About the Artist - Katherine Tyrrell

Katherine Tyrrell is a British contemporary artist who is also a writer and teacher.

Katherine Tyrrell - Contemporary Artist

The  foundations of how I make my art are threefold. 

  1. I'm committed to the value of drawing and sketching and working from life and 'en plein air' where possible
  2. the power, complexities and subtleties of colour and pattern fascinate me
  3. dry media, specifically soft pastels and coloured pencils, work best for me in terms of the type of mark-making using broken colour that I enjoy the most

Contact the artist:
My practice
I draw using dry media and enjoy hatching, scumbling and erasure as techniques to develop areas of broken colour which mix optically to provide new colours.  Although much of my work in the past has been rooted in loose realism, I'm increasingly interested in abstracting the patterns and shapes I come across in the natural world at either end of the scale

My drawings and sketches have attracted much praise for my draftsmanship and use of colour. One example is Charley Parker's review on his blog Lines and Colors - see Katherine Tyrrell.  (For other reviews - see below)

"Not quite white"
Patterns in landscapes, light and colour

I like colours, patterns and puzzles.  Things which stimulate my eye include:

  • the way light changes both colour and form
  • patterns in shapes - both large and small
  • patterns in landscapes
  • scale - how the large can look small and the small can look large
  • places which make me happy - in the country, art galleries and restaurants

One word which ties a lot of my themes together is "landscapes" - these can be

Katherine Tyrrell in Greenwich Park. 
River Thames with the City of London and East London in background

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Working from Life
I very much enjoy working from life and in public places - as you can see from my sketchbook pages. 
Much of my figurative work is either initially developed or completed in front of the subject.   All my drawings of people are from life and I very much enjoy observing and recording the way people relate with one another in different places.
Art Societies and Art Groups
I have had work accepted into juried annual exhibitions of national art societies and group exhibitions in the UK, the USA and Canada.  I'm now limiting exhibitions to the Society of Botanical Artists and Florum
Exhibition details


My work is in private collections in the UK, Australia and the USA.   The following are also available for purchase by arrangement:

  • Original paintings and drawings
  • Images in transparency, printed or electronic form
  • Licensing rights for publication of either drawings or articles
Please contact Katherine for further information and a price list

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"Ashness Bridge" for Derwent PencilsCommissions  
Example: The Cumberland Pencil Company (Derwent Pencils) commissioned Katherine to produce a drawing of Ashness Bridge - an image which has long associations with their Artist's Pencils.  This was featured in their catalogue and on their website.

Ashness Bridge 
for Derwent Pencils Catalogue 2008
I'm happy to discuss commissioned work.
Please contact me for further information.  All initial discussions are via e-mail.

Katherine Tyrrell - Teacher
I'm a qualified teacher but I also continue to be a student who loves learning about art and sharing that learning
I'm a qualified teacher with a degree in Education from Cambridge University and an MBA from the London Business School.  I believe that all those with a talent and/or interest in art will benefit from some guidance and although I don't have a degree in fine art I have studied widely and enjoy passing on what I've learned.

Sharing and Guiding:
I've extensive professional experience of leading workshops and guiding people through a learning process.  12 March 2015
  • Drawing and Sketching: I was a member of the Discussion Panel on "Drawing Together" at the Ulster Fesitival of Art & Design in March 2015
  • Becoming an author: I did a presentation "From Artist to Author" at the Ulster Festival of Art and Design 11 March 2015
  • Social Media: I've written magazine articles about and given workshops and talks on Social Media for Artists and how to get your art online for the Mall Galleries, Heatherley Art School and Art Societies
  • Sketching: I've written articles about sketching, led an online class in sketching and led/supported groups of sketchers (London Urban Sketchers)
  • A lot of guidance I now provide is through my publications (see below for my blogs, free guides and information sites).

My two degrees and two professional qualifications have nothing whatsoever to do with art. 

However once I'd achieved them and got my career underway I worked hard in my spare time to fit in

  • drawing classes at the Royal Drawing School and Central St Martins College of Art in London.  
  • workshops with a number professional artists in the UK and USA
  • independent study via books and lectures. Plus I've used the Internet extensively to access art, learn about artists and different approaches to art - and share that learning

  Katherine Tyrrell - Writer

I very much enjoy writing about art and sharing information about art in a number of different ways.

I was commissioned to write a book about drawing and sketching by Quarto Books/Retrovision.
This was published in three different English language editions in different parts of the world in January 2015.

The titles and publishers of the books are:


Book reviews:  See reviews on Amazon +
Artistsnetwork: Drawing Basics: Do This To Advance Your Art By: Cherie Haas, Online Editor | November 18, 2014
Other Books and Magazines

  • A series of articles on "Cost Effective Tips for Artists" was published by 'The Artist' Magazine in 2016
  • I was commissioned by Quarto/Rotovision to write a book about drawing and sketching published in the USA and UK in January 2015 (see above)
  • My sketches appear in
    • "Playing with Sketches" (December 2013) and
    • "Sketch my World" (January 2014)
  • I've written articles for
My books and magazine articles

my contribution to "Playing with Sketches"
- a double page spread about sketching in museums and art galleries in
 Making A Mark
(2017 - more than 4 million unique visitors to date + 11+ million page views)
My main art blog is frequently referenced by other art bloggers and leading galleries.  It focuses on information for artists and art lovers - including
    • reviews of art exhibitions and art competitions
    • art education - sharing knowledge and learning through art projects about art basics (eg Composition and Colour) and notable artists
    • interviews with contemporary artists;
    • tips about art business, art careers and blogging about art
The value of Making A Mark (see below) is externally validated.
It ranked as  #3 art blog in UK between 2010 and 2016 (I 'retired' and started to post less in October 2016)
- see Making A Mark remains #3 in top 25 art blogs in UK.
It's also in the top 10 of a list of the World's Top 75 Art Blogs by blog rank.
Making a Mark
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Travels with a sketchbook
(c.300,000+ unique visitors and 400,000 pageviews since July 2006) 
Featured in and recommended by The Times newspaper
My sketchbook blog showcases sketchbook work and explanations as to process. 
I'm also a correspondent for Urban Sketchers , Urban Sketchers London and a co-author of Four Go Painting in Provence
Travels with a Sketchbook in.......
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Making A Mark Reviews 
(200+ subscribers - since April 2009)
a consumer's guide to quality and value in art books, art supplies and services to artists.
Making a Mark reviews......
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The Art of the Landscape
(c.350+ subscribers - since January 2010)
Promotes learning about the development of landscape drawing and painting - by exploring, sharing and doing.  I'm also a correspondent for Watermarks - a small community of artists who make art from water.
The Art of the Landscape
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Making A Mark on Art
My suite of information sites - Resources for Artists - include sites relating to various art media, various art genre and subject matter, books for artists and the art business
Related websites
About Artists
Do you want to find out about famous artists past and present? This is my compendium of sites about famous artists in history and living today.
Related websites:
Making A Mark Publications
The Making A Mark Guides relate to various art activities - concerning both practice and business - and are being developed on a regular basis.
available via Making A Mark Publications
Other publications / Reviews - Media coverage has included
Mixed Parrot Tulips (coloured pencils)
Mixed Parrot Tulips
Coloured Pencil 11.5" x 15.75"