Eye to Pencil
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
10:00 AM
1st Floor 26 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE
Eye to Pencil

In-person event: Wednesday, 17 November, 10am-4pm (1 hour lunchbreak), £50

Book here:

This one-day class will help participants build confidence in drawing and sketching a small collection of nature specimens. Considering light, shadows, form and colour, we will use different materials to develop techniques for drawing, including pencil, inks and watercolours. The day will start with a presentation about Jan Van Kessel the Elder (1629-1679). The tutors will look at how his work can inspire and help us to record and interpret a collection of specimens. There will be a selection of unique and extraordinary natural history objects for participants to draw, including butterflies, feathers, beetles, bones, shells, seedpods and nature curios.

Sandy and Rebecca believe that having 2 tutors enables students to really benefit from individual attention – their depth of knowledge is an advantage to both beginners and the more experienced alike. Each class is prepared with helpful information that participants may refer to and use as an aide memoire for future work.

Biography: Rebecca Jewell

Rebecca Jewell is a printmaker and collage artist. Growing up with zoologist parents, Rebecca accompanied her father on field trips, and visited her mother in the osteology room at the Natural History Museum – both parents instilling a love of nature, wildlife and conservation. A year spent in Papua New Guinea, and many years working with the Oceania collection in the British Museum, have influenced her work – examining the significance and symbolism of birds and feathers in human cultures and beliefs. Rebecca studied for her PhD at the Royal College of Art, in the department of Natural History Illustration, looking at the importance of drawing as a way of understanding artefacts and specimens. It was at the RCA that Rebecca and Sandy met, both taught by the late Professor John Norris Wood, a passionate conservationist and artist who believed in the importance of drawing as a foundation to art practice. Jewell has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally.

Jewell is a faculty member at the Royal Drawing School, and co-founder with Sandy Ross Sykes of Drawn from Nature running art classes in natural history drawing. She has a unique collection of exotic feathers and unusual natural history specimens which she uses as source material in her classes.

Instagram @drawnfromnature

Biography: Sandy Ross Sykes

Sandy Ross Sykes trained as a fine artist and sculptor after leaving school. She has worked as a practicing artist ever since. During the middle of her career, she became interested in the complex techniques used in both botanical and natural history illustration. After graduating from the Royal College of Art and winning the RCA prize, she spent the next decade in the rainforests of South East Asia painting and therefore recording for future generations species of plants found growing in those now depleted regions. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at Kew Gardens and Singapore Botanic Gardens. Examples of her work are to be found in many museum collections throughout the world.

On returning to the UK, Sandy Ross Sykes collaborated with her friend and colleague Rebecca Jewell. They formed the specialist and highly sought-after teaching practice Drawn from Nature. During the past few years of tutoring, they have perfected a comprehensive method of teaching students of all levels.