On as warm a day as London autumn could give us, Steve Roberts our senior lecturer invited us to Mudchute Farm for a day of sketching the animals. After getting lost about five times on the way I was able to meet up with everyone.
I started with attempting to draw the llamas, but it became evident quite quickly that the animals weren’t going to cooperate. The llamas sat huddled at the far end of the pen, not great for understanding their posture or movement.
Ambling around I found some curious sheep, hungry for a meal. It was interesting to see how they stretched over and squeezed through bar to get to handouts from the park’s visitors. Also how they laid down, front legs first, seemed incredibly awkward.
The chickens scurried about too quickly for me to be able to capture them.
The donkeys weren’t doing anything interesting either. Their movements though reminded me of Muybridge’s 19th century experiments with animal locomotion, although his subjects were primarily horses (Eadweard Muybridge and Lewis S. Brown, 1957).
I also found some goats bucking, which was a beautiful movement, but difficult to capture.
The drawing was punctuated by conversations about the animation industry. It was a good day of practice but it was evident that I am a long way away from being able to understand and translate animal movement into drawings.
Muybridge, E. and Brown, L. (1957). Animals in motion. New York: Dover Publications.