I’ve just received through the post a copy of a new book called Drawing and Seeing: Create Your Own Sketchbook. It’s been produced by Clara Drummond who, after working as an assistant to Jonathan Yeo, did an MA at what was then the Prince’s Drawing School (now Royal). In 2016, she won the BP Portrait Award with a portrait of Kirsty Buchanan, a fellow artist. The book is a primer, encouraging anyone and everyone to experiment with the practice of drawing, introduced by Peter Blake, who was Professor of Drawing at the RA and gave every student the basic kit of sketchbook, pencil, sharpener and rubber, not a great expense. I like the way that the book is enlivened with quotes from artists – Emil Nolde ‘Everywhere I looked, nature was alive, in the sky in the clouds, atop every stone, and between the branches of the trees – everywhere lived and stirred my wild and lively creatures, clamouring to be put in my sketchbook’ and Lucian Freud ‘I’m never inhibited by working from life. On the contrary, I feel more free’. I wish I had been given a copy of the book when I was six, to encourage the discipline, which she and many others advocate, of drawing every day.


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