The Cowes Library Drawing Group and the Shipwreck Centre

At the Cowes Library Drawing Group we explore different drawing ideas every week and use a variety of objects for our observational studies.

This term we have covered texture with teddy bears, colour theory with courgettes and the complexities of foreshortening, with tin cans (of course!) But this week we had the opportunity to combine all of these techniques and principles into sketching still-life studies using a collection of objects particularly relevant to our Isle Of Wight location.

Jacqueline Arnold is the Education & Outreach Officer for the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum at Arreton Barns. She heard about the drawing group through her work with Cowes library and got in touch to see if we would be interested in drawing artefacts from the centre. Jacqui is passionate about her work, the items in her care and maritime archaeology. She was keen to show the objects and share their stories and generously offered to visit the drawing group. We were beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to draw a tiny part of this wonderful collection.

Jacqui brought a selection of objects from WW1 shipwrecks around the Island. The items varied from the familiar to the unknown and the group had the opportunity to analyse and touch them, capture them on paper and ask questions about their history and purpose.

Not only were the objects aesthetically interesting and challenging to draw they were also very powerful when we heard about their use, the locations of their find and their journey to the surface after decades of lying on the sea bed.



The Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon groups created a series of thoughtful and considered drawings in pencil, charcoal and pastels and it was brilliant to watch them put their learning into practice with shading, negative spaces and directional mark-making.



The Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum reopens to the public from Easter and is home to the Isle of Wight’s most extensive collection of Maritime Heritage. You can visit their website here or follow them on Facebook to see the wonderful work they do and the various events they hold throughout the year.

One reply on “The Cowes Library Drawing Group and the Shipwreck Centre”

This shows the library and the flexibility of the space in a wonderful light Bethany. Thank you for being so generous with your expertise. The artefacts from The Shipwreck Centre look amazing too.


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