sketched in the background (as I was familiar with it) and then I worked on the figures in the crowd, putting in the ones in the mid-distance first, then the foreground and finally filling in the ones in the background of the group. Drawing a crowd is a process of building up layers but the work has to be done quickly because, of course, people are constantly moving. I wanted to draw more, but I had to be somewhere else in a hurry so I had a quick chat with some of the picketers to wish them well and then away…..
“Staff at all sites across National Museum Wales have been out on continuous strike action for over two weeks now, following a dispute of over 2 years about a cut of 15% to the take home pay of the lowest paid for their weekend work – while senior managers face no cuts at all. The support we’ve had so far has been phenomenal, but there’s still lots of people who aren’t aware of the situation.” Check out the Facebook page here if you would like to know more.