In The Study Rooms at the V & A (Part II)

 

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When I wrote my last post for this blog, I had just moved out of our rented home in London. With most of our belongings headed to Seattle in a shipping container, my husband, daughter and I felt like tourists again.

Until two days ago, when we flew back home. My re-acclimation to American life has begun. But, for my next couple of posts I will be returning to London (in spirit at least) to write more about my visits (I went back a second time before I left) to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Prints and Drawings Study Rooms.

The V & A has most of the original drawings by E. H. Shepard for A. A. Milne’s Pooh series. My mother used to read to me from Milne’s Now We are Six when I was young (the book made turning six sound very grown up) and I still hear my mother’s voice when I read it now.

Milne-The Good Girl

“Well? Have you been a good girl, Jane?”. . .

I was able to request several boxes of Shepard’s sketches. The drawings are all in pencil on the pages of a 9″ X 14″ sketchbook.

Shepard’s lines are fluid and confident.

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I like to see where he tried different options and erased or crossed out some.

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It’s also interesting to compare these drawings to the finished art from the published books.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 15.49.06Sometimes Shephard draws many lines till he finds the right ones (I can relate to that).

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On the sketches that were accepted for the final illustrations, you can see that Shepard rubbed a graphite pencil across the back and then traced over the image to transfer it to his drawing board.

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Shepard seems to enjoy drawing trees, especially the grand, gnarled ones.

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And of course, bears.

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THE END

When I was One,

I had just begun.

When I was Two,

I was nearly new.

When I was Three,

I was hardly Me.

When I was Four

I was not much more.

When I was Five,

I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.

So I think I’ll be six new for ever and ever.

 

7 responses to “In The Study Rooms at the V & A (Part II)

  1. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia

    Oh, that was divine! Beneath all the sweetness and whimsy of his drawings, you can see Shepard had a really strong grasp of anatomy. He understood the way kids fidget and squirm away from stern grown-ups, with their endless interrogations! “And have you been a good girl?” How I used to hate that!
    Shepard is so deft at capturing the curve of the back of a neck, or a chubby little knee. Such a joy to see these sketches – so thank you, Margaret. I only recently found out that his daughter was Mary Shepard, the charming illustrator of the Mary Poppins books – such a brilliantly talented family.

  2. Thank you, these are so fun, so refreshing, so hopeful.

  3. Fantastic sketches! Great fun to see your work.

  4. Thank you for these marvelous drawings! I love Shepard’s work.

  5. Shepard is my most favorite of the illustrators I discovered as a child. and these sketches are so wonderful. I am going to investigate seeing them in real life when I go to London.
    Thanks so much to sharing these, and welcome back to Seattle.

  6. Pingback: In The Study Rooms at the V & A (Part III) | Books Around The Table

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