Yesterday I decided to spend my lunch hour in the British Museum. Ten minutes to get there, ten minutes to get back and the whole time in between to sit down and sketch….brilliant. Shame I did not consider tourists.
The first thing that hits you before entering the museum is the smell of fried onions and hot dogs coming from the stalls just next to the entrance, which made me a little peckish I admit….but I carried on. The task was simple: get one of those little chairs for artists, find a statue and draw. So I ventured into the crowd of screaming children, upset parents, photographers, posers, staff and queues. Nice. I spot one guy drawing in the Egyptian room, so I ask him where he found the chair? On the other side of the hall, of course, but keep your eyes peeled and you may find one closer. All right, I’ve started running out of time but who cares? I’m here now and I want to get this done!
After a further ten minutes wandering the hall with my eyes very peeled, I realise that I must be in the background of a million photographs by now, I even spotted a guy filming the crowd in a sort of secretive way. Ok, this is not working for me, let’s be honest. So I go back to the Egyptian room, I peek at the guy’s drawing (he must have been there since opening time)…look back and see it! Ramsesses II, he is staring at me from the top of his Egyptian beard, an empty seat in the bench in front of him, a sign!
So finally I manage to settle down with my sketchbook, start the staring process (remember my teacher: look for the biggest elements first) and put it down on paper. I am being gently elbowed by more random tourists but I got used to it. Only 20 minutes to go before I have to leave, nearly there!
I rush back to the office, the smell of onions hits me again on the way back. I’m really hungry now.