What’s on this week

Wednesday 22nd October
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Mixed Pose

Thursday 23rd October
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Themed Pose : Macbeth

Friday 24th October
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
15:00-18:00 / £10 / Long Pose

Saturday 25th October
14:30-16:30 / £6 / Short pose
17:30-20:30 / £10 / Long Pose

Sunday 26th October
14:00-20:00 / £25 (£15) / The Grand Drawing Circus *

*The Grand Drawing Circus is held at The Old Market, Hove and is life drawing on a huge scale! They’ll be eighteen models posing on multiple sets throughout the entirety of the theatre venue accompanied by live music and following the story of a Circus murder…
(NB. Tutored Pose and JAM (usually held on a Sunday) are not running this week due to the Drawing Circus event)

#ThrowbackThursday…

This time last year ‘Prologue’ was the first in a new series of theatrical life drawing events. The event played through an elusive narrative, told through the poses of 6 models and accompanied by live music from the Drawchestra. (photographs by Michaela Meadow, Shelley Morrow and Nick B)

This October 26th, The Drawing Circus is back at The Old Market with three times the number of models as last year and multiple sets and rooms to draw in. It’s up to you to try and ‘draw together’ what events are unfolding in the dark underworld of the circus…

Book tickets here or email: info@thedrawingcircus.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/events/729478737107675/?fref=ts
http://www.thedrawingcircus.co.uk/

What’s on this week

Wednesday 15th October
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Mixed Pose

Thursday 16th October
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Themed Pose : Goblin Market

Friday 17th October
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
15:00-18:00 / £10 / Long Pose

Saturday 18th October
14:30-16:30 / £6 / Short pose
17:30-20:30 / £10 / Long Pose

Sunday 19th October
11:00-13:30 / £10 / Tutored Pose
17:30-20:00 / £6 / JAM Mixed Pose

Just over two years ago, in November 2012, the entirety of The Old Market was transformed into an imaginarium of delight for Manifesto. It was part of the National Big Draw and there were a dozen models on a series of sets that evoked every Drawing Circus yet put on by Draw. (photos by B Cetlova and Roy Matthews)

This October 26th The Drawing Circus is back at The Old Market, Hove, but this time taking over the whole theatre space as well as the dressing rooms downstairs and filling them with more than 18 models, loads of set, specially made costume, specifically written music, and artists (of all abilities!) Book now and embark on an immersive theatrical drawing adventure. Or email: info@thedrawingcircus.co.uk

www.thedrawingcircus.co.uk 
Facebook event page

Three years ago this October, The Drawing Circus put on a spectacular drawing event where musicians, models and makers came together to transform the Sallis Benney theatre into a magical circus arena of creativity. Here are a collection of photos taken by Anna Gibson and Nick Caro from the event. 

This October 26th The Drawing Circus are back in town with our biggest event yet! Eighteen models, five musicians and a huge van load of props and sets will descend on The Old Market, Hove, to bring you The Grand Drawing Circus, an event not to be missed. 

Click here to book your tickets or email info@thedrawingcircus.co.uk
Join our Facebook event here
See more photos from past events on The Drawing Circus website

The countdown has begun! 2weeks and 4 days until The Grandest Drawing Circus of all time! See you there! 

DRAWN IN - week III

Part 1: Tuesday 23rd Sept (or “Ink, think, pink, link”)

"We’re not only making windows to a world - we’re also making physical objects." -Jake Spicer

We’re back in the Atelier for our third session and Jake is talking about mark-making.  Mr. Spicer’s words are so poetic that I can’t help but go a bit rhyme-nerdy as I go over my notes a week later. Here’s what I made of our last material, ink:

A liquid thing that makes a line,
sometimes fat and sometimes fine.
Sometimes  can be moved around
and often makes a mess (I found).
Lots more practice and I think
it may become my friend - that’s ink.

Biro, humble biro’s back!
It comes in blues, some reds and black.
Spicer calls it a linear medium,
others say it’s merely a tedium.
For blocks of colour it’s not ideal
- takes a thousand lines, quite hard to conceal.
Beware of build-up at starts and stops
(also known as inky blobs)
and you may discover that your hero
is both definite and delicate; good old biro.

If you’re after a range of widths
get yourself some fibre tips.
They give you a solid, consistent mark
that’s never anything but dark.
They’re not that great for a faster pace
but if you have the artistic grace
of someone such as Laura Burgess 
I’m sure this will not make you nervous.

Anything that can be dipped
in ink and preferably also gripped
by an artist’s hand is likely then
to be re-named as the new dip pen.
Bamboo stick or a feather will do
when nibs and holders are too much ado.
Reservoirs for ink (not dogs)
in nibs increase the risk of blots. 

We brushed over the topic of mid-tone paper,
and discussed light fastness but let’s save that for later.
If you cannot  see the link
between these things I’ll tell you: it’s ink!
For ink, like topics, can be brushed as well
- try a Chinese brush, I found it swell!
 
