Attracted by the action and drawing it. Trips to the theater, the hairdresser, and her tea room provide him with themes that she presents in highly original compositions. Barlow Marrs’ sketches acquire unusual authority thanks partly to sudden changes in scale from foreground to background, a taste for overlap, and the ability to simplify a subject into a powerful motif. When she draws people, she delights in pose and posture. 

The artist is also an expert in drawing action and placing characters in architectural periods. Her drawing style is lively and diverse, with carefully placed pen strokes of different thicknesses augmented with monochrome washes and occasional color swatches. She is adept at selecting meaningful details and comparing them to areas of considerable simplification. Together, her designs form a continuous narrative of a life lived with an acute eye and an adventurous spirit.

At any moment, in any place

“Today, I always carry a sketchbook with me. After moving from one place to another, I want to feel more related to my surroundings, and drawing has been essential to achieving this goal. I stopped on a crowded train to Naples, and closer to home, I drew the repairman wielding cables as he started our car in the rain. I draw at conferences and concerts, in cars and airplanes, in hospitals and living rooms. Depending on what you are drawing, the experience of sketching the place can be like a meditation, a grounding exercise, as well as a record of time and place. Barlow Marrs draws on her sketchbook even when she’s not using it for drawing. “Because my daily sketchbook is small enough to carry around, I find myself pulling it out and studying sketches over and over again. 

I produce a tremendous visible bond with my drawings. I’m deciding what to do and what I dislike about each one and checking to see if any of them need more work. I learn a lot from the periodic review of my work. Although Barlow Marrs is willing to tackle all topics, he prefers some topics. I am drawn to cartoonists or presenters of various kinds. People who don’t visit still but who visit more or light in the very position. They are repetitive gestures that I can trust in my working memory. For this reason, the artist often finds himself drawing musicians, lecturers, or authors who give lectures.

Draw movement everywhere

action and drawing it

I also draw people who cover a larger territory while repeating movements and gestures. I drew the contestants in the arena at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. My sketch of a horse and rider navigating a jump is a composite: with each fleeting glance, I memorized the angle of a boot or the height of the animal’s head and incorporated it into my drawing. I participated in live drawing sessions with the English National Ballet, drawing for an hour during the company’s daily lesson on stage, without costumes or props. You learn to look at the characteristic gestures and the repeated movements instead of the individual dancers.

Drawing on the ground inevitably implies changing to dynamic conditions and the irregular movement of people, claims that the artist covers. If someone steps in front of me and partly obstructs my view, I start to attract them right away most of the time. I had no thought how expressive the back of the human head and arms could be until I began 3d drawing on the spot. It also taught me a lot about relative scale and how useful it is to have overlapping shapes to suggest depth and distance.

Methods and materials

Barlow Marrs pays a lot of attention to his materials. I wanted drawing in the field to become a natural part of my daily life, so I came up with a minimalist kit that I could take anywhere. I tested it on the road during a week-long trip to Italy in 2015 and have carried it with me ever since. The kit includes a small hardcover sketchbook, pencils, several fine-line pens, a water-soluble ink marker, and a water brush (see details below). Thanks to the soluble ink and the water brush, I began to draw in more tonally a more watercolor style, although in grayscale, says the artist. The all-media paper in my sketchbook works with both dry media and the possible light washes with the Tradio pen and water brush.

Barlow Marrs sometimes works on a large scale with single sheets. I slide sheets of paper between two pieces of black foam cardboard and fasten them with clips. It protects the card during transport and keeps it flat. I reconfigure the set on the spot so that the paper is on top and the foam board acts as a drawing board. A color is an option. Depending on the limits of a given setting, I can use PanPastel to design large, dry strokes of color that I can draw with erasers and other means. I like to use Tombow Mono Zero erasers for pencil drawing and other dry media. I also use water-soluble graphite pencils. The artist also uses watercolor in a larger sketchbook with heavier paper.

Formation of connections

Barlow Marrs is a Society for Fine Graphic Arts, also known as the Drawing Society. It’s a UK showroom company for artists, illustrators, and printers. He belongs to Urban Sketchers, a worldwide organization, and participated in their sketch crawl at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. He attends more informal events with London-based drawing groups that coordinate online. There is nothing like meeting other artists and seeing how they tackle a topic, what is in their drawing kit, which they draw inspiration from, and what other projects they are involved in. It is also essential for constructive feedback in a supportive environment.

Although Barlow Marrs’s drawing business is very different from his famous finished collages, the artist sees a connection. Drawing on the spot helped me develop a sense of narrative and pictorial space, neither of which a factor was in my earlier college work. Now college work and observational drawing are colleges to merge. I apply for college work everything I learn from observational drawing about light and space. And all of my sketches are potential reference material for new invented landscapes and reinvented interiors.

All things are related

Before turning to art full time, Barlow Marrs worked as a town planner. Although the two careers are very different, the artist sees a strong parallel. The principle everything is related is fundamental for both general planning and artistic creation. Whether I’m working on an 8×10 doodle in my sketchbook or a plan for a 1,000-acre development, changing in one area will lead to adjustments in others. It is the composition as a whole that matters. As the simple pleasure of looking at the world fuels the artist’s collages, her work of design, simplification, and balance finds its way into her sketches as she finds new ways of delving into the world around her.

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