DRAWN IN: Week One

Take One

Atelier / at.el.ier / atl’ya
n. A workshop or studio especially used by an artist or designer

The beginning is always the hardest part.

Whether it is about making a new friend, moving abroad, starting a new course or writing this very blog post, the first step towards the unknown always seems like a giant leap of faith and madness compared to the baby steps that follow.

I’m filled with excitement and nerves as I rush into the classroom. It’s the first session of this year’s Atelier course and I have already missed the first half for having been naked on the other side of the town.


What?

For the third time now the lovely Jake Spicer is running a comprehensive 60 day figure drawing course at Draw at the New England House. In other words, for the next 30 weeks or so a  bunch of us will gather together on every Tuesday from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm in order to get really, really good at drawing naked people.
With occasional exceptions of clothed poses, of course.


But why?

Well, there are plenty of reasons for one to want to master the skill of life drawing. For example: It’s fun, meditative and challenging, it makes you really look at what you’re supposedly seeing, and of course on the break there’s tea and biscuits.

Personally, I wanted to do the course because it has been ages since I used to do any visual arts regularly and (for the reasons listed above) I do really miss it. I did art for my A levels and loved it, but that was what feels like a lifetime ago, so it is like being a complete beginner again.
Also, it should not go without mentioning that I do life modelling for a living (thus the absurd excuse for being late) so I do know this classroom fairly well - just from the other side of the easel.

So here we are. The tutored part is over and it is time for the first drawing session. Half a circle of concentrated faces, drawing boards in laps, pens and pencils scattered around. Lights on, dressing gown off.

What I am experiencing as I start drawing strangely reminds me of when I first got rid of my bike stabilisers. I get a little bit too excited about how fast I can go and how sharp I can turn. Suddenly I am aware I will hit the wall -NO, NO, NO!-  but the realisation is completely irrelevant in terms of correcting anything. It comes way too late, when I’m already completely out of control and the time is out. I know what I want the wheels (or in this case, the pencil) to do but my current coordination skills fall short of my grand vision.

And so, -BANG - wrong it goes.

But as said, the beginning is always the hardest part. I sign, seal and deliver my first drawings to the future me; in the end of the course we’ll go back to them so that we can smugly laugh at our old selves and feel great about how far we’ve come. Hopefully.


Take two

Alongside the Atelier runs Atelier II. (I know. Original, right?) It is much like the Atelier but instead of drawing the focus is on painting. My greed wouldn’t let me stay away so I’m back again for the second day.

It feels less like a bike crash this time, maybe partly because I did make it to the introduction and got my dose of caffeine before we started painting. I manage to chop Bella the Model’s legs a bit short but apart from that I am rather pleased with the first tonal painting of my life.

Tonal painting, as I have now learned, is that thing where with just one colour (usually brown, right?) and a thinner (might’ve been turpentine, but just Turps amongst friends) one creates a picture of lights and shadows to suggest where to later slap the blobs of colour. (These are all accurate quotes using professional vocabulary, courtesy of the brilliant Jake Spicer, by the way. Or not. But he did say something great about a sieve and sand - some artistic comparison that I will try to remember for the next blog post.)

Here’s what I made of Bella:


And to finish this post off: In the bit that I missed in the beginning, everyone was asked to make a self-portrait. I made one as homework, too. I would like to emphasise that this is my concentrated face that hardly anyone hardly ever sees. I am actually a nice person, unlike the self-portrait may suggest.



So this is the end of the beginning. I am relieved and exhausted yet absolutely excited to go back. And curious to see how long it will take before I can paint like this:


Demasquée,
Akseli Gallen-Kallela
1888
Oil on canvas
Ateneum, Helsinki

By Laura Nenonen

Laura is a life model at Draw and is attending the Draw Atelier 2014/15. Laura will be keeping a weekly diary of her experiences on the course, published weekly on this blog. 

What’s on this week

Wednesday 17th September
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Mixed Pose

Thursday 18th September
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Themed Pose : Tattoo Parlour

Friday 19th September
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
15:00-18:00 / / Long Pose

Saturday 20th September
14:30-16:30 / / Short pose
17:30-20:30 / £10 / Long Pose

Sunday 21st September
11:00-13:30 / £10 / Tutored Pose
17:30-20:00 / £6 / JAM Mixed Pose

Autumn Life Drawing Program

An autumnal chill is in the air…as the darker months loom it is time to come inside to the cosiness of the studio! Here is our extended Autumn program, starting next week. The Friday long pose and Sat short poses are back and Hester will be back running some sessions at Jam…

