Sketching At The Bell Museum

Last weekend I went to the Bell Museum in St. Paul to sketch with Urban Sketchers Twin Cities. This beautiful natural history museum and planetarium has something for everyone! See more about the museum here.

I was determined to sketch the woolly mammoth, so I walked through several other galleries to find it. I set up my stool and got going. I was using my Fude Sailor pen, which allowed me to have fun loose lines and dark darks.

After doing the line sketch, I completed the sketch with watercolors and a white Gelly roll pen for white accents.

While sketching, I had interested people stop and look over my shoulder. I think the woolly mammoth is a sight to behold… it’s huge, furry, and the tusks look dangerous.

I next wandered around the other galleries. I have sketched there before, and was looking for things that were different. I decided to do a collage of several animals. The rabbit was hidden near a log while a bobcat looked on, and the baby gulls were hidden in the reeds. I liked the idea of sketching “hidden things”, those animals we don’t notice but are still there. I completed the sketch with a tundra swan, which was not hidden, but I liked its neck shape and webbed feet.

Sketching nature in a museum is a bit different than in the wild. The museum streams in bird calls, wolf howls, and other natural sounds, which makes you feel you are right there. The animals are stationary and on view, which makes them easy to sketch. But I’ll say, I do like being out in real nature better. Sketching it may be more of a challenge, but it’s still awesome. Nature is all around us, if we just look around!

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