Sketching at Manchester Museum

Until my recent visit to it on the Manchester Art Walk, I was not aware of Manchester Museum. Yesterday I went there asketching. It is a normal sort of museum in that it has fossils and bones and stuffed animals and primary school children on educational visits. (Typical conversation: ‘I can’t draw.’ ‘Can you write?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Could you write when you started school?’ ‘No.’ ‘Well the reason you can now is that someone showed you and then you’ve practiced every day. It’s the same with drawing. You practice every day and you’ll be able to draw really well in a few years time.’)

Here’s some of my sketches. (If you click on any of them you should get a bigger version.):


Dall Sheep – 0.8 Fine liner pen

I was told by one little girl that this drawing was ‘very neat’ – obviously a major attribute in primary school. Unlike the animals I tried to draw on a farm a few months ago, this sheep stayed perfectly still. It’s amazing what a bit of stuffing will do!


Bengal Tiger – 4B pencil

I don’t like using a pencil. It’s too grey. I’d much sooner use ink even if you can’t rub out your mistakes! This was my first drawing of the day, so any mistakes I’m putting down to ‘getting loose’.


Skull of Old Billy – Soft Pastels

My OCA drawing course requires a drawing in three tones for the highlights, the midtones and the shadows. Old Billy was a horse which was born in 1760 and died in 1822, which, it is believed, was a record.


Human Skull – Charcoal

I rubbed some charcoal over a page in my sketchbook then smoothed it out with a tissue. I drew the skull with my rubber (UK)/eraser (US) adding more charcoal for the shadows. Even allowing for a bit of foreshortening as I was looking up at the skull, I’m not happy with the proportions.


Spiny-tailed Monitor Lizard – 0.8 Fine liner pen

Unlike the tiger and the sheep, this lizard was alive and not stuffed. However, lizards tend to stay in one position for long periods which this one obligingly did.

About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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13 Responses to Sketching at Manchester Museum

  1. Nancy Farmer says:

    I feel guilty… I resolved to do more sketching a while ago, got as far as three…..
    Nice work:-)

  2. What a good example you set to the children. I agree, pencil is so grey. Pen is more lively

  3. ms6282 says:

    What about the Mummies! (the dead ones wrapped in bandages, I mean)

  4. kestrelart says:

    Enjoyable sketches – enjoyable day?

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