Whatever way you like your ink
absorbent paper’s the best I think.
200 grams per square meter (and above)
should suit you and your new-found love.

The End

- only one more thing about ink:
whatever you do, don’t confuse it with your drink.


Part 2: 24th Sept (or “In the heart of the mug”)


The Wednesday group’s world is equally black and white though we’ve put ink behind us (or  in my case, under our fingernails).  We’re learning about grisaille; a technique of creating a detailed tonal underpainting, sort of like a black and white photograph, which can then be turned into a technicolour painting by adding a thin layer of paint (a glaze) on top of it.

I go through all the feelings in the book as I’m trying to break into the soul of my surprisingly challenging subject: a mug. I can’t get my eyes off of it, so I carry on as the rest of the class move on from pots and plaster heads to paint Michaela. Four hours, numerous sighs and one existential crisis later I have been emotionally drained into a mug. The time is up and I have learnt two important lessons:

1) Whoever wrote Fifty shades of grey was probably referring to a “white” mug, and
2) I will never, NEVER paint a ceramic object again.

Amy interviews… Poppy Veale

With a first class degree in Fine Art from Farnham University, a host of exhibitions across London, a piece in the 2013 Jerwood Drawing Prize (After Andrew Catlin) and now, a scholarship for this year’s Atelier drawing course at Draw, 24-year-old Poppy Veale has a lot to boast about. Except Poppy doesn’t boast at all; in fact, she’s incredibly modest about her talents.

From a one-horse town in Somerset, Poppy has relocated to Brighton to embark on a journey that she hopes will free her from the niggling self-doubt that plagues her creatively. One week into the course, Amy Squirrell talks to Poppy about her artistic career so far, and what awaits her this year on Atelier.

image

 

What drew you to art?

Art gave me a way to concentrate my thoughts, because they’re really sporadic and I worry quite a lot, so it was nice to have a space where I could contain all that. People talk about how it’s therapeutic and how it gets them out of their heads, but for me it wasn’t like that. I couldn’t stop all my thoughts but I could put them into something. If you have a unidirectional focus, all this peripheral stuff can just be on the back burner for a bit. You can go into your studio and be annoyed about something, or worried, or even really elated about something, but when you’re there, it’s like, I’m present. All your thoughts might not be, but you are present.

Does that link to your Lack (2013) series?

I felt very much at the time like I was searching for something, in the way that existentialists would say that you anticipate the future and you lament the past, but you’re not really present.

Why are we drawn to certain artworks? I used to think that we’d grow attachments to artworks because of something that was internally lacking.

image

Why did you want to do the Atelier course?

I predominantly used to draw from photographs, I was quite interested in photorealism, which always kind of gets slated at art school because, if the photograph is already there, why would you draw from it? My work is so focused on getting all the small details, on being really meticulous and uncovering every stone - trying to get everything as accurate and perfect as possible. And I’ve realised that that mentality actually doesn’t help you, because when you’re drawing from observation you’re trying to simplify in the best way that you can. You get your point across, but you pare it down so you have just what you need. There isn’t the time and the model is always going to move - there’s no certainty. I think that’s why I used to draw from photographs because it was certain and fixed. When you draw from a model, it’s not like that.

Does that scare you?

Yeah, definitely. Really. And that’s why I’m here, because I need to learn to be okay with that.

What else are you hoping to gain from Atelier?

When I came out of uni I had all these mixed messages. There were people saying [drawing from photographs] is a cop-out and something that everyone can do, but at the same time I had a curator saying if I could bring them a portfolio in six months time then they’d think about representing me. So it was all going very, very fast, and after uni I couldn’t really look at a pencil for a year. I just couldn’t draw, it was too fear provoking, it was too threatening. I want to get over that fear.

How was the first week?

I think it can be scary when you first start because you realise how much you have to cover, but that’s good in way, because that will just push you on. You go into it thinking, Oh, it’ll be okay or, I’ll be terrible! And then you learn that you’re kind of in between those two points. All the criticisms fly around in your head, but in drawing, perfectionism is so detrimental. I think the way you progress is to find solutions that are imperfect, but you keep finding so many of them that you cover all the bases and push yourself forward.

What are your expectations of the course?

I don’t have any concerns about the teaching, it’s just going to be so good, and the people are all so wonderful and friendly. We all want to help each other out. We’re like, “Have you seen this book?” and “I learnt this by doing this!” so that’s really nice. The only concern I have is in myself, because I don’t want my own self-doubt to stop me from doing the things I need to do. It’s more of an internal battle.

Did you always want to be an artist?

When I was in the Jerwood and in my degree show I was like, “Yeah! I wanna be an artist!” Now I try now to put those… they’re almost blockades. If you drive for that one thing and that’s your goal, sometimes it can put too much pressure on you. So I haven’t really thought past this year.

