The Sketchbook Series – Looking at People by Marion Wilcocks SGFA

Pen and wash figure study 2

Pen and wash figure study 2

“My sketchbooks are filled with diverse drawings, but here I’d like to focus mainly on people observed in passing, as well as subjects in the Life studio, where I use the sketchbook for preliminary studies or rapid poses.

Action pose

Action pose

My favourite format is square, with paper robust enough to take a bit of watercolour, and with a stitched binding, so that I can expand across two pages when I want to.

I work fast, and I don’t fiddle with life sketches; they stay the way they arrived on the paper. Sketchbooks are fun to look at because they record immediacy.

Coffee bar

Coffee bar

Out and about, I like to draw whenever I can. I explore the way figures form interesting compositions as they recede in perspective, also the extraordinary differences between figure types and shapes.

Travelling by train or bus, I will often draw from the reflection in the window in order to avoid detection!

Fat man on the tourist bus

Fat man on the tourist bus


I paint and draw regularly with life models, using them as subjects for fully developed work.

The sketchbook is my preliminary tool for moving poses – sometimes less than a minute – and for difficult or dramatic poses that by their nature cannot be held for long periods.


I enjoy ‘drawing the drawers’ too, and the interaction between models and artists.”

Life drawing

Life drawing

Drawers of life

Drawers of life

Profile of the artist

Marion Wilcocks SGFA places drawing at the heart of her work.  Having originally trained at Cardiff College of Art, she has also studied at the Sir John Cass School of Art, the Prince’s Drawing School and the Slade summer school, all in London.

Over 20 years’ working life in the City has given Marion a continuing connection with Lloyd’s of London, where she exhibits annually with the Lloyd’s Art Group. She also shows work year round at a nearby wine bar. Marion exhibits successfully in local and London galleries, in open exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, regularly with the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery and the Chelsea Art Society. She belongs to local art societies in Surrey and draws regularly with a group near home. Marion gives demonstrations and workshops with local groups, and opens her studio to visitors each year within the Surrey Artists Open Studios scheme. For more about Marion and her art, please visit her web site Learn more about Surrey Artists Open Studios at the following link.

Cafe Brood, Southwark

Cafe Brood, Southwark


SGFA Journal - Tonal study by Marion Wilcocks ASGFA

Tonal study

Rapid poses

Rapid poses





About Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Artist: I draw. Land planner: I was. Urban Sketcher: I am. SocietyofGraphicFineArt - The Drawing Society: I belong.
This entry was posted in The Sketchbook Series, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to The Sketchbook Series – Looking at People by Marion Wilcocks SGFA

  1. KnitNell says:

    What fabulous work. I love the idea of drawing the reflection in the windows so that she cannot be detected by the subject!

  2. Sibyl says:

    I enjoyed this succinct window into an accomplished artist’s approach to her work. I’ve even signed up to receive future entries.

  3. kellygrow says:

    The drawing-from-window is a great idea! Staring at strangers can get awkward…. (shockingly 😀 ).

  4. Tania Tome M de Castro says:

    Very nice!

  5. Mona says:

    Nice sketches! I really love the one in the coffee bar 🙂

  6. What a blessing to have found your blog today. I absolutely am in love with your sketches. As a beginner at sketching and watercolor, your sketches represent the ability I want to accomplish with practice.
    I can’t wait until the weekend, away from writing assignments, to practice everything I’ve learned so far… and to emulate your quick and beautiful capture of fast changing scenes, and moving objects.
    Thank you. You’ve been an inspiration today, and will remain one for a long time!

  7. Mary F. says:

    I’m in awe! These are incredibly beautiful.

  8. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  9. Reblogged this on Martha Keim-St. Louis' blog and commented:
    I found this artist on freshly pressed today. Great work.

  10. Mark says:

    Stunning … utterly stunning. I love how you’ve capture an almost mask, necessary for performers. Brilliantly done; Congrats!

  11. sittingprettystyling says:

    These are absolutely fantastic.

  12. Beautiful….fantastic..true artist

  13. polyphonyof1voice says:

    Your sketches are amazing!

