by Jessica Kettle (Illustration Artist in Residence)
So, the weather is getting cold, the days are getting shorter and that can only mean one thing, it was time for another drawing trip to Oban.
For the third year running, this November saw a set of enthusiastic ECA students from Illustration, Graphic Design and Animation don their best waterproof clothing and hit the small Scottish town of Oban for 4 days of intensive drawing time.
After a rocky start of cancelled trains and torrential rain to greet our arrival, we finally arrived at the youth hostel late Thursday evening, soaked to the skin but, luckily, with spirits not too dampened!
The students were given a few small briefs to get them started and inspired. A map of Oban with a small red dot on was their challenge for the next morning, to find the place the dot represented and explore it. Each student was also given a collection of clear plastic bags for collecting interesting bits and bobs they encountered on their adventures. These bags returned in the evenings with anything from old books to dead crabs in them and once the sun went down, the tables of the youth hostel’s kitchen were monopolized by students, drawing, painting and chatting about their day’s discoveries.
No trip to Oban would be complete without a trip to the pub so on Friday night we hit our local watering hole, armed with sketchbooks and drawing implements. Needless to say, we stood out like a sore thumb, taking over about three tables, nursing 5 drinks between us and playing rounds of ‘exquisite corpse’, but luckily the locals tolerated us with good grace and we even won a bottle of wine from the pub quiz (could have been the whole quiz we won if it hadn’t been for that damn geography round)!
Saturday, we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull. Commuting didn’t stop us from continuing to fill our sketchbooks (although trying to take a photo did land Astrid with a slap on the arse for getting in the way of an angry woman’s sea view!
Overall the trip was a great success. Students from different disciplines were able to meet, share ideas and techniques and most importantly, step outside the confines of their studio routine to refresh their practise, taking some of that fresh sea air back with them!