The Barber Institute of Fine Art invited me to deliver a Look, Notice & Sketch workshop inspired by depictions of the natural world found in their summer exhibition.

It is part of the Making a Mark Exhibition currently being shown at the @barberinstitute curated by the @unibirmingham Art History and Curating MA students.

The exhibition showcases exquisite and intriguing 16th and 17th-century drawings by Dutch and Flemish artists, including Rubens, Rembrandt, and Van Dyck lent by Her Majesty the Queen from the @royalcollection at Windsor Castle. It examines the functions and purposes of drawing and the importance of the artist’s profession. It discusses the techniques and materials used, and the varied ways artists found inspiration for drawing.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

 – Albert Einstein


Many artists in the 17th-century would craft their own inks and paints using materials they foraged and found. Here is a simple recipe you can use to make your own rich inky tones: