Video page flip of Travel Journal 3

As I have promised readers, I have a video of page flip of my third travel journal. This is the third travel journal I filled while away for 9 weeks. I hope you enjoy viewing it and listening to my general chatter about keeping a travel journal. At the end of the video I discuss a pouch I carry some of my art gear in.

If you want to see the other videos in the series you will find them I hope folks enjoy it!

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Constable’s Sketchbook

John Constable sketchbook page spread During a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum we discovered a facsimile of John Constable’s 1814 sketchbook. I was astonished to discover the pocket notebook size he used. Being about 11cm x 8.5cm (or about 4.5 inches x 3.5 inches) it truly was a pocket size. You can see my fingers holding the page spread open. It gives a sense of scale. The windmill in the photograph above is about an inch to an inch and half high. Obviously I did not have a ruler with me so that is an approximate size.

John Constable sketchbook page spread It is amazing how much infomation Constable was able to record on such a small area. It really made me think about the page size of my travel journal. If you want to see any of these images larger than life click on the photos.

John Constable sketchbook page spread The sketchbooks are full of figures and scenery, many of which Constable incorporated in his paintings.We took photos of the sketchbook page spreads, then ran around the gallery trying to see if we could spot items in the paintings.

John Constable sketchbook page spread I was interested in his drawing technique and admired these tonal drawings.

 

My camera battery went nearly flat flicking back and forth between photos to compare elements in the paintings, but it certainly was fun to see what he had used and how he had incorporated various elements. I am a big kid at heart!

John Constable sketchbook page spread I was also totally delighted to see he too sometimes drew upside down in his sketchbook. If you want to see what I mean see my video flicking through the page spreads of my last travel journal as I made the same mistake!

You can see every page of John Constable’s sketchbook on the Victoria & Albert Museum website. It is worth a visit to see his drawings.

An insight into Art Education

We paid a visit to the V&A yesterday. As Usual we walked away perfectly satisfied and stimulated.

One particular little side exhibit in the British Galleries illustrated aspects of a design education. In Britain from 1837 onwards the government established design schools in centres such as London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Previously drawing schools had been run from private studios.

When the schools were established a curriculum was designed and teaching exercises developed which became known as the “South Kensington Method”. The exercises focussed on drawing ornamental shapes from models and examples including casts which can also be still seen in the Museum today.

Kate Greenaway tile design

This design won a scholarship prize for Kate Greenaway who became famous for her illustrations for children’s books. The National Competition provided funds for 15 students to study at the National Art Training School at South Kensington.

Diagram showing the harmonious relationships of colourThis “Diagram showing the harmonious relationships of colour” was used as a teaching aid in about 1853. The colour wheel aimed to illustrate what colours would go together. Today they look quite muted. It was accompanied by The Elementary Manual of Colour written by Richard Redgave who drew up the first curriculum of the National Schools of Art when they were established.

WS Singer's sketchbookThis is WS Singer’s sketchbook. He became a designer of church furnishings. The book shows tracings of drawings from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Carl August Menzel panelThis panel is a print, by Carl August Menzel illustrating a series of classical patterns which was part of a set used by architects, interior designers and manufacturers. This print is mounted on card and was copied by students.

John Ruskin, did not like the South Kensington system as he believed this copying and tracing stifled imagination and he started The Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871.

Another little piece of Art Education history that you may want on your next trivia quiz night, the South Kensington School in London, became the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 1896. At the time is shared a site with the South Kensington Museum that became the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899.