Saturday was the last meetup before Christmas with Drawing London on Location at the British Museum. I decided to travel light with just my smaller sketchbook, pen, pencil, putty rubber, waterbrushes and watercolours. I was a little worried as I had really not enjoyed sketching at the Natural History Museum and I have to admit that I turned up a little early with the intention of running away if I just couldn’t find anything I wanted to draw or if it was just too busy.
As it goes I shouldn’t have worried. The British Museum was a perfect place to sketch. Large scale views in the Great Court, comfortable and warm, plenty of space. They even provide folding sketching stools to take around with you if you need them. The day we were there it snowed quite hard (2 or 3 inches between the time I got on the tube in the morning and when I finished sketching in the evening) so it wasn’t too busy either, although I did arrive there looking like a walking snowman.
By the time the others arrived I had already scoped out what I wanted to draw and was itching to start. Because of the cold and lack of indoor sketching opportunities recently, I really wanted to take on something ambitious and time consuming. I really love all the creamy coloured, sandblasted, Palladian, stone columns and modern glass roof structure designed by Norman Foster in the Great Court. So I parked myself on one of the staircases next to the reading room, put on my large headphones so that I would be left alone and got thoroughly absorbed in my sketch for about 4 hours.
The roof was quite a challenge all by itself, after I had sketched it and rubbed it out the 2nd time I was wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew. The snow on the glass roof made the light quite strange all day and unfortunately it all changed while I added the colour as the sun had set and the lighting in the courtyard was all turned on. I nearly ended up getting turfed out when they shut the upper levels just as I started to add the colour but the very accommodating guard kindly let me stay and simply taped me in. I really needed a good day sketching like this, I have a feeling I will be back at the British Museum again before the winter is over.