  14. polyphonyof1voice says:

    I’m sorry I pushed the post button before I could finish. Thank you for artwork. They are beautiful!

  15. jessiecohn says:

    Nice artwork you got there.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this work. 🙂

  17. Awesomeness, keep it up 😉

  18. Reblogged this on Ahmed Ismail – Never Stop TRI-ing and commented:
    Awesome and simple sketches

  19. Lovely sketches ! What is the style of the sketches ? expressionist ? Btw, I like to draw too. Here is my link

  20. bethanthinks says:

    you are sooo talented!

  21. peterjfoster says:

    I love the way you capture a scene – cafe or whatever. There is such life and atmosphere. It must be such a joy for you. Thanks.

  22. Love the Pen and Wash drawing, I wonder what the lady is pondering about!

  23. architasters says:

    your drawings transmit a lot of emotions. I particularly like the watercolour ones. Thanks for sharing!

  24. anushafaisal says:

    This is utterly inspiring. Keep up the good work. It’s amazing.x

  25. I too am in awe of such beautiful creative talent – glad I found you – thanks for bringing a lovely creative light into my day ….

  26. Reblogged this on Creative Style and commented:
    Some fantastic life drawing from a talented artist, note to self must do more…

  27. fantastic sketches!!! thanks for sharing and congratulations for being freshly pressed.

  28. emmanuel316 says:

    Incredible talent

  29. Beata says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    I’ve come across these Marion Wilcocks’s sketches on the WordPress site, they are simply stunning!

  30. Beata says:

    These sketches are simply stunning…

  31. telitru says:

    I enjoyed your sketches, especially Cafe Brood. You have quite a talent. I think it could go even further; I mean your talent seems to go forward, not backward.

  32. Beata says:

    Hello, it seems that reblogging only works within the blogs and not to websites hosted elsewhere, so unfortunately the link to my reblog on (above) leads to an empty page… So sorry about this, I really wish I could have reblogged these sketches!

  33. Hopeje says:

    I love the way you add life to your pencil and colors. You can truly see emotion in your drawing, percept ambiance and soul bravo

  34. Hopeje says:

    Reblogged this on parislux and commented:
    Full of life emotion, l’âme à Fleur de Peau

  35. Pingback: Technology Is Wonderful – When It Works

  36. Mary Small says:

    Marion is my lovely sister in law who hasn’t shared with you being the brilliant illustrator of ‘Lennie’s Ride’, my published story of a nine year old boy who rode his pony almost a thousand miles here in Australia to witness the official opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the 19th March 1932.

  37. Rachelle says:

    Oh, wonderful sketches! Beautiful art….

  38. I miss the life drawing classes I took many years ago. Your work and your words are inspiring. Your efforts are evident in the ease with which your apply both fluid line and beautiful color. Thank you for sharing your talent…

  39. The pictures are beautiful

  40. As an artist myself, I greatly appreciate the work I see here. I look forward to visiting again.

  41. LexiRambles says:

    WOW! That is a great style! I wish I could form my own style as well!

  42. Ed Williams says:

    Simple. Rapid. Just the right amount of color. Love your work! Thanks for the tour.

  43. Lovely sketches. Are these mostly studies or they more so like travel journal drawings? Either way they are nice.

  44. seduval says:

    These are amazing!

  45. Jem says:

    I really loved these sketches. I often feel that sketches are able to capture the essence of a subject in a ways that ‘finished pieces’ do not. Such a privilege to be able to look through an artist’s sketchbook.

    • Jem, I think you’re right. It’s a challenge to retain the immediacy of a sketch in more polished works of art. Thank you for commenting on Marion’s splendid work.

      • Thank you Jem and Cynthia! Also I find so often that after a trip away it is the sketchbook that brings back more immediate memories than do any photographs. I think it’s because drawing makes us LOOK harder.

  46. Inspirational – bought a sketch set. 🙂

  47. bgallery says:

    Reblogged this on bgalleryart and commented:
    Stunning …

  48. Nancy Oyula says:

    I love all of them, especially the coffee bar 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s