Wednesday
Mixed Pose / £8, £6* / 19:30-22:00

Thursday
Mixed Pose / £6 / 12:00-14:00
Themed Pose / £8, £6* / 19:30-22:00

Friday
Mixed Pose / £6 / 12:00-14:00
Long Pose / £10 / 15:00-18:00

Saturday
Short Pose / £6 / 14:30-16:30
Long Pose / £10 / 17:30-20:30

Sunday
Tutored Pose / £10 / 11:00-13:30
Jam Mixed Pose / £6 / 17:30-20:00

Anatomy Course - Jake’s Diary

Over the past week Draw tutor Jake Spicer has been attending an art and anatomy course at the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University) with Sarah Simblet, author of Anatomy for the Artist and sculptor and anatomist Eleanor Crook. You can read Jake’s diary from the week on his blog via the links below. 

Introduction

Day 01: Structural Drawing

Day 02: The Skeleton

Day 03: Musculature of the torso and arm

Day 04: Musculature of the Face

Day 05: Torso Sculpture

Day 06: Studio Practice

Day 07: Life Drawing 

This month, by popular demand, The Captains Beard return to perform and pose in a nautically themed Drawing Circus. 
Each month The Drawing Circus brings sociable drawing extravaganzas to the TOM Bar. These friendly and informal themed life drawing session are open to all abilities and complete beginners are very welcome. Mermaid-models will hold long and short poses throughout the night, with The Captain’s Beard posing and playing sea shanties with poses starting at 19:30 and finish at 22:30.
The Drawing Circus: Nautical / 14th July / 19:00-23:00 / £5

This month, by popular demand, The Captains Beard return to perform and pose in a nautically themed Drawing Circus. 

Each month The Drawing Circus brings sociable drawing extravaganzas to the TOM Bar. These friendly and informal themed life drawing session are open to all abilities and complete beginners are very welcome. Mermaid-models will hold long and short poses throughout the night, with The Captain’s Beard posing and playing sea shanties with poses starting at 19:30 and finish at 22:30.

The Drawing Circus: Nautical / 14th July / 19:00-23:00 / £5

'Atelier' is a nine month drawing course at Draw. During the first week of July we’ll be showing work produced by students on the Atelier course over the past year at Gallery 40. Drop in over the next week to see the show! 
Tuesday 8th July - Sunday 13th July / 12:00-18:00

'Atelier' is a nine month drawing course at Draw. During the first week of July we’ll be showing work produced by students on the Atelier course over the past year at Gallery 40. Drop in over the next week to see the show! 


Tuesday 8th July - Sunday 13th July / 12:00-18:00

The Drawing Circus: Dressing Up Box

Each month The Drawing Circus bring an extravaganza of themed life drawing to the Old Market Bar. It is a relaxed evening of drawing with music, a bar and four models posing at once.
This month Ruth is our guest director for a ‘dressing up box’ themed session featuring nude and particular clothed poses and a stunning array of unusual costumes, mirrors and make up. Doors open 7pm, first poses at 7.30. All abilities welcome, please bring drawing materials.

The Drawing Circus: Dressing Up Box

Each month The Drawing Circus bring an extravaganza of themed life drawing to the Old Market Bar. It is a relaxed evening of drawing with music, a bar and four models posing at once.

This month Ruth is our guest director for a ‘dressing up box’ themed session featuring nude and particular clothed poses and a stunning array of unusual costumes, mirrors and make up. 

Doors open 7pm, first poses at 7.30. All abilities welcome, please bring drawing materials.

May is more than a week behind us and we’ve been looking back fondly at the photos from our final Spiegeltent event, the Family Drawing Circus. Some fantastic work was produced by keen scribblers of all ages. Thank you to the models who sat for the event and thank you once again to the Spiegeltent for hosting. 


Cast

Ring Master - Jake Spicer
Photographer - Mary Martin
Crew / Unicorn - Laura Burgess

Lion - Felix Clement
Mother of the Drawing Circus - Francesca Cluney
Monkey - Emma Sandham King

The Family Drawing Circus

For our final Fringe Festival event The Drawing Circus invite families to come sketch using costumed models and storytelling to encourage all ages from toddlers to teenagers, parents to grandparents, to draw together. All ages and abilities are welcome and if you’ve never drawn before this is a great place to start. Drawing materials are provided

Wed 28th May / 18:00-19:00 / £6 / Book here

Once again, thank you  everyone who came along to the Drawing Circus on Wednesday; here some photos of the event taken by Mary Martin.  We’ll be  at the Spiegeltent for our last Fringe Festival event, the Family Drawing Circus. You can book ticket here


Cast

Ring Master - Jake Spicer
Photographer #1 - Mary Martin
Photographer #2 - Nick Devenish