What are your plans for the year then?

I’d love to go to LARA (the London Atelier of Representational Art). What I want to do is learn a new skill and keep practising and keep going. Because the thing about trying to learn from the figure is that it takes longer than a year, it takes longer than five years! It takes however long it’s going to take, with continuous practice. You can do life drawing endlessly, because you’re always in it. I’m hoping to improve my observational drawing and how I measure, and how I see the world. If I can get better at something and enforce discipline on myself I think I’d feel a lot better in myself. You’ve just gotta push a little more each time, do it piecemeal and just go with your own rhythm.

By Amy Squirrell

Amy is a freelance journalist and is writer-in-residence at Draw, alongside being a regular life model and chellist  for the Drawchestra. As part of an ongoing series of interviews Amy will be checking in with Poppy as she progresses on the Atelier course, posting quarterly updates.

www.amysquirrell.com

Photograph: Poppy by Milo Hartnoll 
Drawing: After Andrew Caitlin by Poppy Veale

DRAWN IN: week II

Part 1: Tuesday 16th Sept

If beginning is the hardest part, timing is definitely a good second.

It’s the second week at the Atelier and against all odds I am the first one in the studio. Let it be put on the record that on the 16th of September 2014, 10:23am GMT Laura Anna Sofia Nenonen was on time. (My mum can confirm that last time I arrived early may have been when I was born, and personally I’d like to add that that was painful enough to convince me to always be late from then on.)


New love

The theme of the week is materials - everything from biro to charcoal and oh-so-much in between. One at a time everyone gets to introduce their favourite medium. I panic and claim mine to be biro, just because I never take the time to just draw so most of the time I’m just doodling away with what happens to be available. And almost every time that is a biro.

By the end of the round I am completely jealous and desperate to get all the toys, right now. But it is in Theresa’s colourful collection of materials that I have discovered my new love. The Pentel brush pen is incredibly smooth and amazingly versatile - as trustworthy as my old pal biro but so much more … well, just more. (Sorry, biro.) It’s love at the first line.

Then it’s time for Jake to take us for a tour through the jungle of art materials. We start from the very basics (clay in pencils?), move on to the puzzling (cotton equals paper?) and end up in what seems like witchcraft (a book about sharpening pencils? Seriously?). 

image


The cheaper
 the better?

Which takes us to the core of my problem with the endless variety of interesting drawing materials: I just simply don’t have the time. And by time I mostly mean money.

I avoid having a real job, so I am not rolling in money. Also, I have an inherited ‘the cheaper the better’ attitude and a tendency to think that anything that costs more for quality is, without exception, a dirty old scam.
But maybe, just maybe, this is worth questioning. Together we summarise that skills are what we’re here to improve. According to Jake, 90% of how well one draws is about their skills rather than the materials they’re using. He compares it to shooting with a cheap rifle. I make a comparison about manual gears versus automatic ones. People who drive have told me there’s a difference. But the phenomenon, as much as I hate to admit this, seems to be true; sometimes you do get nicer things if you are willing and able to pay a bit extra.

But time flies and so do I - out of the door as the actual drawing session begins. Note to self: Must experiment with different materials another time.


Part 2: Wednesday 17th Sept

Less than a light year later I’m back to learn about lighting the model. (A disclaimer: no muses were burnt in the making of this lesson) We look at how the angle of the light  - whether it’s coming from above, either side or the Hitchcock angle - can make the model look like a whole another person. We practice catching the light by doing 10-minute oil sketches with the plaster cast of a model. I am stunned to find out that in the right light she can even look like Jesus. Well, if you look at my painting anyway.

image  

We get to paint a real model too as soon as we are done with the head-that’s-yet-to-be-named. Beth, the delightful model, ends up getting a bit of a cross-lighting. With my very limited time I try to capture some of her beams on the canvas. After about 25 minutes I have run out of time and the studio. My version of Beth is looking alright but another two hours surely would’ve done her justice.

image


Whether time is money or the other way around, investing some in this whole drawing thing is starting to seem crucial. I’m going to start with time and see how far that takes me. 

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

Monday 22nd September
19:00- 22:30 / £5 / The Drawing Circus*

8Wednesday 24th
September
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Mixed Pose

Thursday 25th September
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
19:30-22:00 / £8 (£6) / Themed Pose : Dressing up box

Friday 26th September
12:00-14:00 / £6 / Mixed Pose
15:00-18:00 / / Long Pose

Saturday 27th September
14:30-16:30 / / Short pose
17:30-20:30 / £10 / Long Pose

Sunday 28th September
11:00-13:30 / £10 / Tutored Pose
17:30-20:00 / £6 / JAM Mixed Pose

*The Drawing Circus is a larger scale life drawing session held at The Old Market bar in Hove. This week the evening is Picasso themed and there will be three different sets (Blue, Rose and Cubist) and four models to draw from. All very welcome!

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. 

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.