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Make The World Your Studio

For me, one of the biggest unanswered questions in the universe would be, "When will Sir Paul McCartney stop dyeing his hair?" A close second would be, "How do artists draw horses racing at full pelt, or jumping over fences? And why do they keep the secrets of this sorcery to themselves?" 

With the release of The Urban Sketcher by Canadian author Marc Taro Holmes, we have full disclosure on how to draw things on location, things in motion, and slightly more.

I think it’s fair to say we have all attended life drawing classes before, as a cunning ruse to be in the presence of naked women.

But as my Grandpa always told me, there is so much more to drawing than meets the vagina. This book beautifully walks you through the process, giving you 15 step by step instructions for creating expressive drawings using pencil, pen and ink, and watercolour. I grabbed a quick interview with the author Marc about the book itself. 

Apart from the Artist formerly known as Prince, who is your favourite artist? 

"I’m going to be all complicated and say, it’s impossible to choose a single favourite. Just looking back at my web history this week we see: Katsya Terada (manga drawing), Choi Xooang (contemporary sculpture), Odd Nerdrum (old school oils), and Polly Morgan (taxidermy artist). It’s a fire hose of inspiration coming out of our devices."

Rembrandt famously only painted selfies, do you think he was a narcissist? 

"I think, and this is just an untutored opinion, that he was a capitalist first. He had the art factory going way before Warhol. So that goes hand in hand with narcissist and probably hedonist. I read he invented the pre-stretched canvas and ready-made frame to cope with the output of his crew of ‘students’. He would have underpaintings made (including about 800 copies of his famous selfies), and come back in to dish out the highlights with a palette knife. That guy knew how to get rich quick – and spend it just as fast." 

Apparently the hardest thing to paint in the world is a horse sneezing into a handkerchief, is that true? 

"I think Picasso managed it just fine."

Van Gogh never sold a painting in his own life time, were people just not into Sunflowers back then? 

I ran into a retrospective on Van G. by accident one day. Strolling around without a plan, walked in a gallery to discover a show of works from the very beginning, right up to the fateful day. Apparently he had gone full OCD at the end, and painted 300 works in his last year of life. I can say from first hand observation, he was a TERRIBLE painter for most of his short career. He didn’t get anywhere until the very end. As a late-bloomer, he was very encouraged, and I hope to follow in his footsteps." 

I imagine the most important thing about sketching outside is having a good hip-flask and some biscuits. What else do you recommend? 

"That is just about right. I’ll only add; know where you’ll next find a lavatory."

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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