Acrobat #1 - Lucy C
Acrobat #2 - Francesca Cluney
Monkey - Emma Sandham King
Strongman #1 - Collette Tarbuck
Strongman #2 - Laura Burgess

Drawchestra - Matthew Hamblion
Drawchestra - Amy Squirrel
Drawchestra - Felix Clement

Thank you to everybody who came along to the Drawing Circus on Wednesday; here some photos of the event taken by Mary Martin.  We’ll be back at the Spiegeltent next week with  ’Acrobats of the Drawing Circus’. You can book ticket here


Cast

Ring Master - Jake Spicer
Photographer - Mary Martin

Lion Tamer - Ruth Lawrence
Monkey - Emma Sandham King
Lion - Collette Tarbuck
Unicorn - Laura Burgess

Drawchestra - Lucy Clougherty
Drawchestra - Amy Squirrel
Drawchestra - Felix Clement

The Drawing Circus will be bringing three extravaganzas of themed figure drawing to the Spielgeltent this May. For our first event models will pose as Animals of the Drawing Circus. All abilities are welcome and if you’ve never drawn before this is a great place to start. Basic drawing materials are provided. Ticket are £6, please book via via the Spiegeltent website here:http://www.brightonspiegeltent.com/2014/05/14/animals-acrobats-and-family-1405/Next week’s Drawing Circus is on Wed 21st May 6pm; entitled, Acrobats of The Drawing Circus:- The Acrobats will be centre stage. Come to draw, and to be caught up in an atmosphere of creativity and inspiration!Plus, don’t forget to book for the Drawing Circus event on Wed 28th May 6pm entitled, ‘Family Drawing Circus’. The Drawing Circus invite families to come sketch using costumed models, music and storytelling to encourage all ages from toddlers to teenagers, parents to grandparents, to draw together.

The Drawing Circus will be bringing three extravaganzas of themed figure drawing to the Spielgeltent this May. For our first event models will pose as Animals of the Drawing Circus. All abilities are welcome and if you’ve never drawn before this is a great place to start. Basic drawing materials are provided. Ticket are £6, please book via via the Spiegeltent website here:

http://www.brightonspiegeltent.com/2014/05/14/animals-acrobats-and-family-1405/

Next week’s Drawing Circus is on Wed 21st May 6pm; entitled, Acrobats of The Drawing Circus:- The Acrobats will be centre stage. Come to draw, and to be caught up in an atmosphere of creativity and inspiration!

Plus, don’t forget to book for the Drawing Circus event on Wed 28th May 6pm entitled, ‘Family Drawing Circus’. The Drawing Circus invite families to come sketch using costumed models, music and storytelling to encourage all ages from toddlers to teenagers, parents to grandparents, to draw together.

The Drawing Circus is online!

The Drawing Circus is an independent not-for-profit organisation, a team of models, tutors and artists who put on theatrical life drawing events in unusual venues. Francesca Cluney, Emma Sandham King and Jake Spicer are co-directors of the Drawing Circus.

This month the Drawing Circus officially launch their website, alongside a Twitter and Facebook accounts. More content will be added over the course of May; take a look to see how the website evolves. If you’d made any drawings at any of the Drawing Circus events we’d love to see them and to show them on the site; just email info@thedrawingcircus.co.uk. 

Website
www.thedrawingcircus.co.uk

Facebook
www.facebook.com/TheDrawingCircus

Twitter
@DrawingCircus

Lovely work from Geo Parkin from the Drawing Circus last week. Click the image to see more of Geo’s work form the night. 

Lovely work from Geo Parkin from the Drawing Circus last week. Click the image to see more of Geo’s work form the night. 

No bulb in my lamp

Peter James Field was a supporter of our life classes back in the old days when we could only fit six people in the studio at a time. He is our neighbour at NEH; he is a charming, self effacing chap and a cracking illustrator. Peter’s diary drawings have been a source of monthly amusement and insight and this year he’s planning to publish the best of this 10 year project in a 200 page hardback book. He’s doing a Kickstarter to publish the book, here’s why I think you should pledge your money for a copy. 

1) Peter is an excellent illustrator. The work in the book will be beautiful.

2) The designers of the book are our very own graphic designers, The Entente; top notch designers and a wildly successful studio. The design of the book will be beautiful.

3) Peter’s book ‘Numbers’ sold out (I’ve got a copy), it is witty and unique. This book is set to be even better, and is bound to sell out in no time. If you dont get in quick you wont get one! 

4) Nic De Jesus did the Kickstarter video for Peter. With such an amazing team behind the book, how could it be anything other than wonderful?!

Here is the video:

Here is a link to the Kickstarter. You can get a copy of the book for just £14!