Approaches to Drawing

I have started to teach a new 10 week course on drawing at the Camden Arts Centre. The course is titled ‘Approaches to drawing’ incorporating a wide variety of media and subjects. I have put a lot of emphasis on the fact that a good drawing doesn’t necessarily mean a good likeness and the key to learning to draw is much more about quantity rather than quality.

My current drawings are still predominantly figurative but I follow the Urban Sketchers group with much desire. I am not tolerant enough to go out in all weathers but I look forward to a time when I can go out with a sketchbook and draw the world around me, urban or rural.

I managed to put down my studies on a couple of occasions and leave my MA to one side momentarily to make a couple of drawings:

Not the greatest of drawings I know, but I enjoyed the freedom so much and being outside in my surroundings. I felt surprisingly comfortable, my initial anxiety was people watching me draw and thinking I was strange but once I started drawing I was totally absorbed. As it was a sketchbook and part of a lesson plan, I felt relieved of the pressure of having to make a ‘good’ drawing, my intention was to learn how I was to go about teaching this to other people.

I initially sketched these in water-soluble pencil and when I got cold I went indoors and emphasized some of the lines and added ink washes. The Urban sketchers group are quite strict about completing the whole drawing on site but I am inclined to disagree, sometimes it’s just not practical and I don’t see any harm in using your artistic licence.

As I result, I have put the watercolours to one side for now and turned my attention to ink, not massively different but different enough. I use it in combination with charcoal, the wet of the ink deepens the black of the charcoal and seals it preventing it from smudging. I experimented with a self portrait:

And went on to use in my life drawing classes:

But I sometimes swap it for pastel and crayon:

And a bit of watercolour:





About Shelley Morrow

Since 2011 I have been predominantly a figurative artist with an interest in conveying expression, movement and gesture. I take the drawings I make and explore them through various processes, particularly embroidery, textiles and etchings. I graduated with a BA in Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art in 1990 and currently taking my MA in Fine Art at Brighton University. I also work at Draw in Brighton, running and teaching Life Drawing sessions
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3 Responses to Approaches to Drawing

  1. vivlm says:

    Great news congratulations

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jofox2108 says:

    Really interesting! I love your self portrait in ink and charcoal – it has soul!

    Liked by 1 person

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