Explore and Draw at Always the Sun
Always the Sun is a family friendly festival in Guildford, Surrey. My son’s friend went to Latitude Festival this summer and he decided he wanted to go to a festival as well. As neither myself or my husband have a burning desire to share canvas with our two year old daughter, we compromised and did a day at Always the Sun.
My son had his face painted, my daughter had a feather put into her hair, we had cookies on a double decker bus, listened to music, the kids did a dance class, my son made a Lush bath bomb and we had a go at tie-dying. It was a great day. However the most inspiring thing that I did was an observational drawing class called Explore and Draw.
It was run by a very enthusiastic and talented guy called Andrew Thomson. He started us drawing a vase of flowers. The first sketch was 5 minutes. It has been a great many years (decades, ahem!) since art college, so this was really going back in time. I started in pencil (out of nervousness) but soon moved to charcoal and really got into the swing of the thing. We moved from 5 minutes to 1 minute, then 30 seconds, then 10 seconds. It was a fantastic exercise to really focus on just getting something down on paper. At one point I ended up drawing three drawings pretty much on top of each other and this actually became my favourite drawing.
After we had done a few sketches in the tent, we went out into the festival, sat down in a random spot and just drew what we could see. My first sketch was of the Cookie bus and the tie-dying tent – I wanted to avoid drawing people. In the second location, I started on some flags but then decided to take the plunge and have a go at drawing a group of three people who were standing having a drink and a chat. Our third position was near the main stage, so I drew the singer while we got rained on.
It was such a fantastic experience with a great teacher. Very inspiring and a really great souvenir of a wonderful festival. I’m still not convinced on the big festivals or sharing a tent with my chatty daughter!