Ok, so we’re about half way through the school holidays and I’m just about managing to stay afloat (financially, emotionally… ish). We’ve had some fun days out to places like Pevensey Bay, Kew Gardens, a few local parks, the BFG…. and some hilarious days in having cooking competitions, making sweet shops, holding a full-blown trial with witnesses and a judge for a minor swearing offence, and generally enjoying not having to be anywhere at any particular time.
I’m supposed to be doing some reading in preparation for my final two degree modules which start in October, but the odd half hour here and there couldn’t really be described as ‘progress’. However, I have made progress in another area of my life: I attended my first ever life drawing class this week. I run art classes for adults two days a week, and teach the beginners the basics of drawing and painting (alongside an experienced artist who teaches the intermediate level). But I want to improve my own level of artistic skill, so when I saw an advert for a life drawing class in London I decided to give it a whirl.
Unsure of what to expect, I sat in a coffee shop opposite the studio for 20 minutes while I waited for the class to start. (I didn’t want to have to sit in an empty room or, worse, try to make smalltalk with a life model!) I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to find a mixed group of students all being offered complimentary beer or wine by our friendly host. (Could have done with something stronger, but that probably wouldn’t have helped my drawing!) When the class began and the 60-something male model de-robed, I knew that giggling was not the done thing but I couldn’t help a sharp, involuntary intake of breath that I managed to stifle amongst the scratching of charcoal on cartridge paper. Let’s just say there was plenty to draw…
But there wasn’t really time to marvel at the wonders of the human form, as we launched straight into some 60-second warm up exercises that involved line drawing, shading, cylinders, setting a ground, and using putty erasers to bring out highlights while the model assumed various poses. Some longer exercises brought us to the end of the class, and as we displayed our efforts on the floor around us I was pleased to note that my drawings did vaguely resemble the gentleman they were supposed to depict (although I noticed I had mostly avoided drawing a certain area for fear of doing him a disservice). The tutor was lovely, encouraging and knowledgeable and I will definitely go again.